Yes, meat is naturally gluten-free. Plain cuts of meat including beef, poultry, pork, rabbit, lamb, and fish are completely free from gluten, but some processed or packaged meats can contain hidden sources of gluten, and you need to know what to look for.
We've compiled this list of guidelines to help you avoid gluten when looking for a great sources of protein with meat.
1. Different Meat Preparations Can Contain Gluten
Some meat preparations contain added ingredients such as wheat flour or wheat-based starches. Fried meats are often breaded or floured with a mixture that contains gluten.
Additionally, keep an eye on the ingredients in marinades, sauces, broths, and braises.
2. Watch Out for Gluten in Common Ingredients Added to Meat
Some processed meat products or dishes contain hidden ingredients that could be harmful to those following a gluten-free diet.
For example, soy sauce and teriyaki sauces contain wheat and are therefore unsafe for those who have celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant.
3. Packaged Meats are Hit or Miss
Many processed meats may contain gluten. Processed meat products include hot dogs, sausages, pork rolls, packaged deli meats, spam, canned chicken, and canned fish.
It’s important to check the ingredient label to confirm if the product contains gluten. You can also check for a certified gluten-free badge.
4. Cooking at Home Presents Some Risk
When cooking meat at home make sure to prevent cross-contamination between slicers, knives, bowls and spoons that might introduce wheat and wheat products to gluten-free foods.
5. Always Read the Ingredient Labels
Food producers are required by law to list any ingredients that contain gluten as it is a major allergen. If a product contains gluten, it should be on the food label.
Make sure to purchase from reputable producers that follow the rules to produce high quality products.
Your Quick Guide to Gluten-Free Protein
Here's a quick guide to meat and gluten.
Meats Free from Gluten
- Red Meat (fresh beef, pork)
- Exotic Meat (elk, bison)
- Poultry (fresh chicken, turkey)
- Seafood (fish, scallops, shellfish)
- Almost all fresh meat
Meats to Check for Gluten
- Processed meats (hot dogs, pepperoni, sausage, salami, bacon)
- Meat substitutes (veggie burgers and soy burgers)
- Lunch meat, cold cuts
- Ground Meats
- Proteins that contain sauces or seasonings
- Ready-to-eat protein sources such as meal-kits
Meats to Avoid for Gluten
- any meat, poultry, or fish that has been breaded
- proteins mixed with wheat-based ingredients such as soy sauce
Your New Favorite Gluten-Free Meat Snack
Wether you have Celiac disease or a gluten-aversion, finding healthy gluten-free snacks can be a challenge. But no longer.
Check out our full line of 100% gluten-free beef jerky. Our beef jerky is manufactured in a USDA-inspected facility that ensures the strictest safeguards to prevent cross-contamination.
There is no wheat starch, no wheat, and no gluten.
You can rest assured that our gluten-free beef jerky options are made without any wheat or wheat products.