See Ingredients: Pick Your Flavor

Naturally Gluten-Free Foods List: Over 50 Foods You Can Eat Worry-Free

What if a giant list of naturally gluten-free foods existed?

Oh wait, it does! 

Whether you’re transitioning to gluten-free or are a GF connoisseur, there’s nothing like a handy master list to make shopping (and meal planning!) a whole lot easier.

And this list is the biggest of all!

By the end, you’ll be rolling in GF go-to foods...and you’ll know all about the no-go items.

P.S. Gluten-free pro? You probably won’t need the first few sections. Skip to the Life-Saving List Alert! Get These Naturally Gluten-Free Foods section.

Table of Contents: (click to jump to a specific food group)

wheat field

Spilling the Wheat On Gluten

What is gluten anyway? Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. While some of us know it for its delicious doughiness in baked goods, others know it to cause serious health issues. 

Everyone can experience different types of troubles around gluten, though. So let’s break down the different cases: 

Celiac disease: Gluten triggers the immune system and damages the lining of your small intestine. Ultimately, it results in poor nutrient absorption, as well as a host of other negative side effects. It’s classified as an autoimmune disorder.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: This sensitivity causes similar side effects as celiac disease, but there is no found damage in the small intestine. No one really knows how this process works, other than the immune system plays a part.

Gluten ataxia: Another autoimmune disorder, gluten ataxia affects muscle movement, muscle control, and certain nerve tissues. 

Wheat allergy: Similar to any other allergy, your body mistakes the protein found in wheat as a danger to the body. It then produces an antibody to kill the protein, creating those allergic reactions. 

Hit or Miss: How Do I Know Gluten is Affecting Me?

Enough science talk. How do you know if gluten is affecting you? Since everyone responds to gluten differently, you could experience one or multiple symptoms. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine created this comprehensive list:

  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Digestive problems, including bloating and stomach pain
  • Indigestion and acid reflux
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety, mood swings, or depression
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Skin rashes and itching
  • Infertility
  • Recurring miscarriages
  • Migraines
  • Canker sores
  • Tingling in the hands and feet

Of course, the best way to find out if you struggle with gluten is to see your doctor. Otherwise, remove it from your diet and see if you start to feel better! 

food label

Ingredients Beware! Here’s What to Avoid on Food Labels

If you’re one of the lucky gluten-free gals, you’ll need to become aware of what ingredients to stay away from, especially if you buy a lot of processed goods. 

But don’t worry! 

It’s not as overwhelming as it seems, especially if you stick to whole foods. 

In the meantime, start getting used to reading food labels before you purchase, and look for trigger ingredients like wheat, barley rye, triticale, and wheat varieties like durum, einkorn, emmer, kamut, spelt.

Expert tip: 

Wheat flours can have different names based on how the flour was milled. All of these flours have gluten in them:

  • Self-rising flour, also called phosphate flour
  • Semolina, the part of wheat used in couscous and pasta
  • Enriched flour
  • Farina, usually found in hot cereals
  • Graham flour, a whole wheat flour 

We made this simple graphic so you and your loved ones can remember what foods to avoid:

 

 

Live-Saving List Alert! Get These Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

Ready GF spaghetti?

Thankfully, you won’t have to pay too much attention to what to look out for, since this list has all the foods that are already gluten-free.

Focus more so on those, and you’ll be set forever.

gluten free protein

First Up! GF Proteins 

You would totally think that typical protein sources would be gluten-free...I mean, it’s just your usual meat and plant-based sources, right? No bread allowed?

Well, not really.

Processed protein sources can contain fillers and flavorings that are gluten-galore, like soy sauce, malt vinegar, and flour.

But chin up!

It just means more fresh food for you, which is way better anyways. 

GF Proteins:

  • Poultry (chicken, turkey)
  • Red meat (beef, pork, bison, lamb)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts)
  • Seafood (fish, scallops, shellfish)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Soy foods (tofu, tempeh, edamame, etc.)
  • Eggs

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Lunch meats & cold cuts
  • Ground meats
  • Ready-to-eat proteins (think microwavable dinners)
  • Processed meats (hotdogs, sausage, pepperoni, bacon, salami, etc.)
  • Plant-based meat substitutes (veggie burgers, etc.)

No-Gos

  • Protein (fish, poultry, meat) that’s been breaded 
  • Seitan (a form of wheat protein)
  • Proteins mixed with wheat-based soy sauce

gluten free bread

Pop the Champagne for GF Grains

For the longest time I had no idea grains could be gluten-free. I mean, come on, it sounds like a total contradiction.

But but but! 

There are some grains that are naturally gluten-free...who would’ve thought?

Of course, it’s always a great idea to double (or triple!) check labels when purchasing grains, as they can be processed in the same facility as typical gluten grains.

GF Grains:

  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Millet
  • Arrowroot
  • Amaranth

Great Grain Alternatives:

  • Oats (make sure they’re certified gluten-free)
  • Corn
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Tapioca flour
  • Potatoes
  • Pea flour
  • Cassava

No-Gos

  • Wheat (all types: whole wheat, graham, farro, durum, farina, spelt, kamut, wheat berries, bromated flour)
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Read-to-eat cereal
  • Biscuits
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads
  • Yeast breads
  • Bagels
  • Rolls
  • Croutons
  • Pasta
  • Couscous

gluten free oil

Load Up the Filling Flavor: GF Fats & Oils

Thank the gluten-free gods for avocados. 

Woohoo for fats and oils! These are both usually completely gluten-free on their own. It’s those sneaky additives that turn them into black-listers. 

GF Fats & Oils:

  • Olives & olive oil
  • Butter and ghee
  • Avocado & avocado oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Seed & vegetable oils (vegetable, sunflower, sesame, grape seed, etc.)

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Oils with additives
  • Cooking and baking sprays

gluten free dairy

Dreamy n’ Creamy! GF Milk & Dairy

Welcome to milk and dairy town, where *for the most part* gluten-free dieters can enjoy all the sweet cream they want.

That’s right. 

You don’t have to give up your coffee creamer anytime soon...unless of course, those darn fillers strike again:

Thickeners, malt, and modified food starch.

GF Milk & Dairy:  

  • Milk
  • Plant-based milk
  • Butter and ghee
  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Cottage cheese
  • Yogurt

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Processed cheeses, like packets, powders, and sauces
  • Ice cream
  • Flavored milks, yogurt, cream cheese, & cottage cheese 

No-Gos

  • Malted milk drinks
  • Bleu cheese (can cause problems for some, since it’s made from bread mold!)

gluten free fruit

The Fresher the Better: GF Fruits & Veggies

Can you imagine a world without fruit? Nevermind the veggies...but the fruit! 

Well, you don’t have to since fruits are gluten-free to a tee. And veggies, too. The only problem? Sometimes fruit and veggies come frozen or canned with sauces and mixtures with gluten. 

Keep your eyes peeled for malt, maltodextrin, modified food starch, and hydrolyzed wheat protein. Otherwise, enjoy your fruit! ...and veggies. 

P.S. By no means does this list cover all the fruit and veggies yumminess on the planet, but it’s a great place to start!

GF Fruits & Veggies: 

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruit, etc.)
  • Mango
  • Grapes
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes
  • Bell peppers
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, etc.)
  • Onions
  • Squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Green beans
  • Jalapenos
  • Corn
  • Fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, etc.)

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Frozen fruits and veggies: Go for plain! Sometimes they’re coated in gluten-ridden sauces and mixtures.
  • Canned fruits and veggies: Go for ones canned in plain water! Others can contain sauces with gluten.
  • Dried fruits and veggies: Go for plain, unsweetened, n’ dried. You might be surprised how some dried fruit brands have gluten varieties. 
  • Pre Chopped fruits and veggies: They may have been cut and cross-contaminated with gluten. Be aware of where they’re chopped!

gluten free spices

The Secret Tasty Keys: GF Condiments, Spices, & Sauces

Watch out! This category is by far the most overlooked. 

I mean, what harm does a little sauce n’ seasoning do? Well, quite a bit, if it’s loaded with wheat flour, maltodextrin, modified food starch, and malt.

No all condiments, spices, and sauces are created equal, though. So there is hope! Just be a little more vigilant when picking your fav dressings and such. 

GF Condiments, Spices, & Sauces: 

  • Coconut aminos
  • Vinegar: apple cider, white, distilled

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Relish & pickles
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tomato sauce
  • BBQ sauce
  • Pasta sauce
  • Marinades
  • Dry spices
  • Rice vinegar
  • Gravy mixes
  • Stuffing mixes
  • Salad dressings
  • Ground spices (some contain gluten as an anti-caking agent)

No-Gos

  • Malt vinegar
  • Wheat-based soy and teriyaki sauce

gluten free candy

Mouthwatering Pick-Me-Ups: GF Snacks & Sweets

Ahhhh, the big kahuna for gluten-free people:

Snacks. And dessert.

Both of these meals are integral to maintaining a happy, healthy, sustainable diet. You have to treat yourself every once in a while! 

And yes, this list might seem long on the no-go side, but that’s because it’s mostly made up of processed food. For more snack and dessert ideas, see the GF resources section down below! 

GF Snacks & Sweets:

  • Veggie-based chips (sweet potato, beet, etc.)
  • Veggie straws
  • Seed crackers (or GF-flour based crackers, like almond)
  • Applesauce
  • Chickpeas/hummus
  • Nut butters

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Corn chips (some brands have a mix of wheat and corn)
  • Potato chips
  • Popcorn
  • Beef jerky (some brands contain wheat-based soy sauce)
  • Hard candy & gummies
  • Chocolate candy bars
  • Ice cream
  • Gelato
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Sherbet
  • Puddings and pie fillings

No-Gos

  • Cakes
  • Pies
  • Cookies
  • Brownies
  • Doughnuts
  • Licorice
  • Sweet rolls
  • Cheesecake
  • Pastries
  • Cereal bars
  • Nutrition bars
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Snack mix
  • French fries

gluten free beverages

Bubbly, Boozy, or Plain Bliss: GF Beverages

Sip away to the GF beverage sea. You have options galore, with only a few no-go’s to look out for, the main one being alcohol.

Especially beer, since it’s made from wheat. 

But that’s okay! You still have options like hard cider for your girls night out and lots of other day-to-day thirst-quenchers.

GF Beverages: 

  • Water
  • Sparkling water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Kombucha
  • Soda
  • Sports & energy drinks
  • Lemonade
  • Some alcoholic beverages (hard cider, wine, or beer made from gluten-free grain)

Triple-Check the Specs

  • Flavored coffees and teas
  • Pre-made smoothies
  • Distilled liquors (vodka, whiskey, gin...even when gluten-free, they can still cause reactions for some people)
  • Hot chocolate packets

No-Gos

  • Non-distilled liquors
  • Malt beverages, like wine coolers
  • Beers, ales, and lagers from gluten-ridden grains

gluten free soup

Warning! Watch Out for Gluten in These Super Random Products

That’s it, right? 

Not quite. 

Gluten is a sneaky one, and it can easily slip its way into products you use every day without a blink of an eye. So to round off this list in the most thorough way possible, here are some random items that rank as automatic ingredient list-checkers. 

Prepare to be surprised! Read the list: 

  • Vitamins
  • Some vegetable, chicken, or beef broths
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Some soups
  • Skin care products (sunscreen, makeup, shampoo, etc.)
  • Toothpaste
  • Prescription and over the counter medicines
  • Items labeled “wheat-free” (wheat-free doesn’t mean gluten-free!)
  • Chewing gum
  • Caramel color (depending on how it was manufactured)
  • Ground spices (some use gluten for an anti-caking effect)

 We summed all that up in this handy graphic:

To download a printable pdf version, click here!

Balanced Eating While Gluten-Free: Myth BUSTED

“A gluten-free diet is healthier than other diets.”

Well, not exactly. If you have celiac disease or any other of the toxic relationships to gluten, then yes, a gluten-free diet is healthier for you. However, for those who don’t struggle with gluten, going GF isn’t the main determining factor of a healthy diet. 

Your overall food choices are!

So, this means if you go gluten-free and stick to whole, nourishing foods, like most of the naturally gluten-free ones listed above, your diet is probably healthier! But if you mostly eat processed gluten-free foods, it’s not considered as healthy, because they’re lower in nutrients. 

gluten free recipes

GF Recipes & Products You Need in Your Life

Feeling a little discouraged by the no-go GF foods lists? No worries!

Since the gluten-free diet has been around for some time now, there are so many replacement recipes and items for your favorite, gluten-ridden treats. 

Like these! 

Recipes:

Products:

Other GF Resources Galore

Okay, last list of the day, pinky promise!

But seriously. I know there might feel like a bajillion aspects of gluten-free you just don’t know how to approach yet.

Like how do I eat gluten-free on a budget? How do I transition my family? How do I bake with gluten-free flour?

Ask no more! The below articles narrow down everything to the finest detail. 

gluten free food

Start the GF Easy Bus! It’s Time to Get Your List Rolling

Now that you have your master list…

It’s time to create your own! 

Take this list, remove all the foods you don’t like, then get meal planning.

This way, when you head to the grocery store, you know everything you can and can’t buy for a smooth-sailing shopping trip.

Yes, please!

You Might Also Like:

Save Your Health & Wealth: 19 Cheap Gluten-Free Meals to Try ASAP

32 Gluten-Free Picnic Food Recipes for the Ultimate Basket Glow-Up

40 Healthy Gluten-Free Desserts to *Shamelessly* Devour

Best of Both Worlds: 21 Gluten-Free & Vegan Cookbooks

Out of Luck for the Potluck? Not Anymore! 42 Gluten-Free Potluck Recipe Ideas

Stressed About Snack Time? These 21+ Easy Gluten-Free Snacks for Kids Will Do the Trick

Breaking Down Gluten-Free Baking Science... In An Easy, Non-Sciency Way

How to Eat Out Safely if You’re Gluten-Free [Must-read Tips]