Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause gastrointestinal issues like bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Approximately 1% of people worldwide have celiac disease, and 6-7% have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity. As a result, following a gluten-free diet has become an important health requirement for many.
Turkey is naturally gluten-free. However, some ground turkey contains additives that may contain traces of gluten. When purchasing ground turkey, it’s important to read ingredient labels carefully to ensure the product is 100% gluten-free. This article will identify which popular brands of ground turkey are gluten-free.
What to Look for When Purchasing Gluten-Free Ground Turkey
When evaluating ground turkey products for gluten, here are some tips:
– Check the ingredients list for wheat, barley, rye, malt, or oats. These grains contain gluten.
– Look for a “gluten-free” label on the packaging. This indicates the product has been tested to verify it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.
– Opt for 100% ground turkey without seasonings or flavorings, which can sometimes contain gluten as added ingredients. Plain ground turkey contains just one ingredient – turkey.
– If choosing a seasoned variety, look for products labeled “gluten-free” and check the ingredients list for potential sources of gluten.
– When in doubt, contact the manufacturer directly to inquire about the gluten status of the product. Many have customer service lines and can verify if their turkey contains gluten.
Popular Brands of Gluten-Free Ground Turkey
Here is an overview of some common national brands of ground turkey that offer gluten-free options:
Butterball’s all natural, plain ground turkey is gluten-free. Their Jennie-O brand also has plain ground turkey that is naturally gluten-free. However, some of their flavored turkey ground products contain seasonings with gluten. Check each package’s ingredients list.
Honeysuckle White’s regular ground turkey is gluten-free. They also offer Italian style and taco flavored ground turkey labeled “gluten-free” that have been tested to verify gluten levels below 20 ppm.
In addition to Butterball’s Jennie-O plain ground turkey, Jennie-O also offers Italian seasoned and taco seasoned ground turkey options that are certified gluten-free with the GFCO logo on the packaging.
Shady Brook Farms
Shady Brook Farms has an all natural plain ground turkey product that contains just turkey and is gluten-free. They also sell a gluten-free Italian style ground turkey.
Honeysuckle White’s regular ground turkey is gluten-free. Their Italian style and taco flavored ground turkey options are also labeled gluten-free and verified to contain under 20 ppm of gluten.
Cargill’s Shady Brook Farms brand offers plain ground turkey that is gluten-free, along with an Italian flavored ground turkey certified gluten-free.
Foster Farms’ ground turkey is naturally gluten-free. They also have Italian style and taco seasoned ground turkey that is tested gluten-free to less than 20 ppm.
Perdue Short Cuts plain ground turkey contains just turkey and is gluten-free. Their Italian style Short Cuts ground turkey is also labeled gluten-free and contains under 20 ppm of gluten.
Plainville Farms ground turkey contains just turkey and is gluten-free. They also offer gluten-free sweet Italian turkey sausage and hot Italian turkey sausage products.
Kirkland brand ground turkey from Costco is gluten-free. The only ingredient listed is turkey. There are no seasonings or flavorings.
Trader Joe’s carries plain ground turkey that is gluten-free. They also sell Italian sausage flavored ground turkey and taco flavored ground turkey that are certified gluten-free.
Fresh Thyme Market
At Fresh Thyme grocery stores, the plain fresh ground turkey product is gluten-free. They also sell Italian style turkey sausage patties that are certified gluten-free to less than 10 ppm.
Other Tips for Following a Gluten-Free Diet
When cooking gluten-free, here are some additional pointers:
– Choose corn or rice-based bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs that contain gluten.
– Use corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas to make tacos, enchiladas, etc. Corn is naturally gluten-free.
– Verify broths, stocks, bouillon cubes, and gravy mixes are labeled gluten-free, as some can contain wheat.
– For thickening roux, use rice flour or cornstarch instead of regular wheat flour.
– Use gluten-free oats, as regular oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat during processing.
– Check seasoning mixes, marinades, and sauces for gluten-containing ingredients.
– Look at labels for soups, chips, crackers, sauces, dressings, snacks and other processed foods, which can contain hidden sources of gluten.
When adapting recipes to be gluten-free, refer to this guide for ingredient swaps:
|Recipe Calls For||Substitute With|
|Wheat flour||Gluten-free flour blend, rice flour, buckwheat flour, almond flour|
|Bread crumbs||Gluten-free bread crumbs, cornmeal, ground nuts|
|Pasta||Gluten-free pasta, rice noodles, quinoa pasta|
|Couscous||Quinoa, gluten-free couscous|
|Soy sauce||Coconut aminos|
|Beer||Gluten-free beer, vegetable stock|
Gluten-Free Snack Ideas
It can be challenging to find quick, gluten-free snacks on the go. Here are some portable options:
– Fresh fruit like apples, oranges, bananas
– Trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit
– Rice cakes or gluten-free crackers with nut butter
– Snack bars labeled gluten-free
– Nut and seed packs
– Meat sticks
– Yogurt labeled gluten-free
– Vegetable crudités
Keep gluten-free snacks on hand at home and work so you always have something available. Pack snacks when traveling or running errands.
Dining Out Gluten-Free
Eating at restaurants on a gluten-free diet can be tricky. Here are some tips:
– Research the menu in advance and look for gluten-free options
– Ask if dishes can be modified to be gluten-free
– Request food prep surfaces and utensils be cleaned before preparing your meal
– Verify with the wait staff that your order is gluten-free
– Ask for sauces and dressings on the side
– Check that fried items have separate gluten-free oil
– Avoid breaded items unless the menu specifies gluten-free breading
– Opt for naturally gluten-free foods like grilled meat, fish, vegetables
– Only eat breads or pastas that are labeled gluten-free
– Look for a gluten-free designation on the menu
– Check chain restaurants’ gluten-free menus online
– Explain food allergy concerns to staff to take extra precautions
Common Gluten Contaminants
In addition to the obvious bread, pasta, crackers and baked goods, gluten can hide in these common foods:
– Seasonings, spice blends, marinades
– Soup bases, broths, bouillon
– Soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
– Salad dressings, vinaigrettes
– Gravies, sauces
– Flavored rice mixes
– Panko bread crumbs
– Croutons, stuffing
– Licorice candy
– Flavored coffee creamers
– Processed luncheon meats
– French fries with wheat-based coating
– Imitation bacon bits
– Self-basting poultry injected with broths containing gluten
Carefully reading ingredient lists can help identify these hidden sources of gluten. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
While wheat, barley and rye contain gluten, these grains and seeds are naturally gluten-free:
– Oats labeled gluten-free**
– Nut flours
**Look for certified gluten-free oats, as regular oats are often cross-contaminated.
Base your diet around these gluten-free whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat. Use them for grain bowls, as a substitute for oatmeal, in pilafs, and more.
Well-Known Gluten-Free Brands
If you’re unsure about the gluten status of a product, look for these established gluten-free brands:
– Canyon Bakehouse
– Kinnikinnick Foods
– Pamela’s Products
– Against the Grain Gourmet
– Bob’s Red Mill (products labeled gluten-free)
– King Arthur (products labeled gluten-free)
– Namaste Foods
– Enjoy Life Foods
– Lundberg Farms (products labeled gluten-free)
– Annie’s Homegrown (products labeled gluten-free)
– Ancient Harvest
– Simple Mills
Buying certified gluten-free products from dedicated brands can provide peace of mind. Be sure to still check the packaging to confirm the item is labeled gluten-free.
Following a gluten-free diet requires diligence reading labels, verifying ingredients, and being aware of cross-contamination risks. But there are many high quality, gluten-free alternatives available. Stick to naturally gluten-free whole foods, choose reputable brands, and contact companies when in doubt. With care and planning, people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can thrive on a gluten-free lifestyle.