Total removal of gluten from a person’s diet can seem like a tedious task that’s not only time-consuming, but even arduous and perhaps impossible. However, for those with sensitivity or even celiac disease, only eating from the gluten free foods list is a mandatory lifestyle. Fortunately, many delicious and also healthy foods are out there which are naturally free of gluten.
To make the process simple, an effective way to stay healthy is to look for the food groups that are naturally free of gluten. This typically involves all fruits and vegetables. Most meat and poultry are naturally free of gluten as well, as is fish and seafood. Dairy products are mostly gluten-free, as are nuts, legumes, and beans. This applies for most organic or natural foods in their original state, as gluten can sometimes contaminate even these food groups depending on the processing and packaging methods used.
Pure barley grass and pure wheat grass are supposed to be free of gluten, but their seeds have gluten. Improper harvesting or processing can contaminate them.
Grains often prove problematic for gluten, but there are fortunately many grains that are naturally free of gluten that dieters can use in creative ways. Many local grocery stores carry a number of these, although select options might only be available through health food or even specialty stores. It’s not a good idea to purchase any of these grains from bulk bins given the possible risk of gluten cross-contact.
Rice, cassava, corn/maize, soy, and potato start this list of starches and grains free of gluten, and those are often commonly found. Quinoa, flax, gluten-free oats, and nut flours aren’t too uncommon either. Less common choices include tapioca, sorghum, millet, buckwheat oats/kasha, arrowroot, and amaranth. Dieters might also be able to find teff, chia, and yucca.
Always be mindful of the possibility of cross-contamination and buy versions that actually get tested for gluten presence. Anything with less than 20 parts per million should be safe for consumption.
Many individual items around a grocery-store might advertise themselves as gluten-free products, but research needs to be conducted as to what the company means by that claim, given the terminology and conditions might vary from one food provider to the next. Also, keep in mind that just because something says it is ‘wheat-free’ does not mean it is actually gluten-free, coming back to that pesky processing and packaging contamination problem.
Soups and sauces are a surprisingly big hidden source of gluten, with wheat thickeners being common. Frozen and fresh veggies and fruits are typically free of gluten by nature, but anything processed, such as dried fruits or premade smoothies might not be. Many beverages are gluten-free, but not all alcohol is. Wind and hard liquors are usually safe, but beer, ales, lagers, and malt beverages aren’t usually. Even supplements, vitamins, and medicines have to be checked for gluten on a case-by-case basis.
Eating within the confines of a gluten free foods list ensures celiac sufferers and those with sensitivities the ability to enjoy delicious food and get the nutrition they need without triggering their conditions and their negative consequences.