If you are on a gluten-free diet, you have to ensure that everything you eat doesn’t contain this protein.
Interestingly, people know what to avoid or at least the main sources of gluten.
For instance, they won’t take any food or drink containing barley, wheat and rye.
On the other hand, they don’t know much about the food they should eat to avoid consuming gluten.
Fortunately, here is a detailed discussion of the food you can eat on a gluten-free diet to avoid reaction to protein intolerance.
This guide should also help you have a balanced diet despite being on a gluten-free diet.
So, without further ado, let’s discuss the food that’s suitable for this diet.
Which Whole Grains Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Given that the major sources of gluten are whole grains such as rye, barley, wheat, and triticale, it is good to know your options regarding this food category.
However, despite that, you can’t run out of options regarding gluten-free whole grains either.
For instance, you can take any of the following whole grains and not worry about eating gluten.
- Brown rice
- Gluten-free oats
- Wild rice
That said, always ensure that these gluten-free grains aren’t processed together with the ones containing gluten.
Otherwise, you may find traces of gluten in such whole grains due to cross-contamination.
Fortunately, some manufacturers take all the necessary precautions when processing them to ensure that you get gluten-free whole grains for your diet.
Which Fruits and Vegetables Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
You don’t have to give up on fresh fruits and vegetables when on a gluten-free diet.
Besides fresh ones, juiced, pickled, dried and canned fruits and vegetables are also ideal for a gluten-free diet.
On the other hand, anything breaded may be a bad idea.
So, your options to avoid gluten are as follows;
The following fruits don’t contain gluten.
These vegetables are gluten-free.
- Winter squash
- Swiss chard
- Green beans
- Collard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Bell peppers
Pre-chopped gluten-free vegetables and fruits may contain gluten due to cross-contamination.
Some sweeteners used in dried vegetables and fruits may also contain gluten.
Frozen vegetables and fruits may have gluten if they have sauces and flavorings containing the protein.
It would be best if you also went for the fruits and vegetables canned with natural juices or water instead of sauces to avoid gluten.
The bottom line is being careful when choosing pre-chopped, dried, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits to avoid such cases.
Which Proteins Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Whereas gluten is a protein, it doesn’t mean you should avoid all proteins when on a gluten-free diet.
On the contrary, go for gluten-free proteins, usually fresh and unprocessed.
These proteins fall under various categories, including seafood, poultry, red meat and legumes.
Unflavored soy foods are also great sources of gluten-free proteins.
They include animal and plant proteins, and your choices are as follows;
- Fresh beef
- Fresh chicken
- Fresh fish
Remember that processing such food could introduce gluten-containing substances either as ingredients or instances of cross-contamination.
Therefore, you should be careful when ordering bacon, salami, sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs and other processed meats.
The same applies to ground meats, cold cuts, lunch meats, vegetarian burgers and other meat substitutes.
You should also be careful when dealing with seasonings, sauces or ready-to-eat proteins.
Regardless of how naturally gluten-free a certain source of protein is, avoid it if it is breaded or has soy sauce containing wheat if you are on a gluten-free diet.
The same applies to other flavorings and fillers, such as malt vinegar and soy sauce, commonly added to marinades, rubs and sauces.
Which Drinks Can You Take on a Gluten-Free Diet?
You can always quench your thirst with either soft or alcoholic drinks despite being on a gluten-free diet.
After all, some drinks don’t have gluten, including the following;
- Fizzy drinks
- Flavored water
- Fruit juice
If you love lagers and beers, always specify that you want the gluten-free ones to avoid harsh reactions.
Some alcoholic drinks aren’t made of gluten-free ingredients and don’t contain grains, such as tequila, which is made of agave and rum that’s made from sugar cane.
Equally important, alcohols such as vodka, bourbon, whiskey and gin may contain grains but are nonetheless gluten-free since they undergo a distillation process.
To be 100% safe, look for the ones with the gluten-free labels.
Which Fats and Oils Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Fats and oils are usually gluten-free, but what manufacturers add for thickening and flavour could change that.
For a gluten-free diet, consider the following;
- Avocado oil
- Canola oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Sunflower oil
Remember to check ingredients, especially additives, for your safety, especially when dealing with spiced or flavored oils and cooking sprays.
Which Dairy Products Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Despite dairy products being naturally gluten-free, be aware of the common use of additives and flavours containing gluten.
They include modified food starch, thickeners and malt.
Gluten-free ones include the following;
- Butter and ghee
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream
Flavored and processed dairy products need to be double-checked to confirm that they are still gluten-free.
Which Sweets and Desserts Can You Eat on a Gluten-Free Diet?
Here is yet another category of food most people on a gluten-free diet avoid.
That’s understandable since most of these food items contain ingredients containing gluten, such as wheat flour.
Nevertheless, there are still gluten-free options.
For instance, chocolate is naturally gluten-free as long as one doesn’t introduce add-ins containing gluten or cross-contaminate it during processing.
Most treats, such as frozen yoghurt, gelato, sherbet and ice cream, are also gluten-free.
However, brownie bites, graham crackers, cookie dough and pretzels are add-ins which can change and, hence, should be avoided at all costs.
On the other hand, the wheat floor filling in some crustless cheesecakes or fruit desserts may introduce gluten.
Only eat cheesecake, pastries, doughnuts, pies, brownies, cakes and cookies with the gluten-free label.
The same applies to licorice despite its sweetness since that won’t be worth it if it has gluten which your body can’t tolerate.
Chocolates and candies with barley malt ingredients are also a no-go zone for people on gluten-free diets.