9 Foods That Are Naturally Gluten-Free
If you throw a stone at Woolworths, odds are you’re going to hit some kind of gluten-free product (not that you should…). Point is, the GF revolution is here to stay.
Yet, apart from those processed gluten-free cookies and chickpea pastas, you can actually find a decent amount of delicious, healthy foods that are naturally gluten-free.
One thing: If you do have a condition like celiac disease, you should still look for a certified gluten-free label before tossing a processed food into your cart, “If oats, which are gluten-free, are processed in a facility in a facility sharing equipment with wheat, a reaction will occur,”explains registered dietician Kelly Jones. Yikes.
With that in mind, read on for a list of naturally gluten-free foods to keep on hand for your next grocery run:
“Chickpeas are a great food to include in a gluten-free diet due to their versatility,” says Jones. You can use chickpeas as a flour replacement for baking, (think: flatbreads and pizza crust), she says.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 460 kilojoules, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 27 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 130 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 6 g protein
“Often when going gluten-free, people consume excess gluten-free packaged foods rather than choosing healthy starches like potatoes, which pack twice as much potassium as a banana, and also contain starches that are slowly digested and good for gut health,” says Jones.
Per 1 medium potato: 669 kilojoules, 0 g fat (0 g sat fat), 37 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein
“Many gluten-free processed foods may use flours low in fibre and protein, which corn is actually a good source of,” says Jones. So go with corn flour instead. “Use corn tortillas or eat corn on the cob to fill the starch portion of your plate in a nutritious way,” she says.
Per 1 ear of corn: 502 kilojoules, 2 g fat (0 g sat fat), 17 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 30 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 4 g protein
“Pistachios are not only a gluten-free option but also one of the lowest-fat, lowest-calorie snack nuts. To keep a salad gluten-free while still providing that crunch, try using pistachios as the crouton, or as a breading on baked chicken or fish,” says Elizabeth Shaw, R.D.N. Plus, as pistachios provide a good source of protein and fibre, they’ll help keep you fuller longer.
Per serving of snack pack (1.5 oz.): 502 kilojoules, 10g fat (1.5 g sat), 6 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 120 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 5 g protein
While not all cheeses (like blue and spreadable varieties) are GF, Shaw says that cheddar cheese is naturally gluten-free.
“It’s a good thing too, because not only is cheddar cheese a great way to get your calcium and protein in your diet, it’s also relatively low in carbohydrates as well, making it a great choice for those on a low-carb eating plan,” she says. And, it can even help prevent cavities.
Per 1-ounce serving:481 kilojoules , 9.5g fat (5 g sat),
Just like white potatoes, sweet potatoes are also on the list of naturally gluten-free foods. “Not only do sweet potatoes provide a complex form of carbohydrates for GF individuals (and really, everyone) to enjoy, they pack vitamin A, fibre, and a decent amount of potassium,” says Shaw.
Per 1 medium sweet potato: 418 kilojoules, 0.2g fat (0 g sat), 24 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 41 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 2 g protein
“Cauliflower serves as a good grain substitute and is lower in carbohydrates than potatoes for an excellent cauliflower mash treat, and tastes great both in tiny raw pieces, or cooked,” says Mariana Daniela Torchia, R.D. “It is great for weight loss and maintenance, has no gluten, and contains vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and magnesium,” she adds.
Per 1 cup chopped: 113 kilojoules, 0.3g fat (0.1g sat), 5g carbs, 2g sugar, 32mg sodium, 2.1g fibre, 2.1g protein
“As they digest slower than high-carb foods, walnuts provide fibre and healthy fatty acids from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) a plant source from omega-3, [all of] which are cardioprotective, and good for the brain and skin,” Torchia says. Just make sure your bag doesn’t say “uses facility or equipment which contains grains,” to avoid cross-contamination, she says.
Per 1.5-ounce serving: 1130 kilojoules, 27 g fat (2.4g sat), 5.6 g carbs,
“Quinoa is a popular ‘ancient grain’ that is packed with fibre (which helps keep you full but is often lacking in gluten-free diets). It’s also a source of ‘complete protein,’ meaning that it has all of the essential amino acids your body needs,” says dietitian Sarah Morland.
Per 1/2 cup serving: 490 kilojoules, 3.8 g fat (0.5 g sat), 21 g carbs, 0.85 g sugars, 7 mg sodium, 2.7 g fibre, 4.3 g protein
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