The Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet and Gluten-Free Diets

Recently, I've been seeing requests for more information about gluten-free eating and the whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet. I've also seen concerns about restaurants charging more when dishes are asked for to be gluten-free.

But the wonderful thing about the WFPB diet is that as long as you avoid the foods that you already know you can't eat (wheat, rye, barley, etc.), then you can eat everything else that is on the diet. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually ate anything on the WFPB diet that contained gluten.

According to the Mayo Clinic, none of the following foods that are the mainstay of a WFPB diet contain gluten:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Soy
  • Flax
  • Just about everything we eat on a WFPB diet
And although not mentioned by the Mayo Clinic, I would add oats to that list. Oats in fact are a great substitute for eating wheat.

It's probably easier to list the foods that shouldn't be eaten on a gluten-free diet but could be eaten on a WFPB diet. Those foods include:
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Bulgur
  • Many of the flours used to make pastas and breads
Since I almost never eat pasta or bread, I find myself eating a gluten-free diet without even realizing it. That's how easy it is to eat gluten-free on a WFPB diet. And if you don't order pasta in a restaurant or eat the bread, then you should never have to pay extra for a gluten-free meal in a restaurant.

So, while eating gluten-free may require a lot of strategy and thought on other diets, the beauty of the WFPB diet is that gluten-free eating is very easy to do on a WFPB diet. Just pick up any WFPB cookbook and select any of the numerous recipes that don't list ingredients containing wheat. And enjoy!