Gluten is a group of proteins called glutelins and prolamins. They are found in grains like wheat, malt, rye, and barley.
It’s what helps foods like bread, pasta holds its shape and gives it that chewy texture of dough.
For most people, eating gluten is completely safe and fine. But it can be harmful to people suffering from gluten-sensitivity and celiac disease.
About 7% of Americans are affected by this condition, which means they’re can’t eat gluten (1).
If you that’s you, you should avoid eating gluten.
But avoiding gluten can be tricky since many food items are made with gluten-containing ingredients.
It’s important to always check food labels to avoid them.
But luckily, there are many gluten-free foods you can enjoy peacefully.
Here is a list of 34 gluten-free foods to include in your gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Food List
Surprisingly, most whole grains are naturally gluten-free. Though you still need to be mindful and read labels. Some may still contain gluten through cross-contamination.
If they are processed in the same facility as other gluten-containing food products, the chances are high (2).
Oats, for example, often get processed in the same facilities that process wheat.
This makes it even more essential to check if your foods are gluten-free by nature or not.
With that said here’s a whole list of Gluten-free whole grains.
Grains listed below are naturally gluten-free and can be enjoyed on your gluten-free diet.
- Corn (maize)
- Buckwheat groats (also known as kasha)
- Gluten-free oats
- Nut flours
The healthiest way to eat when you’re gluten intolerant is to follow a gluten-free diet that includes all-natural fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
In their natural state, all fruits and non-grain vegetables are gluten-free.
However, when buying raw vegetables, remember to wash them thoroughly before eating in case they have come in contact with a product containing gluten.
If you’re buying frozen or canned vegetables or fruits, read the label to be sure it’s gluten-free.
Plain milk from animals (cows, goats, or sheep) is gluten-free in its natural state.
However when buying butter, yogurt, or ice cream, be sure to check the label for barley malt or maltodextrin, which may be used as sweeteners.
Hard cheese is gluten-free, but it always pays to check the label.
Meat, Poultry, and Fish
According to Celiac.com, beef, pork, lamb, poultry and fish are naturally gluten-free (3). Again just like the fresh fruits and veggies, store them separate from any gluten-containing products to avoid cross-contamination. Wash before you cook.
Packaged meats, poultry, and fish, as well as restaurant entrees, are frequently covered with breadcrumbs or a flour-containing sauce, both of which contain gluten.
Buy fresh whenever possible, and read packages carefully to ensure they’re certified gluten-free.
Nuts, Seeds, and Beans
Beans, nuts, and seeds are naturally gluten-free in their most natural state.
You can find the complete list of nuts and seeds here. If you are buying these items from a bulk bin, be sure to use a gluten-free designated serving spoon to avoid cross-contamination. For canned goods, look for the “GF” sign on the product label.
Your gluten-free diet can still be nutritious and delicious.
With gluten-free diets, you certainly have grains and food items you need to absolutely avoid such as wheat and barley. However, there are still many grains who are wheat and gluten-free that can be incorporated into your diet.
Not only that, many common wheat-containing foods such as pasta, noodles, and bread now have gluten-free varieties that utilize non-gluten grains and starches. You can also use vegetables to substitute noodles and pasta. Take zoodles for an example. Zoodles are zucchinis made into pasta shaped.
Additionally, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are naturally gluten-free. Also, meat, poultry, and fish are all-natural safe.
But when in doubt, check the “GF” sign for certified gluten-free food items.
- Biesiekierski, Jessica R. “What Is Gluten?” Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Mar. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28244676.
Saturni, Letizia, et al. “The Gluten-Free Diet: Safety and Nutritional Quality.” Nutrients, Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Jan. 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257612/.
“Sources of Gluten.” Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac.org/gluten-free-living/what-is-gluten/sources-of-gluten/.