When you have a gluten intolerance, it can feel like the world is no longer your oyster. Finding something to eat becomes a problem because almost everything seems to contain either wheat or another form of gluten. But don’t despair; there are plenty of foods you can still enjoy without worrying about getting sick from them. In fact, many people with gluten intolerance can also have soy and peanuts, which are high in glutamic acid (the amino acid that helps the body digest glut flour).
What you need to avoid is products that have obvious sources of wheat as well as hidden forms of it which manufacturers often sneak into foods as fillers and additives. Here’s a list of what you should NOT eat when you have gluten intolerance:
Gluten-Containing Foods to Avoid
- Cereals: Wheat, barley, spelled, Kamut, rye, triticale, gluten-free oats, and many more.
- Sweeteners: Maltitol, malt syrup, malt flavoring, barley malt, sorbitol, and many more.
- Processed Foods: Anything made with wheat flour.
- Root Vegetables: Potato, carrot, beet, radish, and many more.
- Legumes: Lentils, soybeans, peanuts, and many more.
- Crackers: Anything made with wheat flour.
- Mustards: French mustard, yellow mustard, and many more.
- Sauces: Sauce kits, mustards, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Dried Fruits: Raisins, coconut, dates, and many more.
- Brewers’ Yeast: Bakers’ yeast and Brewer’s yeast.
- Breakfast Cereals: All flavors, including wheat-based flavors.
- Baked Goods: Anything made with wheat flour.
- Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, soy sauce, and many more.
Beans & Legumes to Avoid
- Soybeans: Soybeans, soy products, and soy-based ingredients.
- Chickpeas: Chickpeas, garbanzo beans, and hummus.
- Kidney Beans: Kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans.
- Black Beans: Black beans, pinto beans, and garbanzo beans.
Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid
If you have gluten intolerance, you want to avoid fruits and vegetables that contain wheat, barley, or rye as an ingredient. That includes wheat-containing foods such as:
Bananas – Mature bananas contain an enzyme that may break down gluten, but there is a risk that the enzyme may be pre-digested in immature bananas. High levels of gluten may cause an allergic reaction in sensitive people.
Broccoli – Broccoli is one of the few vegetables that contain gluten. Since most people do not get ill from eating broccoli, you can safely eat it.
Brussels sprouts – Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts contain gluten. You can safely eat them, but they are not a recommended food for people with gluten intolerance.
Cabbage – These vegetables contain gluten, and there have been reports of people getting sick from it. However, most people do not get sick from eating cabbage.
Cauliflower – Like broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower contains gluten. You can safely eat it, but it is not recommended for people with gluten intolerance.
Grapes – Grape seeds have been found to have high levels of gluten. Therefore, you should avoid grapes to keep yourself safe.
Kiwifruit – Kiwifruit is another fruit that contains gluten. It is safe to eat, but it is not recommended for people with gluten intolerance.
Avocados – Avocados contain high levels of glutamic acid, which is what gluten is made from. Therefore, you should avoid avocados to keep yourself safe.
Mangoes – Mango contains gluten. You can eat it, but you should not eat a lot of it.
Olives – Olives also contain gluten. Therefore, you should avoid them to keep yourself safe.
Nuts and Seeds to Avoid
Gluten can be found in many different types of nuts and seeds. However, these foods are not always obvious to those who have gluten intolerance, so you want to avoid them. Nuts and seeds that contain gluten include:
- Brazil nuts – Although they are not high in gluten, they are a known allergen for many people with gluten intolerance.
- Cashews – Cashews contain gluten, so avoid them.
- Chestnuts – Chestnuts are grain and should be avoided by those who have gluten intolerance.
- Coconut – Coconut is high in lauric acid, which is another form of glutamic acid. Therefore, coconut should be avoided by people with gluten intolerance.
- Sesame – Sesame seeds contain gluten, so they should be avoided.
Fats and oils to avoid with a gluten intolerance
It’s important to keep a close eye on the fats and oils that you consume when you have gluten intolerance. Many oils have gluten in them as a by-product of the manufacturing process. Although you do not need to avoid all fats, you do want to be careful when it comes to:
- Corn oil – Corn is used in nearly all oil-manufacturing processes, and it often ends up in the oil as a by-product. Most people with gluten intolerance do not get sick from corn oil, but you want to be careful just in case.
- Olive oil – Like corn oil, olive oil is often made from corn, a grain that is high in gluten. You can eat olive oil, but you should be careful to avoid foods that are high in gluten, such as crusty bread.
- Soybean oil – Soybean oil is another oil that is high in glutamic acid. It should be consumed carefully, especially by those with gluten intolerance who have an allergy to soy.
Dairy products to avoid with a gluten intolerance
If you have a gluten intolerance and you consume dairy products, you need to be extra careful. Dairy products are often made with gluten-containing grains. Many people with a gluten intolerance do get sick from dairy products, even those that do not indicate gluten as an ingredient. If you are consuming dairy products, you should be extra cautious:
- Butter – Butter is another high-glutamic-acid food item that should be avoided when you have a gluten intolerance.
- Cheese – Cheese is another high-glutamic-acid item that you want to avoid.
- Yogurt – If you have a gluten intolerance and consume yogurt, be careful. Yogurt is often made from milk, which is one of the top allergens for people with a gluten intolerance.
Other foods to avoid
If you have a gluten intolerance, you should avoid other high-glutamic-acid foods, including:
- Glutinous rice – Many gluten-free products contain glutinous rice as an ingredient. This should be avoided.
- Soy sauce – Soy sauce is often made with wheat, so it should be avoided.
- Yeast – This is an ingredient that is high in glutamic acid and should be avoided by those with gluten intolerance.
These are some of the foods that you should avoid when you have gluten intolerance. There are many more foods that are high in glutamic acid, but these are the most common.
It turns out you don’t have to avoid everything. There are plenty of gluten-free foods you can eat, including most fruits, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, and grains like rice, buckwheat, and quinoa. When possible, opt for gluten-free foods made without wheat or barley. You might be surprised at how well you can do without gluten!