Eating is essential to life, and when you’re told that you can’t eat something that is in so many foods, it becomes discouraging and confusing. You just want to know what you can eat, right? So you find yourself continually asking, “Is it gluten free?” Below is a table listing a few food items that people commonly ask about and whether or not they are gluten free.
However, please understand that you do not need to consult a list as you are grocery shopping. Food labeling laws have made it much easier to determine if a food is gluten free. I have explained how to read labels in these posts:
- Reading Labels to Determine if a Food Contains Gluten
- Reading Labels Part 1 – Basic Information
- Reading Labels Part 2 – How to Read a Label
- Reading Labels Part 3 – Cross Contamination and Warning Statements
Wheat, Barley, Rye and Oats
The bottom line is that if a food contains wheat of any kind, then wheat has to be clearly stated on the label. Gluten is found in barley and rye as well as wheat, but wheat is the primary source. So the labeling of wheat makes label reading much easier.
Barley is often used in making malt, though malt can be made from other sources. If the source is not stated, assume it is barley. Barley can also show up in brewer’s yeast, so keep an eye out for that.
Rye is not used in making other ingredients, so if a food contains rye, it would show up on a label and not be hidden.
While pure oats are gluten free, they can easily be cross contaminated with gluten due to growing and processing practices. You should consider oats to be unsafe unless they are certified gluten-free oats.
Is it gluten free?
Most of the gluten-free items listed below are single ingredient foods. However, they are sometimes combined with other ingredients to make flavored versions which are not necessarily gluten free (specifically buckwheat, coffee, quinoa, and rice).
|Food||Is it gluten free?|
|Cheese||Yes (Read this regarding blue cheese.)|
|Coffee||Yes if plain, unflavored|
|Corn / Cornstarch||Yes, though some people have problems with it|
|Marshmallows||Yes, but double check ingredients|
|Oats / Oatmeal||No, unless certified gluten free (GF Harvest is safe)|
|Pasta||The package must say it is gluten free (I like Tinkyada)|
|Rice / Brown Rice||Yes|
|Wheat||No, also see other names for wheat|
|Wheat grass||Some say it is, but I avoid it. Read this.|