The Basic Gluten-Free Diet

Getting the basic gluten-free diet right isn’t as overwhelming as it might seem when you know the ground rules. Whether you are new to the gluten-free diet or have been following it for years, the information here provides a go-to resource for safe foods, unsafe foods and those that fall in a gray area. Follow the guidelines below compiled by our experts and you will be on your way to a happy, healthy gluten-free life.

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Safe: Gluten-Free Foods

Foods made from whole grains (and grain-like plants) that do not contain harmful gluten, including:

  • Corn in all forms (corn flour, cornmeal, grits, etc.)
  • Plain rice in all forms (white, brown, wild, basmati, enriched rice, etc.)
  • Amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat (kasha), cassava, flax, millet, quinoa, sorghum, soy, tapioca, teff, polenta and fonio
  • Flours made from gluten-free grain, nuts, beans and coconut, including buckwheat flour, millet flour, almond flour, chickpea flour, amaranth flour, brown rice flour and coconut flour. Look for products labeled gluten free to avoid cross-contamination.

Gluten-free ingredients

More gluten-free items

  • Milk, butter, margarine, real cheese, plain yogurt and most ice cream without gluten-containing add-ins
  • Vegetable oils, including canola
  • Plain fruits, vegetables (fresh, frozen and canned), meat, seafood, potatoes, eggs, nuts, nut butters, beans and legumes
  • Distilled vinegar (see “malt vinegar,” below)
  • Distilled alcoholic beverages are gluten free because distillation effectively removes gluten. They are not gluten free if gluten-containing ingredients are added after distillation, but this rarely happens.
  • Mono and diglycerides
  • Spices. If there is no ingredient list on the container, it contains only the pure spice noted on the label. However, be aware that spices and seasonings are two different things. See below for more information on seasonings, which may contain gluten.

Click “next” for a list of unsafe gluten-containing foods.

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