Plain yogurt is made with milk that's been fermented with friendly bacteria until it thickens and develops a tangy taste. In its pure form, yogurt is gluten-free, and you can enjoy it on the gluten-free diet assuming you're not also steering clear of milk products.
However, the flavorings and sweeteners used in commercially available yogurt aren't always gluten-free. In addition, even plain yogurt you buy in stores can be subject to gluten cross-contamination that makes it unsafe for those of us with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
Here's the list of yogurt brands that are commonly available in the U.S., plus what each manufacturer has to say about whether the yogurt is gluten-free or not.
- Cabot yogurt. My refrigerator often contains Cabot cheese (which we've found is safe even for the very sensitive), and I was pleased to discover the Vermont-based company also produces Greek-style yogurt in seven different flavors, including plain, blueberry and vanilla bean. The company states that "all of Cabot's products are gluten-free. Any and all ingredients, anti-caking agents, etc. are researched and verified to be gluten-free."
- Chobani yogurt. Chobani offers plain thick Greek yogurt, plus a variety of different flavors ranging from the basics (strawberry and vanilla) to more interesting varieties (Blood Orange and Vanilla Chocolate Chunk). According to the company, "all varieties of our Greek Yogurt are naturally gluten-free, which means they contain no wheat, rye, or barley or other gluten-containing thickeners, gelatins, gum blends, or stabilizers." Chobani yogurt is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which tests products to make certain they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten.
- Dannon yogurt. Dannon offers a huge variety of flavors and styles of yogurt. Unfortunately, the company does not consider its products to be gluten-free, since "the natural system for stabilizing flavor might contain ingredients derived from gluten sources." The same statement applies to Oikos Greek yogurt, since it's made by Dannon.
- Fage yogurt. Greek yogurt maker Fage offers those split cups with fruit or a honey-based topping on one side and yogurt on the other. All flavors are considered gluten-free, according to the company.
- Stonyfield Farm. Stonyfield Farms makes yogurt and smoothies, plus Oikos organic Greek yogurt. It also makes YoBaby yogurt products and soy yogurt for those who avoid dairy along with gluten. All Stonyfield yogurts and yogurt-based products with the exception of YoToddler Plus Fruit & Cereal are certified gluten-free by the GFCO, which means they contain fewer than 10 parts per million of gluten.
- Voskos yogurt. Voskos, another brand of Greek-style thick yogurt, says its yogurt is gluten-free. However, Voskos fans should beware of the Voskos Plus Granola flavors, which most definitely are not gluten-free (the granola contains whole rolled wheat as its first ingredient).
- Yoplait yogurt. Yoplait, part of General Mills, features an extensive gluten-free list on the General Mills site GlutenFreely (click here for the list and scroll down to "Yoplait"). A spokesperson said the gluten-free list includes most but not all Yoplait products. Notably, the gluten-free parfaits with granola are not gluten-free (they contain regular oats and barley malt). Yoplait products are tested to 20 parts per million. If you have kids, GoGurt and Trix both are Yoplait products, and there are many of both on the GlutenFreely gluten-free list.
In addition to these national brands, most grocery stores also carry their own "private label" brands. To determine if these are considered safe or not on the gluten-free diet, you'll need to ask the store many offer gluten-free lists of products.
Just as with regular yogurt, many brands and flavors of frozen yogurt are safe. However, some are not. My gluten-free ice cream article provides some details on frozen yogurt you can purchase in stores.
Finally, if you enjoy going out for frozen yogurt, my article Gluten-Free Frozen Yogurt explains what you can enjoy safely and what you should avoid.