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Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, oats and other related grains.  Some people cannot tolerate glutted when it comes in contact with the small intestine.  This condition is known as Celiac Disease.

When people with Celiac Disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune systems respond by damaging the small intestine.  Specifically, the tiny, finger-like protrusions called villi on the lining of the small intestines are destroyed.  These villi are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food and passing those nutrients into the bloodstream.  This injury results in weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, gas, abdominal cramps or vitamin or mineral deficiencies.  When patients totally eliminated glutted from the diet, the lining of the intestine has a chance to heal. 

Removing gluten from the diet can be a challenge.  Grains are used in the preparation of many foods, so it can be easy to eat glutted without knowing it.  It is important to read all ingredients carefully.  Since it is necessary to remain on the gluten-free diet throughout life, it will be helpful to review it with a registered dietitian.

Grocery shopping will likely take longer than it used to.  If you have any questions or concerns about ingredients in your food, contact the manufacturer for clarification.  It is very important to take time and read food labels carefully.

  • Do not eat anything that contains wheat, rye and barley.
  • Corn, potato, rice soybeans, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet, amaranth and quinoa can be eaten in any amount.


The following terms on food labels may mean there is gluten in the product:

  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP), unless made from soy or corn
  • Flour or Cereal products, unless made with pure rice flour, corn flour, potato flour or soy flour
  • Vegetable Protein, unless made from soy or corn
  • Malt or Malt Flavoring, unless derived from corn
  • Modified Starch or Modified Food Starch, unless arrowroot, corn, potato, tapioca, waxy maize, or maize is used
  • Vegetable Gum, unless made from carob bean, locust bean, cellulose, guar, gum arabic, gum aracia, gum tragacanth, xantham or vegetable starch
  • Soy Sauce or Soy Sauce Solids, unless you know they do not contain wheat


Any of these words on food labels often means a grain containing gluten has been used:

            Stabilizer                               Starch                                              Flavoring

            Emulsifier                              Hydrolyzed                                       Plant Protein


What foods and food products ARE Gluten-free?

  • Whole, low fat, skim, dry, evaporated or condensed milk, buttermilk
  • Cream, whipping cream
  • Velveeta Cheese
  • American Cheese
  • All aged cheese such as cheddar, swiss, edam, and parmesan
  • 100% meat (no grain added)
  • Seafood
  • Poultry (breaded with pure cornmeal, potato flour, or rice flour)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Eggs
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Pork
  • Cream of rice
  • Cornmeal
  • Hominy
  • Rice, wild rice, rice wafers
  • Pure corn tortillas
  • Specially prepared breads made with corn, rice, potato, soybean, tapioca, arrowroot, carob, buckwheat, millet amaranth, and quinoa flour
  • Butter, margarine
  • Vegetable oil
  • Shortening
  • Lard
  • Plain, fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit]
  • All fruit juices
  • Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
  • White and sweet potatoes
  • Yams
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Gelatin
  • Jelly, jam
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Pure cocoa
  • Carob
  • Tea
  • Instant or ground coffee
  • Carbonated beverages (except root beer)
  • Mineral and carbonated waters
  • Wines
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Corn flour germ or bran
  • Potato flour, potato starch flour
  • Rice bran and flour
  • Rice polish
  • Soy flour
  • Tapioca
  • Sago
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Olives
  • Pickles, relish
  • Ketchup
  • Salt, pepper
  • Herbs
  • Flavored extracts, food coloring
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking soda, baking powder
  • Cream of tartar

What foods and food products ARE NOT Gluten-free?

  • Wheat, Barley. Rye
  • Breaded or floured meats
  • Meatballs
  • Ravioli
  • Pizza
  • Any meat substitute
  • Breads, buns, rolls, biscuits, muffins, bread pudding
  • Crackers, and cereals containing wheat, wheat germ, barley, rye, bran graham flour or malt
  • Melba toast
  • Matzo
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Pastry
  • Noodles, spaghetti, macaroni and other pasta
  • Dumplings
  • Pretzels
  • Prepared mixes for waffles and pancakes
  • Gravy and cream sauces thickened with flour
  • Cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pies, prepared cake and cookie mixes
  • Ice cream cones
  • Ovaltine, malt-containing drinks
  • Beer, ale
  • Soups thickened with wheat flour or gluten-containing grains, soup containing barley, pasta, or noodles
  • Wheat starch
  • All flours containing wheat , oats, rye, malt, barley or graham flour
  • All-purpose flour, white flour, wheat flour, durum flour
  • Bran
  • Cracker meal
  • Wheat germ
  • Synthetic pepper
  • Brewer’s yeast (unless prepared with a sugar molasses base)
  • Yeast extract (contains barley)

There are now several companies that produce gluten-free products, and several support groups to provide delicious recipes and help patients adapt to the gluten-free diet.


Note: The information in this section is provided as a supplement to information discussed with your healthcare provider.  It is not intended to serve as a complete description of a particular topic or substitute for a clinic visit.

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