There is a tremendous amount of gluten-free food available to you and options are increasing every day.
Take a look at this long list of safe options. With the exception of the gluten-containing grains, fresh foods without processing or additives are naturally gluten-free 1,2.
- Fresh/frozen fruits and vegetables (and their juices) without added ingredients, seasonings, or sauces containing gluten
- Unprocessed/plain fresh and frozen meat, poultry (chicken, turkey), fish, and seafood
- Plain dried or canned legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans if no gluten-containing ingredients are listed
- Plain dried or canned beans (navy, white, black, pinto, etc) if no gluten-containing ingredients are listed
- Fresh, unprocessed eggs
- Milk and dairy products (plain milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, buttermilk, most ice creams)
- Non-dairy beverages labeled "gluten-free" such as rice, soy, hemp, and nut milks
- Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other tubers
- Plain nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, flax, etc)
- Oils (butter, margarine, all vegetable oils)
- Condiments made with allowed ingredients
- Beverages such as water, tea, instant or ground coffee (regular or decaffeinated), pure cocoa without added ingredients
- Gluten-free grains and grain products labeled "gluten-free," such as amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, teff and wild rice, and the products made from them*
VERY IMPORTANT : Avoid any food made with or containing:
- Brewer's yeast
- Oats (unless oats are specially produced labeled gluten-free oats)
Click here for a 15-page guide to the gluten-free diet by Food Category.
|HEALTHY EATING GUIDELINES
- Balance calorie intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
- Consume a diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits.
- Choose gluten-free whole-grain, higher-fiber foods.
- Include low-fat or nonfat dairy products.
- Consume 3/4 oz. of omega-3 fatty acids at least twice a week in fish.
- Limit your intake of saturated fat and trans fat by cooking at home and including vegetarian dishes.
- Minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars.
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.
Reference: Adapted with permission for Real Life with Celiac Disease from Case S. Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. 4th ed. Case Consulting, Inc., 2010, www.glutenfreediet.ca.
*Buy only those grain and grain products that are labeled "gluten-free" because of the possibility of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains3 . To read more, click on Cross Contamination and Label Reading for important details about how to avoid gluten.
COMMON CONCERNS ABOUT THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET:
Click on the links to learn more about each of the important topics below.
TIPS TO GET STARTED ON THE GLUTEN-FREE DIET:
- Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for naturally gluten-free fruits and vegetables, plain dairy products, and plain meat, fish, and poultry.
- Read labels carefully. Ingredients and labels can change at any time without warning. If an ingredient list is not provided, contact the company directly for product information.
- When buying processed foods, look for the 'gluten-free' label. Click on Label Reading to learn more.
- Consider the possibility of cross-contamination (when gluten-free products are produced in a gluten environment) and unlisted ingredients which may have been used in processing.
- Some products are "certified" gluten-free. Visit Certification of Gluten-Free Products to learn more.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU GET STARTED:
Gluten Intolerance Group and Delicious Living: Guide to Gluten-Free Living
Thompson, T. So, What Exactly is a Gluten-Free Diet?
Case, S. Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet
TAKE HOME MESSAGES:
- Take a close look around any grocery store or supermarket and notice how many foods are naturally gluten-free.
- "Wheat-free" does not necessarily mean "gluten-free." Wheat-free products may contain rye or barley, or oats (Avoid oats unless they are specially produced labeled gluten-free oats).
- There are a few common pitfalls when following the gluten-free diet. With the right knowledge and resources, you can manage all of them. Read on!
- For more details about how to balance your gluten-free diet, click on Healthy Eating on the Gluten-Free Diet section.
- Decher N, Parrish CP. Balanced and Delicious: A Healthy Gluten-Free Diet. In Real Life with Celiac Disease. Eds. Dennis M, Leffler D. AGA Press, Bethesda, MD, 2010.
- Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition, Shelley Case. Case Nutrition Consulting, Inc., December 2010.
- Thompson T, Lee AR. Gluten contamination of grains, seeds, and flours in the United States: a pilot study. JADA, 2010,110(6):937-940.
- Stevens L, Rashid M. Gluten-free and regular foods: a cost comparison. Can J. Diet. Pract. Res. 2008, 69, 147-50.
Revision Date: 10-8-13
Author: Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN
Editors: Anne Lee, MSEd, RD, LD and Daniel Leffler, MD, MS