Gluten-Free Diet

I had a client say that they were on a gluten fee diet so I wanted to do some research and this is what I found.
  1. a substance present in cereal grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. A mixture of two proteins, it causes illness in people with celiac disease.
What is gluten basically?
Gluten is a protein naturally found in some grains including wheat, barley, and rye. It acts like a binder, holding food together and adding a “stretchy” quality—think of a pizza maker tossing and stretching out a ball of dough. It’s common in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. Gluten provides no essential nutrients. People with celiac disease have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten.
Which foods are high in gluten?
The 8 most common sources of gluten include:
  • Bread. This includes all types of bread (unless labeled “gluten-free”) such as rolls, buns, bagels, biscuits, and flour tortillas.
  • Baked Goods.
  • Pasta.
  • Cereal.
  • Crackers.
  • Beer.
  • Gravy.
  • Soup.
What does a gluten-free diet consist of?
A gluten-free diet excludes any foods that contain gluten, which is a protein found in wheat and several other grains. It means eating only whole foods that don’t contain gluten, such as fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs, as well as processed gluten-free foods like gluten-free bread or pasta.

What to Avoid


  • Wheat

  • Wheat-based ingredients (wheat bran, wheat flour, bulgur, durum, graham, kamut, spelt, semolina)

  • Barley

  • Rye

  • Triticale

  • Malt

  • Brewer’s yeast


Unexpected Gluten Sources


This is where things can get a bit tricky. Some foods are unexpected sources of gluten, either due to potential cross-contamination during processing or specific ingredients. Here are several to watch out for during shopping.


Although oats do not contain gluten, they can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing grains during harvest, storage or processing. Look for oatmeal that is certified gluten-free on the label.

Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is made with soybeans, salt, water and a surprising ingredient — wheat. Instead, look for tamari, a gluten-free variety that is typically made without wheat.

Malt Vinegar

While most varieties of vinegar (distilled, balsamic, apple cider, red and white wine) are gluten-free, malt vinegar is not. It contains malted barley, which contains gluten.

Salad Dressing

Bottled salad dressing may contain gluten in the form of malt vinegar, soy sauce or even flour. Look for a gluten-free certification on the label — or whip up your own with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Anything Labeled “Wheat-Free”

“Wheat-free” doesn’t necessarily mean gluten-free. Check the ingredient list, as foods that are labeled as “wheat-free” may also contain barley, rye or spelt.

For a more detailed list of gluten-free foods at Whole Foods Market, check out our gluten-free shopping list.


How do I get started?


Is rice gluten-free Yes, all rice (in its natural form) is gluten-free. This includes brown rice, white rice, wild rice and rice flour. Even Asian or sticky rice, also called “glutinous rice,” is gluten-free, despite its name.

Is Jasmine rice gluten-free?
There are many individual varieties of rice that fall into these categories, such as basmati, jasmine, and Texmati. All are gluten-free, but generally, whole-grain rice is more nutritious. The bran layers are rich in: Minerals. Jun 22, 2021
Does potato have gluten?
Yes, potatoes don’t contain gluten and are therefore gluten-free.
Does oatmeal have gluten?
While oats are naturally gluten free, they may come in contact with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley at the farm, in storage or during transportation
Does peanut butter have gluten?
In its natural form, both peanuts and peanut butter are gluten-free. Many store-bought brands of peanut butter are also gluten-free, with gluten-containing peanut butter tending to be the exception rather than the rule.

Does cheese have gluten?

While most cheeses by themselves do not contain gluten, foods that contain cheese as one ingredient may not be gluten-free, so you should always read the label. Cheesecake is not gluten-free (unless specified on the label) because the crust is made with wheat flour.
Does coffee have gluten?
No, coffee and corn are both gluten-free. There is no scientific evidence to show that coffee or corn contain proteins that cross-react with gluten. According to Dr. Stefano Guandalini, a CDF Medical Advisory Board member, both are safe for people with celiac disease to consume.
Are bananas gluten-free?
All fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free.

  Is gluten inflammatory?

To be concise, yes, gluten causes inflammation in those with Celiac Disease (CD) and people with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS), though in different manners, according to research from Columbia University in 2020.Nov 28, 2022
Are potato chips gluten-free?
Most potato chips, veggie chips, and tortilla chips are gluten-free, though you may want to look for a gluten-free label just to be safe. Meanwhile, you should avoid pita chips and any chips made with flour, whole wheat, wheat starch, or malt vinegar. Apr 8, 2022

  Does ice cream have gluten?

Milk and cream are the basic ingredients of ice cream and are naturally gluten free. However, the flavor of the ice cream and the environment it is made in can make it unsuitable for coeliacs. Sources of gluten in ice cream can include thickeners, colorings and flavorings such as barley malt syrup.
Are tortilla chips gluten-free?
Tortilla chips are most often made from 100% ground corn, which is naturally gluten-free. They may be made from white, yellow, or blue varieties of corn. Nonetheless, some brands may contain a mix of both corn and wheat flour, meaning they are not gluten-free.
Does chocolate contain gluten?
In its purest form, chocolate in any of its milk, dark and white varieties doesn’t contain gluten. Sadly for chocoholic coeliacs everywhere, the reason all chocolate isn’t gluten free is because some products have gluten-based ingredients added, or they are made in a factory where gluten is used.

  Are French fries gluten-free?

Most French fries are made with naturally gluten-free ingredients, including potatoes, oil, and salt. However, some restaurants cook them in a fryer that is used for other foods that contain gluten (like chicken tenders or nuggets).


What kind of crackers do not have gluten?
The Best Gluten-Free Crackers to Pair With Your Favorite Cheeses
  • Mary’s Gone Super Seed Everything Crackers. …
  • Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers. …
  • Absolutely Gluten Free Original Flatbreads. …
  • 34 Degrees Original Gluten-Free Crisps. …
  • Schar Gluten-Free Table Crackers. …
  • Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Sea Salt Crackers.
Are Mcdonald’s fries gluten-free?
The items on our menu that are free from ingredients containing gluten include our French Fries, which are cooked in dedicated fryers using a non-hydrogenated vegetable oil; Hash Browns; Fruit Bags; Carrot Sticks and Shaker Side Salad® with Balsamic Dressing; as well as some McFlurry® desserts.

  Does mayonnaise have gluten?

Yes, in most cases mayonnaise is gluten-free. Mayonnaise or “mayo” is typically made from naturally gluten-free ingredients: eggs, oil, vinegar, lemon and sometimes mustard/mustard seed or other spices.
Are Cheerios gluten-free?
Cheerios have always been made of oats, which are naturally gluten free. However, conventional farming practices as well as common grain handling procedures allow chances for gluten containing grains (like wheat, barley, and rye) to co-mingle with our gluten free oats.

  Why do my joints hurt after eating?

Sugar triggers the release of cytokines, which are inflammatory agents that can lead to joint pain. Sugar can also easily lead to weight gain. An increase in weight adds extra pressure on the joints and leads to joint pain. Avoid sugary foods such as candy, pastries, and pre-sweetened cereal.

  Is coconut sugar the same as processed sugar It’s very similar to regular table sugar, although it is less processed and contains minor amounts of nutrients. If you’re going to use coconut sugar, use it sparingly. Coconut sugar belongs in the same boat as most sugar alternatives. It’s healthier than refined sugar but less healthy than consuming no sugar at all.

What sugar substitute is the healthiest?
Healthiest Sugar Substitutes
  • Raw honey (1 tablespoon = 64 calories)
  • Stevia (0 calories)
  • Dates (1 Medjool date = 66 calories)
  • Coconut sugar (1 tablespoon = 45 calories)
  • Maple syrup (1 tablespoon = 52 calories)
  • Blackstrap molasses (1 tablespoon = 47 calories)
What is the safest substitute for sugar?
Stevia and monk fruit are both naturally derived from plants and some people feel they have a flavor very similar to regular sugar. The FDA says these sweeteners are “generally regarded as safe,” which means they are safe to use for their intended purpose.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers monk fruit sweeteners to be generally regarded as safe. There appears to be no evidence that monk fruit sweeteners cause harmful side effects. Available in multiple forms. Monk fruit sweeteners are marketed as granules, powders, and liquids.
Is monk fruit better for you than stevia?
Bottom Line: Both stevia and monk fruit are natural alternatives to cane sugar or artificial sweeteners. Since neither is better or worse than the other, the only thing you have to consider when choosing between the two is which flavor you prefer.May 26, 2021
Is there a downside to erythritol?
These results suggest that consuming erythritol can increase blood clot formation. This, in turn, could increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. Given the prevalence of erythritol in artificially sweetened foods, further safety studies of the health risks of erythritol are warranted.
Though it sounds new, erythritol (ear-RITH-ri-tall) has been around as long as grapes, peaches, pears, watermelon, and mushrooms. It’s a type of carbohydrate called a sugar alcohol that people use as a sugar substitute.Erythritol is found naturally in some foods. It’s also made when things like wine, beer, and cheese ferment.Besides its natural form, erythritol has also been a man-made sweetener since 1990. You can find it with other sugar substitutes in stores and online. It’s also sold in bulk to companies that use it to sweeten or thicken products like reduced-calorie and sugar-free foods and drinks. You’ll often find it mixed with popular sugar substitutes like aspartame, stevia, and Truvia to make them sweeter. Calories. Sugar has 4 calories per gram, but erythritol has zero. That’s because your small intestine absorbs it quickly and gets it out of your body through urine within 24 hours. This means erythritol doesn’t have a chance to “metabolize” — turn into energy in your body.
Safety. Though erythritol is one of the newer sugar alcohols on the market — xylitol and mannitol have been around longer — researchers have done a number of studies of it in animals and humans. The World Health Organization (WHO) approved erythritol in 1999, and the FDA did the same in 2001.

What is the best 1 to 1 sugar alternative?

Truvia Granulated Sugar Substitute – Best Texture Variety With a measuring ratio of 1:1, this sweetener is produced with erythritol, stevia extract, and chicory root. And, since it has no calories or carbohydrates, it is suitable for diabetic and weight-conscious people.


What is a natural sweetener instead of sugar?
“Natural sweeteners” include honey, agave nectar, maple syrup and other forms of sugar that are favored for being more natural or unprocessed than table sugar. These natural sweeteners are still considered added sugars, and many of them still undergo some form of processing before appearing on the shelf.


Creme Brulee Recipe


Staff Favorite

In this Sugar-Free Creme Brulee recipe, we make it sugar-free using Monkfruit Sweetener instead of sugar. Try it! It may just become a new favorite. For a weeknight treat, a special dessert or a holiday tradition.


1. Preheat oven to 400. Prepare 2-3 ramekins (depending on size) with cooking spray and place in a baking dish with sides.

2. Mix heavy cream, Monkfruit Sweetener, egg yolks, vanilla and cinnamon in a pot over the stove on medium heat for 10-15 mins, stirring regularly until it coats the back of a spoon.

3. Divide custard mix between the ramekins. Fill baking dish with hot water to just

below the top of the ramekins about 1in below the edge

4. Bake 55 minutes at 400

5. Remove from oven and let fully cool in pan. Refrigerate for 30 mins

6. Prior to serving, sprinkle Lakanto Monkfruit Sweeter over the top of each one. Use a kitchen torch to melt and caramelize or transfer to a baking sheet and broil on high (just takes a minute) until the top turns golden brown. Serve immediately


  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a pinch of cinnamon powder
  • Topping: 2-3 T Lakanto Classic Monkfruit Sweetener

              ]There is lot of advice floating around these days about how to avoid gluten, but very little about how to tell if a gluten-free diet is the right choice for you.

Q. What is gluten?

A. Gluten is a large protein complex that forms when two smaller proteins (called gliadins and glutenins) bind together after being exposed to water. There are about 100 different known forms of gliadins and glutenins found in wheat, rye, barley, and hybrids of these grains (such as triticale—a wheat/rye hybrid). The gluten complex has elastic properties. It can trap gas and expand like a balloon. When carbon dioxide produced by yeast in unbaked dough is trapped in gluten, it causes the dough to rise. A true gluten-free diet requires the complete exclusion of all whole foods, food products, and even medications containing any gluten proteins. The diet allows naturally gluten-free foods like fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, unprocessed meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, and whole grains that do not have gluten proteins (such as oats, corn, rice, and buckwheat). Products labeled as “gluten-free” (like legume-based pastas and gluten-free baked goods) can also be included.

Q. Who needs to follow a gluten-free diet?

A. For a small segment of the population with certain medical conditions, following a gluten-free diet is essential. Celiac disease is a relatively common and underdiagnosed autoimmune condition. “In individuals with celiac disease, gluten ingestion causes an autoimmune reaction that results in damage to the small intestine,” says Nicola McKeown, PhD, a faculty member at the Tufts Friedman School and scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, weight loss, and fatigue, with varying severity. Celiac disease is diagnosed with a blood test that looks for certain antibodies to gluten. If the blood test is positive, an intestinal biopsy may be performed to look for the damage celiac disease causes to the lining of the intestines. Definitive diagnosis is made by instituting a gluten-free diet and seeing if symptoms resolve. If you suspect you may have celiac disease, putting yourself on a gluten-free diet before being tested will make diagnosis difficult, so it is essential to see a doctor before starting any dietary restrictions. Untreated celiac disease has been reported to increase risk for type 1 diabetes, an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, heart disease, intestinal cancers, osteoporosis, infertility, and anemia. Because celiac disease has a strong genetic component, it is recommended that close relatives of people with this condition also be screened. The only treatment currently available for celiac disease is lifelong avoidance of gluten. -Wheat allergy is another case in which a gluten-free diet may be prescribed (although a wheat allergy may be triggered by either gluten or non-gluten wheat proteins). Wheat is one of the eight most common food allergens. Some, but not all, people with wheat allergy will also react to rye and barley. As with other food allergies, onset of symptoms occurs rapidly after eating wheat and can involve the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and respiratory system. Exercise-induced wheat allergy is a rare condition in which physical exertion and wheat ingestion together can trigger a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. Wheat allergy is diagnosed with blood tests or skin prick tests. Treatment is a wheat-free (and possibly gluten-free) diet, and possibly antihistamines and epinephrine. -Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is another condition which necessitates gluten-avoidance. People who report an adverse reaction to gluten but for whom wheat allergy and celiac tests are negative are said to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Symptoms vary and may include stomach pain, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, brain fog, and skin conditions. Little is known about the pathophysiology of this condition and there are no diagnostic tests. Other conditions, such as celiac disease, wheat allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel syndrome, should be ruled out by testing. Then, if removing or reducing gluten resolves symptoms, and adding it back in causes symptoms to return, the condition is labeled NCGS. -Mimics of gluten sensitivity could also be responsible for symptoms. In several studies, significant numbers of people who believe they have gluten sensitivity did not develop any more symptoms when unknowingly exposed to gluten than when exposed to a placebo. Researchers suspect that some cases thought to be gluten sensitivity may actually be reactions to other (non-gluten) parts of wheat or other foods. “For people who believe they have a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance but test negative for allergy and celiac disease, it is possible that symptoms are triggered by FODMAPs—short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed and fermentable by gut bacteria,” says McKeown. “These natural sugars and fibers may cause digestive problems similar to that of gluten intolerance.” Because wheat contains FODMAPs called fructans, it is possible that some people who believe they are reacting to gluten are actually reacting to fructans. “A hydrogen breath test may be helpful in identifying fructan intolerance in selected cases,” says John Leung, MD, an allergist, gastroenterologist, and director of the Center for Food Related Diseases at Tufts Medical Center.

Q. Is a gluten-free diet healthy for people without these conditions?

A. Gluten-free diets have grown in popularity in recent years. Although less than one percent of people worldwide are known to have celiac disease and only six percent are thought to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the most recent available market research suggests nearly one-third of Americans have attempted to eliminate or reduce the amount of gluten they consume. Although a number of mechanisms have been proposed by which gluten may contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and other health problems, human intervention trials to confirm these theoretical connections are lacking. A 2019 review of data from three large American prospective cohort studies found that people who consumed the highest amount of gluten actually had a 13 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who reported the lowest gluten intake. “If avoiding gluten leads people to eat less refined starch and sugar, and eat more minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, oats, and buckwheat, this can lead to important health benefits,” says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, dean of the Friedman School and editor-in-chief of Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter. “But, if they simply replace refined wheat products with refined rice and corn products, or with other unhealthy choices like processed meats, there will be little health gain, and possibly harms.” A 2018 study by Tufts researchers published in the journal Nutrients compared the nutrient composition of gluten-free eating patterns versus gluten-containing diets. The researchers found that, on average, a gluten-free menu was significantly lower in protein, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, and folate then a similar gluten-containing menu. (On the positive side, the gluten free menu was lower in sodium, although results from other recent studies vary.) The study authors also conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies comparing the nutrient intakes of adults with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet with control subjects eating a standard diet. In this analysis, gluten-free eaters consumed less fiber and folate than the controls. “Gluten-free diets are not weight loss diets or healthier than gluten-containing diets,” says lead author Amy Taetzsch, PhD, RDN, now a clinical assistant professor of nutrition at the University of New Hampshire. “In fact, gluten-free diets may be lower in some important nutrients and higher in calories.” Whereas refined wheat flour is required by law to be enriched with some of the vitamins and minerals removed in the processing of whole wheat, most gluten-free products are not similarly enriched. “For example, gluten-free cookies, crackers, or snack foods may be made from refined, unfortified rice, tapioca, corn, or potato flours,” says McKeown. “This means that they lack certain nutrients (like iron, folic acid, and other B vitamins) that are required to be added to all refined wheat products. Another major concern is that dietary fiber intake is lower because whole wheat-based foods are a major contributor to dietary fiber intake.” In other studies, people following a gluten-free diet showed significantly increased blood levels of mercury, lead, and cadmium as well as elevated concentrations of total arsenic in urine compared to subjects eating a standard diet, possibly due to the extensive use of rice in gluten-free processed foods.


Q. What does a healthy gluten-free diet look like?

A. For those who must avoid gluten (and those who choose to), a naturally gluten-free diet should be rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and minimally processed, gluten-free whole grains (like amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, sorghum, and teff). Relying on commercial, processed/packaged gluten-free foods is not recommended. “Everyone, regardless of whether they have a gluten sensitivity or not, would benefit from increasing fruit and vegetable intake, avoiding highly processed foods, and limiting refined grains,” says McKeown. “Minimally processed, intact whole grains (whether gluten-containing or gluten-free) are rich in micronutrients and fiber and should be consumed regularly.” “If you suspect a food intolerance, consult a doctor,” says Leung. “Unnecessary food avoidance can be harmful because of risk of malnutrition.”

Take Charge!
If you are following or considering following a gluten-free diet, consider these tips: -See a healthcare provider for testing before beginning a gluten-free diet if you think you may have a reaction to gluten. -Replace gluten-containing foods with fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and minimally processed, gluten-free whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat, millet, oats, quinoa, sorghum, and teff. -Avoid or limit commercially prepared gluten-free processed food products made from unenriched refined rice flour or corn starch.

Gluten-free diet

To follow a gluten-free diet, you must avoid wheat and some other grains while choosing substitutes that provide nutrients for a healthy diet. By Mayo Clinic Staff


A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).


A gluten-free diet is essential for managing signs and symptoms of celiac disease and other medical conditions associated with gluten. A gluten-free diet is also popular among people who haven’t been diagnosed with a gluten-related medical condition. The claimed benefits of the diet are improved health, weight loss and increased energy, but more research is needed.
  • Celiac disease is a condition in which gluten triggers immune system activity that damages the lining of the small intestine. Over time this damage prevents the absorption of nutrients from food. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder.
  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes some signs and symptoms associated with celiac disease — including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, “foggy brain,” rash or headache — even though there is no damage to the tissues of the small intestine. Studies show that the immune system plays a role, but the process isn’t well understood.
  • Gluten ataxia, an autoimmune disorder, affects certain nerve tissues and causes problems with muscle control and voluntary muscle movement.
  • Wheat allergy, like other food allergies, is the result of the immune system mistaking gluten or some other protein found in wheat as a disease-causing agent, such as a virus or bacterium. The immune system creates an antibody to the protein, prompting an immune system response that may result in congestion, breathing difficulties and other symptoms.

Diet details

Following a gluten-free diet requires paying careful attention to food selections, the ingredients found in foods, and their nutritional content.

Allowed fresh foods

Many naturally gluten-free foods can be a part of a healthy diet:
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, seeds, legumes and nuts in their natural, unprocessed forms
  • Eggs
  • Lean, nonprocessed meats, fish and poultry
  • Most low-fat dairy products
Grains, starches or flours that can be part of a gluten-free diet include:
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn — cornmeal, grits and polenta labeled gluten-free
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours — rice, soy, corn, potato and bean flours
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, including wild rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca (cassava root)
  • Teff

Grains not allowed

Avoid all foods and drinks containing the following:
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale — a cross between wheat and rye
  • Oats, in some cases
While oats are naturally gluten-free, they may be contaminated during production with wheat, barley or rye. Oats and oat products labeled gluten-free have not been cross-contaminated. Some people with celiac disease, however, cannot tolerate the gluten-free-labeled oats.

Wheat terms to know

There are different varieties of wheat, all of which contain wheat gluten:
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Kamut
  • Spelt
Wheat flours have different names based on how the wheat is milled or the flour is processed. All of the following flours have gluten:
  • Enriched flour with added vitamins and minerals
  • Farina, milled wheat usually used in hot cereals
  • Graham flour, a course whole-wheat flour
  • Self-rising flour, also called phosphate flour
  • Semolina, the part of milled wheat used in pasta and couscous

Gluten-free food labels

When you are buying processed foods, you need to read labels to determine if they contain gluten. Foods that contain wheat, barley, rye or triticale — or an ingredient derived from them — must be labeled with the name of the grain in the label’s content list. Foods that are labeled gluten-free, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules, must have fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten. Foods with these labels may include:
  • Naturally gluten-free food
  • A prepared food that doesn’t have a gluten-containing ingredient
  • Food that has not been cross-contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients during production
  • Food with a gluten-containing ingredient that has been processed to remove gluten
Alcoholic beverages made from naturally gluten-free ingredients, such as grapes or juniper berries, can be labeled gluten-free. An alcoholic beverage made from a gluten-containing grain (wheat, barley, rye and hybrid grains such as triticale) can carry a label stating the beverage was “processed,” “treated” or “crafted” to remove gluten. However, the label must state that gluten content cannot be determined and the beverage may contain some gluten. These beverages may not be labeled gluten-free.

Processed foods that often contain gluten

In addition to foods in which wheat, barley and rye are likely ingredients, these grains are standard ingredients in a number of other products. Also, wheat or wheat gluten is added as a thickening or binding agent, flavoring, or coloring. It’s important to read labels of processed foods to determine if they contain wheat, as well as barley and rye. In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
  • Beer, ale, porter, stout (usually contain barley)
  • Breads
  • Bulgur wheat
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Communion wafers
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Malt, malt flavoring and other malt products (barley)
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Hot dogs and processed lunchmeats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce (wheat)
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups, bouillon or soup mixes
  • Vegetables in sauce

Medications and supplements

Prescription and over-the-counter medications may use wheat gluten as a binding agent. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the drugs you’re taking. Dietary supplements that contain wheat gluten must have “wheat” stated on the label.

Eating gluten-free at home and in restaurants

For people with celiac disease, in particular, it’s important to avoid exposure to gluten. The following tips can help you prevent cross-contamination in your own food preparations at home and avoid gluten-containing food when you eat out:
  • Store gluten-free and gluten-containing foods in different places.
  • Keep cooking surfaces and food storage areas clean.
  • Wash dishes and cooking equipment thoroughly.
  • Toast bread in the oven — or consider separate toasters — to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Read restaurant menus online ahead of time if possible to be sure there are options for you.
  • Eat out early or late when a restaurant is less busy and better able to address your needs.


Keeping a strict gluten-free diet is a lifelong necessity for people with celiac disease. Following the diet and avoiding cross-contamination results in fewer symptoms and complications of the disease. For some people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the condition may not be lifelong. Some research suggests that you may follow the diet for a certain period, such as one or two years, and then retest your sensitivity to gluten. For other people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, the diet may be a lifelong treatment.
Some clinical studies have looked at the benefits of the diet among people who do not have celiac disease or who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. More research is needed to determine the accuracy of the following claims about the diet’s results:
  • Weight loss
  • Overall improved health
  • Improved gastrointestinal health
  • Improved athletic performance


The foods not included in a gluten-free diet provide important vitamins and other nutrients. For example, whole-grain breads and other products are natural or enriched sources of the following:
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
Therefore, following a gluten-free diet will likely change your nutrient intake. Some gluten-free breads and cereals have significantly varied nutrient levels compared with the products they are replacing. Some gluten-free foods also have higher fat and sugar contents than the gluten-containing food being replaced. It’s important to read labels, not only for gluten content but also for overall nutrient levels, salt, calories from fats and calories from sugars. You can talk to your doctor or dietitian about foods that would provide healthy, nutrient-rich alternatives.
3 Risks of a Gluten-Free Diet
  • Nutritional Deficiencies. Whole grain foods such as bread products, pasta, and breakfast cereals are often enriched and therefore contribute substantial amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals to the diets of Americans. …
  • Weight Gain. …
  • Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease.

1. Nutritional Deficiencies

Whole grain foods such as bread products, pasta, and breakfast cereals are often enriched and therefore contribute substantial amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals to the diets of Americans.

Most refined, gluten-free breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals are neither enriched nor fortified, making it difficult to get these important nutrients.

People with celiac disease on a strict gluten-free diet were found to have inadequate intakes of fiber, iron and calcium.  The Harvard school of public health states that, “an overreliance on processed gluten-free products may lead to a decreased intake of certain nutrients like fiber and B vitamins that are protective against chronic diseases.”

To balance the nutrients lost from giving up gluten, choose nutrient-rich gluten-free foods, such as fruits, vegetables and gluten-free whole grains rather than packaged, processed gluten-free options.


Conditions with Potential Benefits from a GFD

Potential Risks of a GFD

Gluten-sensitive irritable bowel syndrome

Deficiencies of micronutrients and fiber

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Increases in fat content of foods

Schizophrenia or other mental health conditions





Coronary artery disease




2. Weight Gain

Many Americans mistakenly assume that gluten free snacks are a healthier alternative to gluten-containing snacks, but some processed gluten-free products are higher in fat, sugar and calories and can lead to weight gain.

Additionally, those who do have gluten intolerances may experience improved absorption of nutrients, a reduction in stomach discomfort, and increased appetite after starting the diet, which contributes to weight gain.

Instead of gluten-free cookies or cakes, choose fruit-based desserts, such as yogurt parfaits. Choose low fat protein sources such as lean meat, poultry without the skin, fish and other seafood. Opt for low fat or skim milk, low fat cheeses, low fat or fat-free yogurt, and sherbet or sorbet instead of full-fat ice cream.

3. Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Many studies have found that people with higher intakes of whole grains compared with groups eating less had a significantly lower risk of heart disease.

A study of over 100,000 participants without celiac disease found that those who restricted gluten intake experienced an increased risk of heart disease compared with those who had higher gluten intake.

Furthermore, the British Medical Journal concluded that “long term dietary intake of gluten was not associated with risk of coronary heart disease. However, the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which may affect cardiovascular risk. The promotion of gluten-free diets among people without celiac disease should not be encouraged.”


Although a GFD may help to alleviate symptoms in various conditions related to gluten sensitivity, the potential risks can outweigh the potential benefits. Current evidence shows that a GFD has no health benefits for those unaffected by celiac disease.

To be sure, always consult with your doctor before making dramatic changes to your diet. 



The costs of prepared gluten-free foods are generally higher than the cost of the foods being replaced. The expense of following a gluten-free diet can be substantial, especially if your diet includes foods that aren’t naturally gluten-free.  
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