Overview

A gluten-free diet is the only treatment available for patients with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Why is the gluten-free diet being recommended?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten ingestion, which damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition in which individuals report improvement of symptoms following the elimination of gluten from their diet. This diagnosis is only given after both celiac disease and wheat allergy are excluded.

What conditions is the gluten-free diet used for?

  • Celiac disease.
  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

What is a gluten-free diet?

Following a gluten-free diet involves avoiding wheat, barley, rye, and all foods made with these ingredients.
The table below will help you find the foods you can still include, new ones to add, and gluten-containing foods to avoid.
There are many naturally gluten-free foods including dairy, seafood, meat, fruits, vegetables, fats and many grains.
The information listed in the table below should be used as a guide only. Always read ingredient lists. Please see the Label Reading handout for more detailed information. A strict gluten-free diet is the only treatment available for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Gluten-free diet food list

Foods to Include Foods to Question or Avoid
Grains and grain-based products:
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Oats (labeled GF)
  • Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Rice, Wild Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
  • Wheat starch (labeled GF)

Flours, pasta, breads, cereals, crackers and cookies made from above grains

Grains and grain-based products:

  • Wheat (includes kamut, semolina, spelt, triticale, farro, einkorn)
    • Communion wafers, matzo
  • Barley
    • Malt: flavoring, vinegar, extract, syrup
  • Rye
  • Brewer’s yeast

Flours, pasta, breads, cereals, crackers and cookies made from above grains

Dairy / Dairy Alternatives:

  • Milk: dairy milk, non-dairy milks such as almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk
    • Oat milk (labeled GF)
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Ice cream
  • Sour cream
  • Whipped cream

Dairy / Dairy Alternatives: Caution with:

  • Dairy with added cookie crumb or granola if not labeled GF
  • Ice creams with questionable ingredients including cookie dough, cookies, pretzels, etc.

Animal protein:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fish/Seafood

Animal protein: Caution with:

  • Imitation crab
  • Marinated, breaded, or coated proteins
  • Deli meats, sausages, salami, hot dogs

Plant protein:

  • Tofu
  • Beans/legumes, bean/legume-based flours
  • Hummus
  • Nuts, nut butters, nut flours
  • Seeds, seed butters, seed flours

Plant protein:

  • Seitan
  • Caution with:
    • Tempeh, veggie burgers, veggie dogs
    • Seasoned beans, nuts, seeds
    • Protein powders

Fruits and vegetables:

  • All varieties (plain)

Fruits and vegetables: Caution with:

  • Fruits and vegetables prepackaged in sauces

Sauces, seasonings, sweeteners, and spices:

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Tomato sauce
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Sugar substitutes

Sauces, seasonings, sweeteners, and spices: Caution with:

  • Cake icing, sprinkles/jimmies
  • Licorice
  • Pickles made with malt vinegar
  • Sauces (soy, teriyaki, hoisin, Worcestershire)
  • Gravies, marinades, mustards
  • Soups, broth, bouillon cubes
  • Thickening agents
  • Spice blends, taco seasoning

Alcohol:

  • Distilled spirits
  • Wine
  • Hard ciders, seltzers
  • Beer labeled GF

Alcohol:

  • Regular, gluten removed and gluten reduced beer
  • Malt-based alcoholic beverages
  • Brewer’s yeast

Gluten-free diet resources

Now it is time to meet with a GI-expert dietitian. To get more information about this topic, find a dietitian in your area using our Find a Health Care Provider tool.

Written by

Jessica Lebovitz, RD, and Meghan Donnelly, RD
DIGID Disorders of the Brain Gut Interaction Workgroup ©2021

Jessica Lebovitz, RD, and Meghan Donnelly, RD
DIGID Disorders of the Brain Gut Interaction Workgroup ©2021