Gluten is a protein primarily found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. This means that most bread and products made with flour contain gluten. A lot of processed foods have hidden gluten, as well. People with celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet because, when they consume gluten, it causes their immune system to attack the small intestine. Some people also have intolerances, or choose to avoid this protein for other reasons. The diet may seem limiting at first, but there are plenty of options out there when it comes to healthy, gluten-free foods.


All varieties of rice are naturally gluten-free. White rice is a fine choice, but people on a gluten-free diet may want to consider brown rice instead. It has roughly twice the amount of fiber as white rice, which can help make up for the fiber you lose when you stop eating foods that contain gluten.

White Rice Prepared Yuuji / Getty Images



Potatoes are also gluten-free. A baked potato with butter and some herbs is a filling meal for someone on a gluten-free diet. You can also try them scalloped, boiled, or roasted. Technically, french fries are also gluten-free, but take caution when ordering them in a restaurant: sometimes, the fryer oil also fries foods that contain gluten, and contamination can occur.

Multi-colored Small Potatoes billnoll / Getty Images



Corn is a great side dish for a summer BBQ, and it's gluten-free, whether you're eating it right off the cob, frozen, or from a can. Corn flakes are a great gluten-free alternative to many wheat-based breakfast cereals (but watch for the gluten-free label — some may contain other ingredients that are not). You can even replace breadcrumbs by running corn flakes through a food processor and coating chicken or fish dishes.

Grilled Corn Cob haoliang / Getty Images


Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals that also happen to be gluten-free. Add beans to soups and stews for an extra punch of nutrients or snack on peanuts instead of pretzels. Beans and legumes are very versatile, and a lot of foods fall into this category; the options are endless.

Dry Beans Legumes Janine Lamontagne / Getty Images



If you're looking for an alternative to your morning breakfast routine, consider phasing out the bagel or toast in favor of an omlet. Eggs are another gluten-free food that is very versatile: scramble them with veggies, have one over-easy or poached, or hard boil them for a quick and easy snack on-the-go.

Eggs Cooked Breakfast AlexPro9500 / Getty Images



All varieties of fish are gluten-free, including shellfish, assuming care is taken in the preparation. At restaurants, avoid fish that is breaded or served with pasta. Instead, try it with a squeeze of fresh lemon with asparagus over a bed of brown rice. The internet offers a wealth of gluten-free meal ideas that are just a search away.

Fish Seafood Market ac_bnphotos / Getty Images



Turkey, chicken, or duck, it doesn't matter. All poultry is gluten-free. Again, be mindful when preparing or ask questions when ordering. While someone on a gluten-free diet generally cannot eat fried chicken, there are plenty of delicious options for grilling, broiling, and baking this popular dish. For well-rounded meals, also consider sides. People on a gluten-free diet can enjoy a piece of roasted turkey, but they'll have to avoid traditional stuffing, and those with celiac disease should even steer clear of the serving utensils that came in contact with it.

Poultry Chicken Legs rudisill / Getty Images



Beef is gluten-free, but many of the buns on which it might be served are not. Try wrapping your burger in a leaf of romaine lettuce for a lighter, gluten-free alternative. Steak of any kind is an easy option for a gluten-free diet, but you might need to skip the sauces and, again, be wary of side dishes.

Beef Raw Filet Lauri Patterson / Getty Images


Nut and seed flours

One of the hardest things to give up on a gluten-free diet is wheat flour. It is in just about every bread and baked good available. It takes some searching to find a gluten-free bakery, but making baked goods at home is a little easier; just try a nut or seed flour. Countless recipe-makers have already figured out the conversion from wheat flours, including almond and coconut, and hazelnut meal.

Gluten Free Flour baibaz / Getty Images


Fresh fruits and vegetables

Some of the best things you can eat on a gluten-free diet are fruits and vegetables. They help you get the fiber you might be missing, plus they're full of healthy nutrients. They're also very versatile. If you're concocting recipes to try or even just searching online, you'll always know you're in the clear as far as the produce ingredients go.

Fresh Fruit Vegetables

fcafotodigital / Getty Images



Quinoa is a nutrient-packed grain that is naturally gluten-free and has gained immense popularity in recent years. It's not only a fantastic source of protein, but it's also rich in essential amino acids. Quinoa can be used as a base for salads, made into a warm breakfast porridge, or even used as a gluten-free alternative for stuffing in dishes like bell peppers. You can also substitute quinoa for rice in many recipes, such as burrito bowls or casseroles, with great results.

White quinoa seeds on a wooden background


Dairy products

Many dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and plain yogurt, are naturally gluten-free. These dairy items can be incorporated into your daily meals, whether it's a creamy yogurt parfait for breakfast, a cheesy omelet for brunch, or a comforting bowl of gluten-free] mac and cheese for dinner. Just be cautious of flavored yogurts and certain processed cheeses that might contain added ingredients with gluten. For example, you may want to avoid yogurts with toppings or mix-ins, such as crushed cookies or pieces of candy.

Various dairy products


Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds, like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds, are excellent choices for a gluten-free diet. They are not only rich in healthy fats but also provide a good dose of fiber and antioxidants. You can enjoy nuts and seeds as a crunchy snack, sprinkle them on your morning cereal, or use them as a base for gluten-free energy bars. Just be careful when enjoying seasoned nuts, such as wasabi almonds with soy sauce, as they may contain wheat-based ingredients.

Assortment of nuts in bowls. Cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts, peanuts, macadamia, almonds, brazil nuts. Food mix on wooden background, top view, copy space


Fresh herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are not only the secret to enhancing the flavor of your gluten-free dishes but are also often naturally gluten-free. From the zesty kick of basil and oregano to the warmth of cinnamon and paprika, the world of seasonings is wide open. Experiment with different herbs and spices to create tantalizing gluten-free recipes that are bursting with flavor. Just make sure you check the label first, especially when buying a seasoning blend, as some companies add wheat, rye, or barley to the mixture.

close view on fresh herbs bunch


Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious addition to a gluten-free diet. Packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, they can be prepared in various ways. You can roast them as a side dish, mash them as a hearty alternative to regular mashed potatoes, or even spiralize them into gluten-free sweet potato noodles for a unique twist on pasta dishes. Sweet potatoes offer both versatility and health benefits for those following a gluten-free lifestyle, so consider making them part of your regular diet.

Sweet potato on Wooden background


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