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Are sprouted grains gluten-free?

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Updated June 01, 2013

Are sprouted grains gluten-free?

Are sprouted grains gluten-free?

Getty Images/Lilli Day
Question: Are sprouted grains gluten-free?
Answer:

Not if they're wheat, barley or rye, or close relatives of those grains.

Rumors have circulated for a long time (years, in fact) that sprouted grains — i.e., grains that have germinated — are gluten-free, especially when used in breads, even if they start out containing gluten. Despite these rumors, this simply isn't true.

Gluten is a protein that grass plants store in their seeds, which we know as their grains. (You can read more about this in the article What Is Gluten?) When a seed germinates, it does begin to use up some of the gluten to nourish the growing plant. But plenty of gluten remains in the sprouts used in sprouted wheat bread.

Therefore, if a bread lists "sprouted wheat" on its ingredients — or any of these names for various forms of wheat, including kamut, spelt, Einkorn and bulgur — you need to avoid that bread if you've got celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. The same goes for breads or other products containing sprouted rye or sprouted barley, both of which also are gluten-containing grains.

Gluten-free grains, such as buckwheat and millet, should be safe when sprouted and used in bread and other products.

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
  4. Gluten-Free Diet
  5. Gluten-Free Grains
  6. Are Sprouted Grains Gluten-Free - What You Need to Know

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