What is a Gluten-Free Diet?

Gluten-free grains and legumes

A gluten-free diet is a diet that completely excludes the protein, gluten. Gluten is made up of gliadin and glutelin which is found in grains including wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is found in any food or product made from these grains. These gluten-containing grains are also frequently used as fillers and flavoring agents and are added to many processed foods, so it is critical to read the ingredient list on all food labels. Manufacturers often change the ingredients in processed foods, so be sure to check the ingredient list every time you purchase a product.

How Do I Get Started?

Your first instinct may be to stop at the grocery store on your way home from the doctor’s office and search  for all the gluten-free products you can find. While this initial fear  may feel a bit overwhelming, but the good news is you most likely already have some gluten-free foods in your pantry.

Use this gluten-free meal guide to select appropriate meals and snacks. Prepare your own gluten-free foods and stock your pantry. Many of your favorite brands may already be gluten-free.

The FDA announced on August 2, 2013, that if a product bears the label “gluten-free,” the food must contain less than 20 ppm gluten, as well as meet other criteria. *The rule also applies to products labeled “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten.” The labeling of food products as “gluten- free” is a voluntary action for manufacturers.


Be sure to always look for the certified “gluten-free” label on products before purchasing. 

Notes:  * Important – Read ingredient labels before purchasing gluten-free products.