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What are Some Gluten-Free Foods?

Rice pasta is a popular substitute for traditional pasta.
Quinoa is a readily available, gluten-free grain.
Farmer's markets usually offer a wide variety of fresh, gluten-free foods.
Buckwheat does not contain any gluten.
Gluten-free cookies.
Arrowroot, which is often used to make gluten-free flour.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are gluten-free.
Oats are technically a gluten-free food, but they are often contaminated with wheat products.
Potato flour, which can be used to make gluten-free pastries.
Most dairy products don't contain gluten.
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  • Written By: Diana Bocco
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2014
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Gluten is a protein extracted from wheat and other grains by washing the starch out of the grain. People who cannot properly digest this protein suffer from celiac disease, an inflammatory condition of the small intestine. Those who suffer from this condition must consume only gluten-free foods, which don't include wheat, rye, or barley.

While people who follow a gluten-free diet cannot consume anything made of wheat, rye, or barley — including most commercially prepared cakes and pastries — there are other grains and flours that do not contain gluten. These include buckwheat, corn, potato flour, rice, arrowroot, and soy. More and more cakes, cookies, and cereals are available that are made without gluten, making them suitable for everybody.

There's been a lot of debate as to whether people who do not eat gluten can eat oats. Pure oats are a gluten-free food, but it may be difficult to find them, as most come in contact with wheat at some point in the manufacturing process, and they are therefore considered "contaminated."

Most dairy products are gluten-free, with the exception of some cheese spreads, some flavored milks, and custards. Meats are gluten-free foods unless they prepared with breading or are processed, such as in the case of sausages. Meat pies, frozen meats, and chicken broth usually contain gluten in some form or another, and they are best avoided.

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The same is true of fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Unless sauces, starches, or thickeners have been added, all of them are naturally gluten-free foods. It is becoming more and more common to add wheat flour to canned fruits and vegetables, however. This is used as a processing aid or a binder and is not always mentioned clearly on the label. To avoid this, shoppers should only buy well-known brands that include a detailed label or buy only canned vegetables that are clearly marked as gluten-free.

Except malt vinegar, almost all condiments are gluten-free foods. This includes tomato paste, tahini, maple syrup, and many salad dressings. Herbs and spices, unless mixed with artificial flavorings that contain gluten, are also acceptable.

When it comes to beverages, beer should be avoided unless it is specifically labeled as gluten-free. Most other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks don't contain gluten, although those made from barley or malt do. Many processed foods, such as soy sauce and pie fillings, can include this protein without specifying so in the label. People who do not eat gluten should try to use fresh ingredients and be more aware of what's in the food they're eating.

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Discuss this Article

shell4life
Post 7

I have a list of gluten-free foods that I refer to when planning my shopping list. Beans and peas are on there, but I always make sure to buy either the fresh or frozen kind. I'm afraid of what might have been added to the canned variety.

Also, I'm glad that peanuts made the list. I'm a peanut fanatic, and I would suffer if I couldn't have them.

Oceana
Post 6

@healthy4life – I would die if I had to be on a gluten free diet and foods like cupcakes were off limits! I love my bread, and I'm addicted to cakes and cookies, as well.

I suppose if I had to, I could eat more fruits and vegetables to make up for the calories I would lose from not eating dessert. The bread thing would be hard for me, though. I eat a sandwich every day at lunch, and I often eat toasted French bread with dinner.

I guess if my gluten intolerance was causing me discomfort, I would find a way to eat other things. No cupcake is worth stomach pain.

healthy4life
Post 5

My coworker recently discovered that he could not tolerate gluten. He has to eat gluten free breads made with rice.

He says that they don't taste half bad. That's good for him, I guess.

The sad thing is that he can't participate whenever we have a birthday party for someone in the office. He can't have cake, cupcakes, or cookies, and those are the only things we have at these parties. He just has to stand around and watch as everyone else consumes the goodies.

StarJo
Post 4

@Alchemy – Thanks for the gluten free tempura recipe! I will be sure to try that next time I'm in the mood for an Asian style meal. I love tempura shrimp and zucchini from restaurants, and I have always wondered what ingredients the chefs used to make the batter.

PelesTears
Post 3

There is some controversy surrounding the recent increase in celiac disease in the United States. Many people feel that genetically modified wheat may be a potential trigger of celiac disease.

Genetically modified wheat is commonplace, and because of the nature of growing wheat, cross contamination with non-GMO wheat is an issue. People feel like there has not been enough time for the body to adapt to GMO wheat. In addition, companies do not have to label GMO Products.

Only certified organic product must be free of GMOs. This scenario can also confuse people because organically grown is different from certified organic, and organically grown products can be genetically modified.

ValleyFiah
Post 2

I have family members that are on gluten-free diets. A few years ago, it was hard to find good gluten-free products. This is no longer the case.

A few companies make very good gluten free products. Companies like Bob's Red Mill, Arrowhead Mills, and even Betty Crocker offer a large assortment of cakes, cookies, and brownies that are very tasty.

I have also noticed that many companies are now starting to label their products that do not contain gluten. This makes it so much easier to find food products that are okay for my family to eat.

Alchemy
Post 1

For many with gluten allergies, the most missed food is fried foods. Breaded and battered dishes are usually taboo...but not always.

Tempura is gluten free and you can make it to be thick and heavy like beer batter, or light and crispy (as it was meant to be). The trick in making tempura is keeping the oil temperature consistent, and making the batter in small batches.

To make tempura, you will need white rice flour, cornstarch, an egg yolk, a little sake or beer, and ice water.

1. Whip the egg yolk with a fork, and then mix in a third cup of rice flour and a quarter cup of cornstarch. Add a half-cup of ice-cold water, a shot of cold beer or sake, and two ice cubes. Only mix the batter until moist, leaving some lumps.

2. Heat the oil to 350 degrees, just enough so a drop of batter will fall almost to the bottom before rising to the top.

3. Use thinly sliced vegetables, meats, and seafood. Pat dry all ingredients and dust with cornstarch before dipping in batter. Fry tempura until crispy.

For a thicker tempura, add less water, more beer, one more egg yolk, and more flour.

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