Gluten is a group of proteins found in certain grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley.
It helps food maintain its shape by providing elasticity and moisture. It also allows bread to rise and provides a chewy texture. Although gluten is safe for most people, those with conditions like celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid it to prevent adverse health effects.
Many foods are made with gluten-containing ingredients, so it’s important that those who are unable to consume it check ingredient labels closely.
HERE IS A LIST OF SOME GLUTEN-FREE FOODS.
A select few whole grains contain gluten, while the rest are naturally gluten-free. It’s important to check food labels when purchasing whole grains. Even gluten-free whole grains can be contaminated with gluten, especially if they are processed in the same facility as gluten-containing foods. For example, oats are often processed in facilities that also process wheat, which can lead to cross-contamination. For this reason, you should confirm that the oats you purchase are certified gluten-free. Gluten-free whole grains: quinoa, brown and wild rice, buckwheat, sorghum, tapioca, millet, amaranth, teff, arrowroot, oats
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
All fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free. However, some processed fruits and vegetables may contain gluten, which is sometimes added for flavoring or as a thickener. Gluten-containing ingredients that may be added to processed fruits and vegetables include hydrolyzed wheat protein, modified food starch, malt, and maltodextrin. Some fruits and vegetables to eat: citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit, bananas, apples, berries, peaches, pears, cruciferous vegetables, including cauliflower and broccoli, greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, starchy vegetables, including potatoes, corn, and squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, radishes or green beans
Many foods contain protein, including animal and plant-based sources. Most are naturally gluten-free. However, gluten-containing ingredients, such as soy sauce, flour, and malt vinegar are often used as fillers or flavorings. They may be added to sauces, rubs, and marinades that are commonly paired with protein sources. Gluten-free proteins: legumes (beans, lentils, peas, peanuts), nuts and seeds, red meat (fresh beef, pork, lamb, bison), poultry (fresh chicken, turkey), seafood (fresh fish, scallops, shellfish), traditional soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.).
Most dairy products are naturally gluten-free. However, those that are flavored and contain additives should always be double-checked for gluten. Some common gluten-containing ingredients that may be added to dairy products include thickeners, malt, and modified food starch. Gluten-free dairy products: milk, butter and ghee, cheese, cream, cottage cheese, sour cream and yogurt.
FATS AND OILS
Fats and oils are naturally gluten-free. In some cases, additives that contain gluten may be mixed with fats and oils for flavor and thickening. Gluten-free fats and oils: butter and ghee, olives and olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, coconut oil and vegetable and seed oils, including sesame oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
There are several types of gluten-free beverages for you to enjoy. However, some beverages are mixed with additives that contain gluten. Additionally, some alcoholic beverages are made with malt, barley, and other gluten-containing grains and should be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beverages: water, 100% fruit juice, coffee, tea, some alcoholic beverages, including wine, hard ciders, and beer made from gluten-free grains, such as buckwheat or sorghum, sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks and lemonade. Gluten-free dairy products: milk, butter and ghee, cheese, cream, cottage cheese, sour cream and yogurt.
SPICES, SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS
Spices, sauces, and condiments often contain gluten but are commonly overlooked. Although most spices, sauces, and condiments are naturally gluten-free, gluten-containing ingredients are sometimes added to them as emulsifiers, stabilizers, or flavor enhancers. Some common gluten-containing ingredients added to spices, sauces, and condiments include modified food starch, maltodextrin, malt, and wheat flour. Gluten-free spices, sauces, and condiments: tamari, coconut aminos, white vinegar, distilled vinegar, and apple cider vinegar.
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