Grains: Which grains contain gluten?

Gluten is the name for the protein in grains. All grains contain protein that is theoretically gluten but people with celiac disease and most other gluten allergies only react to the form of gluten found in wheat (including spelt, kamut, triticale and all varieties of wheat), barley, and rye.

While it’s not really correct to refer to other grains as “gluten-free,” they are free from the form of gluten found in varieties of wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives and are safe for people with celiac disease and most gluten intolerances.

Products that may be used in a “gluten-free” diet include amaranth, arrowroot, buckwheat, chickpea (garbanzo) flour, corn, flax, millet, potato starch or flour, quinoa, rice (rice bran and flour), sago, sorghum, soy, tapioca, and teff. While oats do not contain the form of gluten that can not be used by people who are sensitive to the gluten in wheat, barley, and rye, it is often processed on the same equipment as is wheat so it is important to look for oatmeal that is labeled gluten-free.

Grains and grain products that should not be included in a “gluten-free” diet because they contain the form of gluten not safe for people with celiac and most gluten intolerances or have a high chance of cross contamination in their production include barley, barley malt or extract, bran, bulgur, couscous, durum, farina, faro, kamut, malt, matzo flour or meal, orzo, panko, rye, seitan, semolina, spelt, triticale. udon, wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, or wheat starch. It is always important to read product labels. Some products such as soy sauce and other seasonings and sauces contain wheat.

Whole grains are an important part of a healthy diet and a gluten-free diet has no health-related benefit for people who do not have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

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9 Responses to Grains: Which grains contain gluten?

  1. Vicki Wayne says:

    Unfortunately I am gluten intolerant and am struggling with lables, receipes, and have pretty much given up eating out. This article was very informative.



  3. Louise V. says:

    I’m trying to cut out all nightshades, and gluten, and your list is the most comprehensive I’ve found. Thank you!

  4. Kristie H says:

    I have peripheral neuropathy and have had it for the last 6 years now. I am going to try to cut out the wheat that you have talked about and see if I notice a difference. This is all very confusing though because first I hear that regular noodles are not good for you, so I switched over to the whole grain and by what you said I’m not sure if that is even good for me.

  5. Celiac Person says:

    The gluten that is in corn (zein) may have a different name than the gluten in wheat (gliadin), but it is in fact gluten and it has not been sufficiently studied. Nonetheless, many celiac and gluten intolerant people cannot eat it without damaging their guts. A 2005 study published in the journal Gut indicated that celiac patients who consumed corn had an inflammatory response. Many celiac patients go to great lengths to avoid any exposure to “gluten” (i.e. wheat) and still get sick. Doctors and nutritionists are often at a loss and tell the patient to work harder at avoiding wheat and cross-contamination (a good general rule of thumb), but patients who have worked hard to avoid it start to wonder if it’s even worth it or if it’s their faults somehow. If they would only try eliminating corn as well, they may do significantly better. Gluten Free Society has more information about this.

  6. Prateek says:

    Does black wheat also contains gluten?

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