Gluten is a protein in wheat (all kinds, including spelt, Kamut, Khorasan, einkorn and farro/emmer), barley, rye and triticale (a rye/wheat hybrid) that is hard for some people to digest.
This group includes the estimated 1-2% of the population with celiac disease – an autoimmune form of gluten intolerance – who must eat a gluten-free diet for life. Other people may not have celiac disease, but may be allergic to wheat (about 0.2-0.4% of people) or may have what’s termed non-celiac gluten sensitivity (a group some experts estimate at from 1% to 6% of the population) through new research shows NCGS may not actually be the issue it was once thought to be.
There’s no reason for the rest of us to go gluten-free, no matter what fear-mongering books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain may say. Peer-reviewed scientiﬁc journals like those below have rebutted the misconceptions in pop-science books like these, with a point-by-point approach:
A select few whole grains contain gluten, while the rest are naturally gluten-free. It’s important to double-check food labels when purchasing whole grains. Even gluten-free whole grains can be contaminated with gluten, especially if they are processed in the same facility as gluten-containing foods
For example, oats are often processed in facilities that also process wheat, which can lead to cross-contamination. For this reason, you should confirm that the oats you purchase are certified gluten-free.
Gluten-Free Whole Grains
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
Grains to Avoid
- Wheat, all varieties (whole wheat, wheat berries, Graham, bulgur, farro, farina, durum, kamut, bromated flour, spelt, etc.)
These gluten-containing grains are often used to make products like bread, crackers, pasta, cereals, baked goods, and snack foods.
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance you should careful when eating it highly recommend that to bring your own to reduce the chance of you getting sick from gluten.