Are you on a gluten-free diet? I’m sure this list of foods that are naturally gluten-free will help.
As you probably know, gluten is a protein present in many grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. These days you can also find it in lots of other food products, including beer, soups, and even salad dressings.
A gluten-free diet is the only medically-proven treatment for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, the diet isn’t just for people with those conditions. Some people have found that they feel better when they avoid gluten.
If you’re trying to avoid gluten, this article provides a list of foods that are naturally gluten-free to help you shop smarter. Keep reading to find out.
List of Foods That Are Naturally Gluten-Free
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Most fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, you need to be careful with processed or pre-packaged fruits and vegetables. Some may contain gluten if they have been prepared in a facility that also processes gluten-containing foods.
Fruits and vegetables that may contain gluten include salad mixes, frozen veggies, and frozen fruit mixes. In addition, be sure to check the label when buying dried fruit mixes and canned veggies, as they may also contain gluten.
2. Beans and Legumes
Most beans and legumes are naturally gluten-free as well. However, they sometimes contain added ingredients that contain gluten, so you want to check the ingredient label before buying them.
For example, some types of soybeans contain wheat or other grains that contain gluten. Other examples of beans that sometimes contain gluten include baked beans, three-bean salad mix, and garbanzo beans.
Most meat, including beef, lamb, and pork, is naturally gluten-free. However, it is important to check processed meats like hot dogs and sausages to make sure they don’t contain any gluten ingredients or fillers.
Contrary to popular belief, not all grains contain gluten. Some grains are naturally gluten-free when they’re pure and don’t have any additives.
Some of these grains include:
Quinoa is one of the most popular grains among health-conscious people. It’s gluten-free, high in protein, and one of the few plant foods that contain sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source.
Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and loaded with nutrients. Whole-grain buckwheat contains all three parts of the grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm. This means it’s a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Rice is a naturally gluten-free food that pairs well with many different foods. It’s also high in fiber and contains important minerals such as manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
5. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are naturally gluten-free. You can eat them as snacks, or add them to smoothies, salads, or other dishes for extra protein and healthy fats.
However, some varieties may be contaminated with gluten if they’re processed in the same facility as gluten-containing products. This is especially true for nuts that are sold in bulk bins.
In addition, manufacturer-produced nut butter and nut-based flours may contain other ingredients that aren’t gluten-free. Therefore, it’s important to check the label before you purchase these products.
Poultry is naturally gluten-free, but some preparation methods can add gluten to your meal. Breading and battering, for example, can cause cross-contamination if your poultry comes in contact with surfaces or equipment previously used for foods that contain gluten.
When eating out, confirm how your poultry is being prepared or ask for the chef to prepare it separately (with gluten-free items).
Also, if you’re buying seasoned or marinated poultry at the grocery store, double-check the label or ask if there’s any gluten in the seasoning. Some brands may use soy sauce (made from wheat) in their marinades.
7. Dairy Products
Plain dairy products, such as cow milk, plain yogurt, and cheese, are naturally gluten-free. However, flavored dairy products may have ingredients that contain gluten, so you should read the food label carefully.
It is also important to know that cheeses require a little investigation. Cheeses that are labeled gluten-free are safe for you to eat. But if the cheese you want to buy does not mention gluten-free on its label, always check with the manufacturer before making your purchase.
8. Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood are naturally gluten-free. This includes all types of fish and shellfish. During preparation, however, fish and seafood can become contaminated with gluten.
When choosing fish or seafood, always ensure that it is not cross-contaminated with other ingredients or gluten-containing foods. To do this, check the ingredient list and look for a “gluten-free” label on the packaging.
Eggs are naturally gluten-free and can be a good source of protein. However, cross-contact can occur at any point during production (even in the henhouse).
If you have concerns about whether or not the eggs you want to buy contain gluten, call the manufacturer directly. Buying fresh eggs from a source you trust is your best bet for gluten-free eggs.
Additionally, be careful when you’re making your eggs and avoid using any ingredients containing gluten. The key is to steer clear of anything that contains oats or barley (such as malt) to avoid contamination.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and wheat hybrids. Food producers also use it as a binding agent in processed foods.
Is milk gluten-free?
Yes, it is. Milk is naturally free of gluten. However, some brands may add thickeners or stabilizers that contain gluten. Make sure to read labels carefully when buying milk products, especially flavored milk and creamer.
How can you avoid gluten?
The easiest way to avoid gluten is to choose naturally gluten-free foods and to read labels when buying processed food.
Do cheeses have gluten?
Most cheeses are naturally gluten-free since they contain milk and rennet alone. However, if a cheese has any added ingredients, it may contain gluten from flavoring agents, binders, or fillers.
If you’re unsure whether a cheese contains gluten, check the label for any ingredients containing wheat, barley, and rye. If there’s no such ingredient, the cheese is safe for you to eat.
What foods should you avoid if you have celiac disease?
Foods that contain gluten like wheat, barley, and rye are off-limits if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Many beverages are off-limits as well because they either contain gluten or are processed in plants that also process products with gluten.
Whether you’re allergic to gluten or just looking for a healthier diet, there are plenty of foods out there that you can enjoy without worrying about gluten.
The foods above are naturally gluten-free, so make sure that you stick to the list and try your best to check the labels on any packaged natural foods. You can also do some research on the company’s website to make sure that the product is gluten-free.
Hopefully, this list will help you navigate your way through the grocery store and find foods that are naturally gluten-free.
Thanks for reading.
If you want to know more about gluten-free foods, visit Cheffist today.