Healthy Living on a Gluten Free Diet

When diagnosed with Celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you may find following a gluten-free diet frustrating. It’s a big change, and it can take some getting used to. Initially, you may have felt deprived by the restrictions, but with a little creativity, you can find many enjoyable gluten-free alternative foods.  However, you may wonder if you are getting all the nutrients you need. Whether you are just starting a gluten-free diet, or have been following one for a while, you may be surprised to find out that many healthy, delicious foods are also naturally gluten free, such as:

  • Unprocessed seeds, beans, and nuts
  • Fresh eggs
  • Meats, fish, and poultry without breading (of course)
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products, unless they have added thickeners

Many starches and grains, such as:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours made from soy, rice, corn, bean, or potato
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet (seeds)
  • Quinoa (seeds)
  • Rice
  • Sorghum (a grass)
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff seeds (a grass)

However, you should always avoid:

  • Barley (malt, including malt vinegar and malt flavoring all made from barley)
  • Rye
  • Triticale (a cross between rye and wheat)
  • Wheat

Wheat products have numerous names, so avoiding them can be challenging. Here are some additional names for wheat that you should know:

  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt

Avoid these items unless labeled “Gluten Free”

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Communion wafers
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce

Beware of grains such as oats that can be contaminated with wheat during the growing and processing stages. This is why doctors and dietitians usually recommend avoiding oats if they are not labeled gluten-free.

Watch out for products you might not suspect such as:

  • Food additives (modified food starch, malt flavoring, and others)
  • Vitamins and medications and vitamins that may have gluten as a binder

Beware of cross-contamination

Cross-contamination—when gluten-free foods accidentally come into contact with gluten—can occur at many stages of the manufacturing process, such as when the same equipment is used to make many different products. Or that gluten-containing foods are prepared on the premises and there is a possibility of unintended cross-contamination. You may see some labels that include the “may contain” message, if cross-contamination is a possibility. This type of messaging is voluntary.


Be especially careful when eating out at restaurants. Check with staff members to see if they have menu choices that are really gluten-free and have been prepared in a way that avoids cross-contamination.


When you follow a gluten-free diet, you may not be getting enough of some vitamins and nutrients, such as:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Thiamin
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate

Whether you are new to a gluten-free diet or have been following one for years, DeliverLean offers a variety of healthy gluten-free meals that make it easy and convenient to maintain a nutritious diet. Check out our gluten-free options today and make your life a little healthier and a little easier.

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