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Gluten-Free Foods: What To Eat and What to Avoid

Spencer Cailas

gluten-free foods

Not sure what foods contain gluten, and what to eat when trying to avoid gluten? Here is a detailed, and safe to follow gluten-free foods guide.

Being on a diet isn’t easy, especially a gluten-free diet, which can be confusing and daunting, which is exactly why we’ve put together this major list of gluten-free foods to help you make the best decisions possible when shopping.

Gluten-Free Foods by Type

We tried to keep everything simple and as comprehensive as possible on what foods are gluten-free. If by chance we’ve forgotten to add anything to this list of gluten free foods, let us know by shooting us an email over at our contact page

Below you will find every section categorized by it’s type, and an overview of the gluten-free foods that you can eat, and which ones to avoid.

We hope you find our gluten-free foods section informative.


gluten-free sea foods

Whether it’s from freshwater or saltwater, seafood is nutrient-rich with good sources of vitamins and minerals, rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, low in fat, cholesterol and high in protein.

Nature provides us with everything we need, especially sources that are grown organically and in this case, the sea. We can’t mention this enough, avoid all seafood that is cultivated in farms and fed food that contains wheat.

Seafood, fish specifically; is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, it’s a type of polyunsaturated fat that’s essential since we can’t produce it.

It plays various important roles in our bodies just like most vitamins and minerals, so it’s something that you don’t want to cut back on. Some reasons why you shouldn’t cut back on omega-3 are because:

  1. It helps to lower elevated triglyceride levels, which can cause heart disease if its levels are too high.
  2. It can also curb your joint pain and stiffness as it boosts anti-inflammatory drugs.
  3. Studies show that omega-3 can help to reduce symptoms of ADHD and improved mental health.
  4. Research shows that foods with higher levels of omega-3 promote lower levels of depression.

There are various other health benefits from eating seafood, aside from those already mentioned above like having lower fat but healthy fats, being a good source of vitamins, minerals, and protein.

Your best choice when it comes to seafood is to choose anything preferably caught fresh and from the wild such as:

Seafood Sources  Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Salmon 208 13 0  20
Trout (3 oz.) 177 11 0 17
Haddock (3 oz.) 77 0.5 0 17
Shrimp (100 grams) 99 0.3 0.2 24
Catfish (3 oz.) 194 11 7 15
Halibut (3 oz.) 158 12 0 12
Mackerel (100 grams) 305 25 0 19
Mahi-mahi (100 grams) 85 0.7 0 18.5
Snapper (3 oz.) 85 1.1 0 17.4
Tuna (3 oz.) 157 5 0 25
Cod (3 oz.) 70 0.6 0 15
Flounder (3 oz.) 60 1.6 0 11
Sole (3 oz.) 77  0 1 16
Bass (3 oz.)  105 2.2 0 20
Turbot (3 oz.)  104 3.2 0 17
Walleye (3 oz.) 79 1 0 16
Flatfish (3 oz.) 77 1 0 16
Grouper (3 oz.) 78 0.9 0 16.5
Anchovy (3 oz.) 111 4.1 0 17.3
Herring (3 oz.) 134 7.7 0 15.3

As important as it is to eat fatty seafood, it may also have higher levels of toxins, mercury, and PCBs, that’s why we suggest you avoid all sources that are farm-raised.

Meat and Poultry

meat and poultry gluten free foods

As far as meat and poultry go, there aren’t a lot of limitations.

You can eat the foods mentioned below that does not contain a sauce or marinade that contains gluten, try to choose free-range and grass fed.

One of the reasons we suggest grass-fed is because of a debate in the gluten-free community that grain-fed animal meat isn’t considered gluten-free.

Scientifically speaking, any gluten protein eaten by grain-fed animals would be broken down into individual amino acids which are the basic building blocks of protein, any resulting meat or poultry would be gluten-free, considering no seasonings, marinades or sauces have been added.

The primary reason why we suggest grass-fed is for its obvious health benefits such as less overall fat, higher levels of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is known to reduce risks of diseases like heart disease, cancer, and various other benefits.

Free-range animals produce eggs with two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E and six times more vitamin D, less saturated fat and cholesterol, and seven to nine times higher levels of beta-carotene.

Meat/Poultry Sources   Calories Fat (g) Carbs (g) Protein (g)
Chicken (breast) (100g) 165 3.6 0 31
Turkey (100g) 104 1.7 4.2 17.1
Duck (100g) 337 28 0 19
Quail (100g) 227 14 0 25
Goose (100g) 238 12.7 0 29
Deer (100g) 120 2.4 0 23
Moose (100g) 103 1.5 0 22
Beef (100g) 250 15 0 26
Veal (100g) 172 8 0 24
Goat (100g) 143 3 0 27
Lamb (100g) 283 20 0 25
Eggs (pastured/omega-3 enriched eggs) (100g) 143 10 0.8 12

From our research and reports from thousands of users, people that eat grass-fed poultry or meat feel better on a gluten-free diet, especially those with celiac disease.

Vegetables and Legumes

vegetables and legumes

On a gluten-free diet, try to go after vegetables and legumes that are fresh, and opt for organic as there are fewer pesticide residues, but it is entirely optional since studies show that both non-organic and organic vegetables contain the same nutritional values.

Vegetables and legumes are an important part of a healthy diet; they’re low in calories, a great source of minerals and vitamins like folate, vitamin c, magnesium, fiber and they have many phytochemicals.

There’s a lot of different types of vegetables grown all throughout the world; the choices are almost limitless as they come from various parts of the plant such as the seeds, stems, roots, leaves, tubers, and the flowers.

Legumes, on the other hand, are the seeds of the plants that are eaten in their immature and mature form like beans, chickpeas, lentils.

The great thing about legumes and vegetables is that they’re versatile when it comes to what you can do with them, you can eat them raw, sliced, fried, boiled, grated, baked, mixed with spices and herbs.

Below are some options for you to include in your cooking arsenal, although there are many other vegetables and legumes that you can add, whether frozen or canned will depend on your choice.

Vegetables Legumes
Celery Alfalfa
Microgreens Winged bean
Watercress Lima bean
Onions Clover
Leeks Beans
Kohlrabi Peas
Scallion (Green onions) Lentil
Beets (Beetroot) Green Beans
Cauliflower Soybeans
Broccoli Pinto Beans
Asparagus Garbanzo Beans
Cucumber Lespedeza
Cabbage Licorice
Brussels sprouts Peanuts
Artichokes Chickpeas
Okra Fava beans
Swiss Chard Field Pea
Asparagus Frijole Negro
Spinach Mexican Black Bean
Kale Mung Bean
Brussels sprouts Pinto Bean
Collard Greens Red Bean
Bok Choy

Do eat your vegetables, most are associated with reducing risks of various diseases like coronary heart disease. It even reduces risks of stroke and even weight gain.

Grains, Nuts and Seeds

The goal here is to go after gluten-free grains, nuts, and seeds that aren’t roasted or flavored.

Do not buy from bulk bins due to the high possibility of cross-contamination from other food sources that contains gluten such as seasonings which are usually how most people eat them.

Nuts, seeds and grains all contain nutrients that help boost our health, they’re packed with powerful vitamins, minerals such as zinc, magnesium, and phosphorus (that helps in bone development and immunity), healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats (that are essential in both reducing inflammation but also in maintaining the structure of the cells), and proteins.

The few benefits mentioned above aren’t the only ones, all of them contain higher amounts of vitamins and various ranges of it, various other minerals, they’re high energy foods, it lowers bad cholesterol levels, and it protects artery walls from damage.

If you want to get the most benefits from nuts and seeds, including more nutrients from them you should learn how to sprout them.

Check the labels to identify if the grains is, in fact, gluten-free as there have been researches proving that many naturally gluten-free grains can quite often contain gluten due to cross-contact with other grains, through harvesting or during processing.

If you’re unsure whether or not they are gluten-free, call the company or ask the seller to verify.

Grains Nuts Seeds
Quinoa Brazil Nuts Chia seeds
Amaranth Chestnuts Flax Seeds
Buckwheat (It’s gluten-free) Macadamia Nuts Hemp Seeds
Corn Hazelnuts Pumpkin Seeds
Millet Pine Nuts Sesame Seeds
Oats Walnuts Sunflower Seeds
Rice (Brown or white)

Note: be extra careful with oats, they are frequently contaminated with wheat, especially due to cross-contamination during processing in facilities where they process gluten containing products.

Bread and Flour

gluten free foods flour bread

When it comes to baking your own bread, you really need to know your way around the kitchen.

Bread are all out of options unless they’re specifically gluten-free made, whether you bought it or made it yourself.

Wheat flour is used mostly used for bread making, but also from rye, barley, and other gluten-containing grains. It’s hard to find gluten-free bread at your local market; you’re better off baking it yourself or buying it online.

For flour, you can ground it yourself from all the grains, nuts, and even seeds or you can buy online just as you would the bread or the mix.

You can refer to the section above to see the list of gluten-free grains, seeds, and nuts that you can use to grind it into flour yourself.

There is gluten-free bread mix to buy online as well to make your life easier.

Below are the safe gluten-free bread and flour list that you can get yourself without worries if you’re planning to buy it.

Flours Bread/Bread Mix
Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa Flour New Grains White Sandwich Bread
Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Flour New Grains Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Bob’s Red Mill Amaranth Flour Pamela’s Products Gluten Free Bread Mix
Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour
Bob’s Red Mill Organic Buckwheat Flour
Gerbs Chia Seed Powder

We choose Bob’s Red Mill since they’re well known, but keep in mind that there are many other suppliers out there that are just as good and trustworthy.


gluten free fruits

All plain fruits are naturally gluten-free, so you can chow down your favorite fruits without worries.

Opt for fresh fruits, and avoid canned or fruits in containers as they’re subjected to gluten contamination from other food sources, especially from markets that cut them up in the deli section.

However, If you buy canned fruits as they’re easier specially for storage, make sure to only purchase from suppliers that are safe.

Eating fruits provides us with nutrients that are vital for the maintenance of our bodies and overall health, and fruits are one of the best and healthiest options to acquire those nutrients.

Some of those essential nutrients that we often end up under consuming which can lead to deficiencies include vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and even potassium. Most fruits are also naturally low in calories, sodium, and fat.

If you eat fruits as an overall part of your diet, then you reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, heart attack and kidney stones. It can also protect you against cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and go as far as lowering blood pressure as well.

Fruits even fo as far as fighting skin disorders, and promotes hair growth too.

We can’t get too detailed with these facts, but you clearly see the importance of eating fruits to experience general health benefits, so be sure to get an ample amount of nutrients, even If you have a busy lifestyle, avoid processed foods as they harm the body and won’t fully provide you with the essential nutrients that fruits offer.

Bananas Apples Oranges
Grapefruit Pears Peaches
Nectarines Plums Pomegranates
Pineapple Cantaloupe Cherries
Apricot Watermelon Honeydew
Kiwi Lemon Lime
Lychee Mango Tangerine
Coconut Figs Dates
Olives Passion fruit Persimmon
Berries Papaya Grapes

Note: It’s always suggested to avoid eating fruits with meals as it can cause severe acidity and digestive issues, be sure to eat them before or after your meals with an hour of separation.

Avoid keeping fruits in extremely cold or hot places as it reduces their shelf life, room temperature and dry is perfect.

Dairy Products

Milk whether whole, lactose-free or low-fat and general dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are naturally gluten-free, the issues come when they have gluten-containing ingredients, so it’s imperative to read the labels when it comes to dairy and gluten.

Try to go for organic dairy products. 

When it comes to cheese products, in most cases they’re gluten-free, but you must be extra careful with the ones that contain certain preservatives (processed cheese), and ingredients like spices that may have gluten, you will have to read the labels.

Interesting fact, about 75% of the world’s population can’t properly digest lactose, in other words, the body is unable to break down lactose when we’re adults, just like gluten intolerance, there’s lactose intolerance, and a good percentage of people with celiac have it as well.

Most people consume dairy for the taste, and nowadays it’s difficult to avoid it, but aside from the taste, another reason is that it’s very nutritious providing proper amounts of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, Potassium, Riboflavin, Phosphorus and a range of other vitamins.

There is clinical research showing that high levels of Gliadin, a protein component from Gluten passes through to a mother’s breast-milk. If your baby has a gluten intolerance, then it can cause some problems. [*]

Here we have a list of gluten-free milk that you can enjoy without worries about it containing gluten.

Milk Products
Unflavored Plain Milk
Silk Vanilla Soymilk
Silk Almond Milk
Almond Breeze Almond Milk
Pacific Natural Foods Soy Milk
Soy Dream
Almond Dream Almond Milk

In case you’re choosing your local market, try to pick quality dairy that’s grass-fed and pasture-raised, and avoid low-fat dairy as they are usually loaded with sugar.

Drinks and Beverages

gluten free drinks and beverages

Many beverages are gluten-free, such as sports drinks, sodas, and juices from fruits.

As far as fruit juices, as long as they’re made from 100% fruit then it should be safe. The problem begins with “juice drinks”, which normally contains many added ingredients (which can contain gluten) and just a small percentage of the actual fruit juice.

Bad news for beer drinkers on a gluten-free diet. Just about all beers are off limits as they’re made with barley, hops, and ingredients that aren’t gluten-free.

Beer that has been processed to remove gluten from barley are not gluten-free, there has been a huge problem when it comes to this matter. Some beer companies state that they’re able to produce beers that contain less than 6 ppm.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, you can enjoy all distilled alcohol as the gluten is removed during the distillation process. Just be careful of added ingredients after distillation, as it will no longer be gluten-free.

All the sodas listed below are considered to be gluten-free up to 20ppm.

Bottled Juices Sodas (Read below) Sports/Energy Alcohol Tea
Fruit Juices Barq’s root beer Powerade Rum Green Tea
SoBe Pepsi Gatorade Vodka Unsweetened Iced Tea
Capri-Sun 7UP Tequila Snapple Tea
FUZE Sprite 5 Hour Energy Wine Lipton Tea
IZZE Sunkist Monster Energy Arizona Iced Tea
Dole Juice Mountain Dew Red Bull Iced Tea
Mott’s Juice Fanta Rockstar Energy
Sunny D Dr. Pepper AMP Energy
Snapple Juice Coke/Coca-Cola HiBall Energy
Welch’s Juice Sierra Mist
Kool Aid Mug Root Beer
V8 Juice A&W Root Beer

If you’re looking for more details or options on alcohol, take a look at our list of gluten-free alcohol

Spices and Oils

gluten free foods spices and oils

Pure spices and herbs do not contain gluten, although gluten-containing agents can be added with wheat starch and flour, not only that they are prone to cross-contamination during package processing.

Spices, in general, are pretty easy to spot if they aren’t gluten-free, but to make things easier, all pure and plain spices that are not mixed with other ingredients are gluten-free (so you’re safe with other spices that aren’t included in this list). Once mixed during processing, it is now called what we know as seasoning, which quite often does contain gluten.

All cooking oils are made up of fatty acids, each with chemical shapes that will affect how it performs with your health and with cooking.

There are three chemical shapes:

  • Monounsaturated. Solid at room temperature
  • Polyunsaturated. Always in liquid form, no matter the atmosphere
  • Saturated. Liquid at room temperature, semi-solid in cold temperatures

Polyunsaturated are the healthy fats we should aim to include in our diet as it has a range of health benefits like lowering your total cholesterol levels. Saturated fat we should avoid as it increases risks of type 2 diabetes, bad cholesterol levels, and LDL.

Monounsaturated raises good cholesterol and helps to lower LDL. So overall we should get more polyunsaturated as it’s the healthiest type of fat, including monounsaturated, and avoid saturated fats at all costs.

A few of the known gluten-free safe spices and cooking oils are listed below.

Spices Company Spices Cooking Oils
Aloha Spice Company McCormick Olive Oil
Spicy Gourmet Magic Seasonings Canola Oil
Tsp Spices Frontier Co-op Soybean Oil
Spicely Organic Spices Tones Vegetable oil
Cumin Spicely Organic Spices Coconut Oil
Oregano Spice Islands Sunflower Oil
Sea salt The Spice Hunter Peanut oil
Parsley Simply Organic
Black Pepper

Note: The companies that produce gluten-free spices will be on the middle list, keep in mind that some companies do produce spices with gluten, but the ones that are safe will be labeled as gluten-free and if the use of rye, oats, barley or wheat is used, it will be in the ingredient list.

Another great option is making your own spices.

Precautions and things to avoid

By now you should already have a solid idea of what you can eat on a from this gluten-free foods list guide, and as you can see, it’s not as easy, you must pay attention to everything you plan on eating.

Make sure you go over the list of gluten-free foods to get used to what type of meals you can prepare, and eat.

If you’re still unsure of the foods or products that are not gluten-free friendly, don’t worry as below you’ll find a list of things that you should always be on the lookout for.

  • Read the labels: It’s crucial to always check the package that you’re buying for extra ingredients that might contain gluten.
  • Always check for the gluten-free label: In August of 2013, the FDA regularized the gluten-free label to assure that the product is safe to consume. Manufacturers are accountable and must comply with all requirements of the regulation.
  • Eating out: Eating out can be limiting, but not impossible. If possible, check with the chef for gluten-free options in case they don’t offer any in their menu.
  • Medicine/Medications: Certain medications are not gluten-free (will contain gluten), double check before purchasing.

These are various forms of wheat that should be avoided, including grains that contain gluten, and ingredients.

Forms and sources of wheat Grains with gluten Gluten can also come in
Wheat starch Oats Soy sauce
Wheat bran Bulgur Seasonings and spice mixes
Wheat germ Barley Condiments
Couscous Rye Salad dressings
Cracked wheat Triticale (cross between wheat and rye) Broth
Durum Seitan Barley malt
Einkorn Marinades
Emmer Nutritional Supplements
Farina Gravies
Faro Herbal Supplements
Fu (normally found in Asian foods) Croutons
Graham flour

Note: Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are often contaminated during processing as they process the oats in facilities that contains gluten.

Overall, the more natural a food is, the better it will be for your health. Avoiding processed food is something we should all try to achieve whenever possible.

When done right, living the gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t have to be very hard, or restrictive, but it can be fun and delicious. Again, if you believe something is missing in this gluten-free foods list, don’t hesitate to contact us.