Is Keto Gluten-Free?

The keto diet and gluten-free diet are different things. However, many foods conducive to a low-carb ketogenic diet are gluten-free.

Why is this?

Because many of the foods containing gluten are too high in carbs to fit into the keto-friendly diet. However, it is essential to recognize that keto is not always gluten-free.

So, if you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, it is important to read labels to be sure the food is okay for you to eat.

Is the Keto Diet Gluten-Free?

Keto does not have to be gluten-free. However, many foods on a low-carb diet are! Since many keto-friendly foods are high carb, it is not uncommon for them to also be gluten-free.

3 Reasons for a Gluten-Free Diet

  • Celiac Disease: People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten foods. If a celiac eats gluten, it triggers an immune response attacking the small intestine.

  • Gluten Intolerance: Some people are intolerant to products with gluten in them. Often called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, symptoms include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) , gastrointestinal distress, stomach bloating, and brain fog.

  • Preference: There are people who have removed gluten from their diet due to personal preference. Sometimes, this is because they live with someone with a sensitivity, and it is simply easier for them to follow the same diet and eat the same gluten-free foods.

What Keto Foods are Gluten-Free?

Certain foods are naturally gluten-free when consumed in their most natural form. This includes meats, cheeses, fruits, and veggies. Eating whole foods in their most natural form is helpful when eating gluten-free and keto.

6 Gluten-Free Foods Suitable for a Keto Diet

1. Cheese

Any plain, full-fat cheese is free of gluten. This includes basic cheeses such as cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella, string cheese, etc.

Processed cheeses may contain ingredients such as “wheat starch” or “modified food starch.” If you have a gluten intolerance, stay away from these.

2. Fruits

Fruits are gluten-free.Opt for low-carb fruits like berries, avocados, and tomatoes, but consume in moderation due to their natural sugars.

3. Legumes

While generally high in carbs, some legumes can be included in small amounts. We recommend black beans, kidney beans and pinto beans.

4. Meat

Meats that are minimally processed are good sources of keto-friendly protein and are gluten-free. This includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish and shellfish.

Wild game meats, such as bison, pheasant, squirrel, etc., are also gluten-free as long as they are minimally processed. Once you take meat and process it into jerky, sausage, etc., it may not be keto or gluten-free.

5. Nuts

Nuts are gluten-free and most are keto. Enjoy almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts and other nuts in moderation to get healthy fats and add salty crunch to your diet.

6. Vegetables

Not all veggies are keto, but they are gluten-free when served in their most natural form. In general, veggies grown above ground are lower in carbs than those grown below the ground.

Keto veggies are also typically non-starchy vegetables and include include spinach, lettuce, asparagus, olives, peppers (red, yellow, and green), Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, cabbage, kale, and eggplant.

Processed Keto Foods: Are They Gluten-Free?

As the keto diet grows in popularity, there are more and more processed foods that are made as convenience foods.

These items include bread, cereal, cookies, protein bars, etc. So, how do you know if what you are looking at are gluten-free products?

  • Bread and Wraps: Keto and gluten-free bread can be made from almond flour or coconut flour. Many keto breads use wheat flour. If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, you cannot eat these.On the other hand, bread made with standard gluten-free flour is unlikely to be keto as rice flour is often in the mixture.

  • Candy: Many candy companies are starting to make low-carb food options to help satisfy the sweet tooth without raising blood sugar levels. Atkins has an entire line of keto candy (some gluten-free, others not); Quest has a couple of excellent options; Russell Stover is a candy giant that has branched out into sugar-free, and so has Hershey.

  • Cheese (Processed): As previously stated, processed cheeses may be lower-carbohydrate than you would hope and might also have gluten in them.

  • Cookies: There are many keto cookies for anyone watching their carb count. Catalina Crunch is a keto and gluten-free brand and comes in many flavors. Quest makes delicious cookies that are excellent when slightly warmed in the microwave. Also available in many flavors and gluten-free are Highkey cookies.

  • Crackers: When eating the delicious cheeses mentioned above, you might find yourself craving crackers. If you are also gluten-free, make sure you are buying crackers made with almond flour.

  • Meats (Processed): Sausages, meat sticks, etc., will be higher in carbohydrates than less processed foods and might have gluten. Anyone with a wheat allergy needs to read labels carefully.

Navigating Sauces and Spices on a Gluten-Free Keto Diet

Although sauces and spices are a great way to dress up your foods, you need to be careful when eating gluten-free keto. Many sauces, such as soy sauce, have gluten unless they specifically say they do not. Also, sauces with sweeteners added can knock you out of a state of ketosis if you are not careful. As always, be vigilant about reading labels.

As you craft your keto recipes, stick to foods in their most natural form and season them with herbs and spices that are in powder or granular form for the lowest carb choice. If looking at marinades, be careful not to choose those high in sugar.