Foods not containing gluten fall into several categories of natural substances: fruit, vegetables, meat and poultry, beans, nuts and legumes, seafood and dairy. Many foods deriving from grain, including cereal, pasta and oatmeal, contain gluten, but consumers find others naturally gluten-free. Some foods, such as wheat grass and barley grass, contain gluten as seedlings, but lose their gluten following growth into mature plants.
While consumers typically associate grain and oat food items with gluten, many naturally lack gluten. Rice, cassava, corn and soy in their natural forms do not contain gluten. Most potatoes, including relatives like yucca, also lack gluten. Tapioca, quinoa and millet grains do not contain gluten. Buckwheat groats, also called kasha, arrowroot, and amaranth in raw form also lack gluten. Other popular grains and seeds without gluten include flax and chia. Many nut flours also come without gluten. Sometimes, companies produce variations of gluten-free substitutes for consumers, letting them enjoy their favorite foods without gluten, such as gluten-free oats. However, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation, consumers should be careful of selecting gluten-free grain products in stores, where a risk of cross-contamination occurs. Consumers with gluten intolerance should read labels carefully of processed foods, such as cereal, soups, sauces and condiments, as well as alcoholic beverages and fruit juices as those items may contain gluten.