You may have noticed that section in your grocery store dedicated to gluten-free foods. But what you may not know is the numerous foods that are naturally gluten-free, like potatoes or rice.
Gluten is a protein in some grains that triggers a food allergy or intolerance in some people. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition or allergic reaction to gluten that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine.
Gluten intolerance is when you feel sick after eating gluten, but an immune response doesn’t cause the symptoms. Many of the symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance can feel similar, so it’s important to talk with your healthcare professional to learn which type you’re experiencing.
This article covers what gluten is, which foods have gluten, reasons to eat gluten-free, and tips for following the diet.
Gluten is the protein found in some grains. It helps food maintain its structure and hold together. Grains that contain gluten include:
Gluten-based foods are a staple in many people’s diets. Here are some examples of common gluten foods:
Potatoes are one of the naturally gluten-free foods.
Potatoes and potato flour are common alternatives used in gluten-free products. They can be used to make crusts or coating to make food crisp. Mashed potatoes also help thicken foods, like soups and sauces.
It’s important to know when eating out or when other people are cooking that there is the risk of cross-contamination. If potatoes come into contact with gluten foods, or the cooking tools or oils used to cook gluten foods, there is the chance you could accidentally be exposed to gluten.
Gluten-free won’t be the best option for everyone. For people without sensitivities or allergies to gluten, it isn’t necessary or beneficial to eat gluten-free. Reasons to go gluten-free include:
Many foods are naturally gluten-free, such as:
While these foods are gluten-free, it’s important to check the label and companies information for how the food is manufactured.
Be sure to choose foods labeled “gluten-free” because sometimes the products are produced in plants that also process products containing gluten, which means there could be cross-contamination.
Here are some tips when following a gluten-free diet:
Gluten is a protein found in some grains, like wheat, barley, and rye. Many foods are naturally gluten-free, like potatoes, rice, fruits, and vegetables.
If you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten, you’ll want to follow a gluten-free diet. When following a gluten-free diet, read the label for gluten ingredients and opt for naturally gluten-free foods. Also, control for cross-contamination.
Gluten-based foods are a staple in many people's diets. If you need to follow a gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy many delicious foods. It just takes a little more thought to ensure there are no gluten ingredients or cross-contamination.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that may be related to gluten foods, talk with your healthcare professional to determine the cause of your symptoms.
To start a gluten-free diet, you’ll want to avoid any wheat, rye, or barley foods. Instead, opt for adding naturally gluten-free foods like potatoes, rice, quinoa, fruits, vegetables, beans, and meats.
You should notice your symptoms improving within a few weeks of starting a gluten-free diet. Some people will feel better after just a few days of eating gluten-free. However, for some cases of celiac disease, it could take months for your intestines to return to normal.