Foods To Avoid On A Gluten-Free Diet

Let’s tackle the “No-No” part of this list of foods that you can’t eat on a gluten-free diet first. Here are the foods which contain gluten that you need to avoid.

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Malt, Malt Vinegar and Malt Flavoring
  • Rye
  • Triticale, which is a cross between rye and wheat
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Avoid the following items unless they definitely say gluten-free on the label. They don’t necessarily contain gluten, but they might.

  • Bread
  • Candy, cakes and pies
  • Cereals
  • Beer
  • Cookies, crackers and croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravy
  • Imitation seafood, imitation meat
  • Pasta
  • Processed lunch meats
  • Salad dressings, sauces
  • Seasoned rice mix
  • Snack foods, such as potato chips
  • Soups and some soup bases
  • Canned vegetables and sauce

Hot dogs, frozen vegetables and sauce, hot chocolate, pickles, blue cheese, french fries and even some items labeled wheat-free might actually contain gluten. Remember, wheat variations such as rye, barley and spelt can contain gluten. Oats can become cross-contaminated with gluten in the growing, harvesting and processing stages of production.

So just because a package of food says it doesn’t have any wheat, does not guarantee gluten is not there.

What You Can Eat On A Gluten-Free Diet

Fresh fruits and vegetables are fair game. So are fresh, wild-caught or pasture-raised fish, meat and poultry. Most dairy products are eligible for consumption, just make sure you check the ingredients first. Beans, nuts and seeds in their natural form, without additives or seasoning, are also good to go. Fresh eggs are allowed as well, just make sure they came from hens that were not fed grains.

All of those foods are allowed on a gluten-free diet, as long as they are not batter-coated, marinated, breaded or contain gluten in the form of preservatives and additives. The following foods are also allowed.

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours, such as rice, soy and corn
  • Hominy
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Teff

Easy and Healthy Gluten-Free Food Swaps 

Just because you are cutting out gluten doesn’t mean you have to go grain-free. Some people cut out the majority of grains from their diet, just so they can be sure there is not some wheat or gluten variation they are eating. On the other hand, quinoa, gluten-free flours, buckwheat and gluten-free breads and grains are available to swap out instead of eating wheat, rye, barley, spelt and other gluten-containing grains.

Avoiding processed foods in general will keep you gluten-free for the most part. Also, if you don’t know where a food item came from or how it got to your plate, it may be best to pass on it. 

There are other simple and healthy food swaps that not only keep gluten from causing health problems, but they also bolster your overall health and wellness. Consider the following swaps that promote a healthy body and mind.

  • Choose corn instead of flour tortillas
  • Dump the pretzels for popcorn or a handful of nuts
  • Collard green wraps replace bread-based sandwiches or flour wraps
  • Lettuce or Swiss chard replace wraps and bread as well
  • Portobello caps instead of bread or buns
  • Spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash in place of pasta
  • Quinoa pasta is also available as a replacement for pasta
  • Baked zucchini fries instead of french fries
  • Tamari in place of soy sauce
  • Ditch the granola bar for a Luna bar (all Luna bars are now gluten-free)
  • Replace salad dressings with coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

Remember, you can replace any food that contains gluten or wheat with any fresh, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds.

Gluten Free For Beginners Cover 3DIf you are new to a gluten-free diet, and interested to learn more about the benefits of reducing or cutting out gluten, you can download our free report here: How To Go Gluten-Free For Beginners