What has fiber but no gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten can cause serious health issues. Thankfully, there are many nutritious and delicious gluten-free foods that are naturally fiber-rich.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (gliadin and glutenin), as well as related grains like barley (hordein) and rye (secalin). The gluten found in these grains helps give bread its chewy texture and allows dough to rise.

For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten can cause issues like diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, headaches, and more. It’s estimated that about 1% of Americans have celiac disease, while 6-10% have gluten sensitivity.

What is Fiber?

Dietary fiber refers to the parts of plant foods that cannot be completely broken down by human digestive enzymes. While fiber passes through the digestive system largely intact, it provides many health benefits.

There are two main types of dietary fiber:

  • Soluble fiber – dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels.
  • Insoluble fiber – does not dissolve in water. It adds bulk to stool and helps food pass more quickly through the digestive system.

Getting enough fiber is important for digestive health, heart health, stabilizing blood sugar levels, aiding weight loss, and more. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

Gluten-Free Foods High in Fiber

While gluten-free versions of breads, pastas, and other wheat products are now widely available, these processed foods are often lacking in fiber compared to their gluten-containing counterparts. Focusing on naturally gluten-free fiber-rich foods can provide more nutritional benefits.


All vegetables are naturally gluten-free, and many are loaded with fiber. Some examples of high-fiber veggies include:

  • Green peas – 9 grams of fiber per cup
  • Broccoli – 5 grams per cup
  • Carrots – 3 grams per cup
  • Brussels sprouts – 3 grams per cup
  • Artichokes – 10 grams per medium artichoke
  • Potatoes with skin – 4 grams per medium potato


Fresh, frozen, dried, and canned fruits are safe gluten-free options that can boost fiber intake. Some top high-fiber fruits are:

  • Raspberries – 8 grams of fiber per cup
  • Pear – 6 grams per medium pear
  • Strawberries – 3 grams per cup
  • Banana – 3 grams per medium banana
  • Prunes – 3 grams per 4 prunes
  • Figs – 5 grams per 3 figs
  • Avocado – 10 grams per medium avocado

Legumes, Nuts and Seeds

Beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds are naturally gluten-free plant foods with lots of fiber. Just a half-cup serving of these foods can provide significant amounts of fiber:

  • Split peas – 8 grams
  • Lentils – 8 grams
  • Black beans – 7.5 grams
  • Almonds – 3.5 grams
  • Pistachios – 3 grams
  • Chia seeds – 10 grams
  • Flaxseeds – 8 grams

Whole Grains

There are many gluten-free whole grains that provide plentiful fiber. Options include:

  • Oats – 4 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Brown rice – 3.5 grams per 1/2 cup
  • Quinoa – 5 grams per 1 cup cooked
  • Buckwheat – 4.5 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
  • Amaranth – 5 grams per 1 cup cooked
  • Millet – 2 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
  • Sorghum – 3 grams per 1/2 cup cooked
  • Teff – 3 grams per 1/4 cup uncooked

Be sure to check labels and purchase certified gluten-free oats or grains, as cross-contamination is possible during growing and processing if wheat is handled in the same facilities.

Tips for Boosting Fiber Intake

Making fiber-rich gluten-free foods a regular part of your eating pattern can ensure you meet daily fiber needs for good health. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Go for whole foods. Focus on getting fiber from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, nuts and gluten-free whole grains instead of processed gluten-free products.
  • Read labels. Check the Nutrition Facts panel to compare fiber content and choose foods with more fiber per serving.
  • Start the day right. Try a gluten-free high-fiber breakfast like oatmeal, quinoa porridge or an avocado and veggie omelet.
  • Snack smart. Pair fruits, vegetables, nuts or hummus with gluten-free crackers for fiber-filled snacks.
  • Load up at meals. Include a bean salad, roasted veggies and quinoa pilaf alongside gluten-free proteins at lunch and dinner.
  • Desserts count. Enjoy fresh fruit, dark chocolate with nuts, or coconut yogurt with gluten-free granola to add fiber to treats.
  • Drink fluids. Getting enough water helps fiber work effectively. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses daily.

Sample High-Fiber Gluten-Free Menu

Eating more high-fiber foods can be simple by incorporating them throughout your daily meals and snacks. Here is an example of a gluten-free menu providing over 40 grams of fiber:

Meal Foods Fiber (grams)
Breakfast 1/2 cup oats cooked with 1 cup non-dairy milk, 1/4 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp chia seeds 8
Snack 1 medium apple with 1 Tbsp almond butter 5
Lunch Tuna salad sandwich on gluten-free bread, 1 cup carrot sticks, 3/4 cup chickpea salad 12
Snack 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 3
Dinner 4 oz salmon, 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup broccoli, 1/2 cup lentils 16
Daily Total 44

The Bottom Line

Following a gluten-free diet does not have to mean missing out on important nutrients like fiber. In fact, by focusing on fiber-rich whole foods that are naturally gluten-free like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and gluten-free grains, it’s easy to meet and exceed daily fiber needs for good digestive and overall health.

Leave a Comment