The Definitive Gluten Free Foods List
For many people, gluten free foods are a necessity and by no means a trendy diet. In fact, research suggests that gluten-related disorders now affect ten percent of the US population. 1
This is particularly poignant for those who have celiac disease, as a gluten free diet is currently the only form of treatment that works.2
Going gluten free can feel complicated and a struggle for anyone trying to get to grips with what foods to eat. For most, regular grocery shopping is carried out on autopilot, but now it’s going to seem like a whole new ball game.
The naked truth is that gluten is everywhere and quite often where you least expect it, which can feel confusing and overwhelming. But it’s not all bad news; there are plenty of gluten free foods to ensure you have a well-balanced diet.
Therefore, if you’ve decided to go gluten free but are unsure of what foods are out there, check out this definitive gluten free foods list to get you started on the right track.
#1 Fruits and Vegetables
Top of the healthy chart has got to be fresh fruit and veggies. Not only are they loaded with nutrients but they are naturally gluten free too.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the best option. It’s recommended to eat two cups of whole fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily to ensure your diet is balanced. 3
In most case, tinned or packaged frozen fruits and vegetables will also be gluten free; however, it’s worth noting that sometimes manufacturers add additional ingredients when processing. Therefore, you need to be extra cautious – check the labels to make sure it contains 100% fruit or vegetables.
Cast your eyes down the most popular fruits and vegetables allowed on the gluten free diet:
- Fresh dates
- Brussels sprouts
- Green beans
- Pak choy
- Fresh parsley
- Sweet potato
- Water cress
#2 Gluten Free Grains
Going gluten free may lead you to believe grains have to be avoided. However you will be pleasantly surprised to know there are still quite a few that make the gluten free grade.
This is the gluten free foods list of grains you can eat: 4
- Brown rice
- White rice
- Wild rice
- Basmati rice
- Pilaf rice
- Oats (only if certified gluten free)
Vegetarians and vegans who are struggling to find gluten free foods will find legumes useful. They are very nutritious, high in fiber and a great source of plant based protein. 5
Look down the list of legumes, classed as gluten free:
- Adzuki beans
- Red lentils
- Green beans
- Puy lentils
- Yellow lentils
- Soy beans (edamame)
- Kidney beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Dried peas
- Black-eyed peas
- Split peas
- Romano beans
- Fava beans
- Lima beans
#4 Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds in their plain state can be included on your gluten free foods list, but it’s packaged nuts you need to be conscious of. Any kind that is coated, candied or has a seasoning or flavoring should be left alone unless it specifies “gluten free.”
Here’s the list you can go nuts over:
- Brazil nut
- Pine nut
- Pumpkin seed
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
#5 Gluten Free Dairy Foods
We need calcium to ensure our bones stay healthy and dairy foods is a prime source for our bodies.
If you are going gluten free because of celiac disease, calcium is crucial. One complication of the disease is low bone density which can lead to osteoporosis. 6
With milk and yogurt, keep it natural – that means no flavorings and with cheese, stick to real cheeses and not processed varieties.
I’ve also included some milk substitutes for those that are lactose intolerant.
- Plain or natural yogurt
- Real cheese (not blue or processed)
- Goat’s cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Soy milk
- Rice milk
- Almond milk
#6 Fish and Seafood
The fruits of the sea pave the way for many gluten free options. Remember to opt for au natural without any breaded coatings, batters or sauces.
Look out for these gluten free foods next time you are at the local grocery store:
#7 Meat and Poultry
All fresh meat and poultry are deemed gluten free however processed and deli meats are another story. Meats such as sausages and cold cuts could contain ingredients or “extras” with gluten, therefore unless it states “gluten free” steer clear.
Here are the meat and poultry gluten free foods:
#9 Cooking Ingredients, Sauces, Oils, Seasonings and Condiments
Gluten free diets work best when making your meals from scratch because you are in control of what’s going into it.
Condiments, bottled sauces, and salad dressings can be tougher to gauge because there is a heightened risk of gluten being used as part of the ingredients. Therefore the safest option is to assume they contain gluten unless stated otherwise.
As a rule, the popular brands of ketchup and mustard are known to be gluten free, however they are not all made using the same recipe, therefore do no assume all are the same.
Plain herbs and pure spices are gluten free, it becomes a problem when they are used as part of seasoning.
- Olive oil
- Corn oil
- Canola oil
- Sesame oil
- Ground pepper
- Pure Spices
- Dried herbs
- French mustard
- Pure honey
- Apple cider vinegar
- White vinegar
- Distilled vinegar
- Corn starch
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Pure cocoa
- Rice flour
- Chickpea flour (gram flour)
- Coconut flour
- Almond flour
- Amaranth flour
- Sorghum flour
- Buckwheat flour
- Millet flour
- Quinoa flour
- Teff flour
- Soy flour
- Corn flour/cornmeal
- Xantham gum
- Vegetable broth
Drinks such as water, sodas and 100% fresh fruit juices are safe to consume on a gluten free diet. (Disclaimer: we definitely don’t recommend drinking soda or even fruit juice on a daily basis. But – these beverages ARE gluten free.)
Coffee and tea in their natural form are ok; however if flavored latte is your preference, give them a second look to make sure there isn’t any gluten hiding in there.
Alcoholic beverages are more complicated. If you are scouting for beer, only choose gluten free options. Some varieties of hard liquor originate from grains, whereas others don’t. In spite of this, the distillation process is believed to relinquish any gluten properties.
- Juices (100% fruit)
- Sports drinks
- Distilled liquor
- Gluten free beer
- Black Tea
- Green tea
- Coffee (unflavored)
#11 Gluten Free Substitutes
Wheat based items such as pasta, bread, baked items, and most snacks contain gluten. But it doesn’t mean they have to be totally off the menu just because you are on a gluten free diet.
Producers are acknowledging the fact those who need to follow a gluten free diet want alternatives. Gluten free substitutes are becoming widely available using alternative ingredients. This means you can still indulge on occasions.
How do you know it’s gluten free?
In 2013, authorities established standardized regulations to simplify gluten free foods for consumers. Part of the criteria for meeting “gluten free” levels is that it must contain a limit of less than 20 parts per million (ppm). 7
This means foods that display “gluten free”, “free of gluten”, “no gluten” or “without gluten” you can eat with confidence:
Most stores either choose to stock them in a health food section or alongside the regular food items. You can expect to find these kinds of substitutes in your gluten free foods search:
- Potato chips
- Frozen dinners
- Vegetarian burgers
- Ice cream
I can appreciate the list of gluten free foods is a lengthy one, that’s why I’ve listed some key points for a smarter and easier gluten free shopping trip. Here are three key points to remember:
- Keep it natural, and opt for whole foods instead of processed
- Always read the labels – never assume it’s gluten free
- If you are in any doubt, don’t eat it
Going gluten free may seem like a challenge at first, but once you get into the swing of things it will soon become second nature. When you start to notice the benefits, all the effort will seem worth it.
This is the gluten free food list. Check out the other installments below:
- The Ultimate Guide To A Gluten Free Diet
- Gluten Intolerance vs. Celiac (What’s the Difference?)
- What Does Gluten Free Mean?
- What Is Gluten?
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