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Gluten-Free Does Not Mean Grain-Free

gluten-free diet

Many people who are contemplating going on a gluten-free diet are concerned that they’ll no longer be able to have grains as part of their diet.  While some people choose to go grain-free, it’s not necessary to do so if you’re avoiding gluten.

In fact, there are many grains that you can eat when you’re on a gluten-free diet.  Read on to learn what you need to eliminate and which grains you can continue eating as you go gluten-free.

Grains That Need to Go

When you’re going gluten-free you’ll want to start by eliminating anything that contains wheat, barley, or rye.  That sounds easy, but many things are made with these ingredients including breads, cakes, cookies, and beer.

Another thing you need to know is that you can find gluten in foods that aren’t primarily grains.  For example, soy sauce is usually made with wheat and contains gluten.  So when you’re working to eliminate gluten completely you need to read all labels.

Not all products that are gluten-free will be labeled as such.  But look for the warning that a product contains wheat, rye, or barley as you make choices about what to put in your grocery cart.

Another grain called spelt is actually a species of wheat and does contain gluten.  So you’ll need to make sure that you don’t accidentally purchase products containing spelt thinking that they’re safe.

Grains That Are Safe

There are many grains that you can enjoy while going on a gluten-free diet.  For example, products made from corn and rice do not have gluten and are safe to eat.  You may also enjoy foods that contain grains such as millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff.

These are often referred to as ancient grains and can be found in many supermarkets and health food stores as well as online.  Despite its name, you can also eat buckwheat.  While the name suggests that it contains wheat, buckwheat is actually a totally different plant and doesn’t contain gluten.

Oats by themselves are also free from gluten.  However, oats are often processed in factories that also process wheat.  If you’re avoiding gluten, and especially if you have celiac, it’s critical that you purchase oats that are certified as gluten-free.  These are guaranteed not to be processed alongside wheat where they can become contaminated.

In any case it’s always best to choose whole grain options when you decide to add grains to your diet.  Just because grains are gluten-free doesn’t meant that they’re good for you in a highly processed form.