Gluten is the collective name for a group of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
Although most people can eat gluten without any issues, it may be harmful to individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity .
Those with gluten disorders may experience symptoms like digestive discomfort, headaches, fatigue, weight loss, and dermatitis after eating gluten .
Other people may also benefit from removing gluten from their diet.
Fortunately, if you have a gluten-related health condition, removing gluten from your diet will likely improve your symptoms.
This article provides 12 simple tips to help you eliminate gluten from your diet.
1. Choose gluten-free grains
Wheat, barley, and rye are popular gluten-containing grains. However, there are plenty of gluten-free grain alternatives.
Examples of gluten-free grains include :
- brown rice
Despite its name, buckwheat is a grain-like seed that’s unrelated to wheat and naturally gluten-free. Buckwheat can be enjoyed as a cereal or used in recipes for gluten-free baked goods.
Oats are naturally gluten-free but may contain traces of gluten from exposure during processing. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, choose oats with a certified gluten-free label.
2. Look for a gluten-free certification label
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates gluten-free claims on food packaging.
A product claiming to be gluten-free must comply with the FDA gluten-free definition by containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. The European Union (EU) has similar legislation for food products labeled as gluten-free.
What’s more, many third-party organizations have established gluten-free certifications for food manufacturers. These are additional certifications, and the food product must still comply with governmental regulations.
For example, the Gluten Intolerance Group established the Certified Gluten-Free label, which requires products to contain 10 ppm or less of gluten. This organization requires ongoing testing and annual inspections to ensure compliance (9).
3. Eat more produce
All fresh fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free.
Gluten-free diets may lack micronutrients like folate and magnesium unless gluten-containing products are replaced with other nutrient-dense foods. Including more fresh produce in your diet can help you acquire these nutrients and eliminate gluten.
Here are a few ways to add more fresh produce to your diet:
- ask for a lettuce wrap in place of bread
- use spiralized veggie noodles in place of regular pasta
- opt for a salad instead of a sandwich
- use roasted potatoes or butternut squash for a gluten-free side dish
- choose a side of fresh fruit or roasted vegetables
- add a piece of fruit to your breakfast or eat it as a snack
- use sweet potato slices in place of bread
Some processed fruits and vegetables, such as frozen or canned products, may contain gluten as a food additive or thickening agent. It’s best to check the label for gluten or wheat if choosing canned, frozen, or dried fruits and vegetables.