Vegan and Gluten-Free?
Natalie Shemesh | Registered Dietitian
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. It's found in most breads, cereals, pastas and many processed foods. It is also the main ingredient of seitan, which makes up a lot of the mock meats on the market.
People who have celiac disease develop an immune reaction to gluten that damages the intestine, so they need to avoid gluten. For most other people, there is no real need to avoid gluten.
Can I be a gluten-free vegan?
Yes, you can! You can enjoy foods from all the vegan food groups. Just make sure to choose gluten-free grains and packaged products that are labeled gluten-free, and avoid seitan and mock meats that contain wheat protein.
The gluten-free vegan food groups are:
- Protein-packed foods: legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, fava beans, lupin beans, lentils), soy and soy products (tofu, edamame, tempeh, TVP, soy milk), quinoa.
- Gluten-free grains: teff, rice, buckwheat, corn, gluten-free oats, amaranth, gluten-free breads, crackers and cereals.
- Fruit and vegetables.
- Nuts, seeds and nut and seed butters (such as peanut butter and tahini).