Gluten Free Travel Meal Boxes

The Gluten Free Diet 101


May 6, 2013 Blog, Heather Wheeler MPA RD , , , 0 Comments


So you have been told you need to eliminate gluten from your diet and now you are wondering what foods you can eat and what foods you should avoid. We have put together a little gluten free diet 101 for you. A gluten free diet excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).

Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you’ll find there are many foods you already eat that are gluten-free and there are many tasty substitutes for gluten-containing foods.

If you are just starting with a gluten free diet, it is a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.


Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free. For example:

  • Beans, seeds, and nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Fresh eggs
  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Most dairy products

It is important to make sure the above foods are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet. Such as the following:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • BuckwheatGF Grains
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca


Following a gluten-free diet means you should avoid all food and drinks containing:

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

Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products have numerous names. Here are other wheat products to avoid:

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


In general, avoid the following foods unless they are labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:

  • Beer
  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • 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

Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it may take some time to feel comfortable with the adjustment. You may initially feel deprived. However, stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You will be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products are available at specialty food stores and online.


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