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Seven Common Questions about Gluten and Grains

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Updated April 08, 2014

Below are the most common readers' questions about gluten and grains. Read the short answers here, and for more information follow the links to the full answers.

What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein in cereal grains. In people with celiac disease, gluten in wheat, barley and rye triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine.
Read the full answer to “What is gluten?”

Which grains contain gluten?
The gluten in wheat, barley, and rye is not safe for people with celiac disease. Technically, some form of gluten is found in all grains, so it's not really correct to refer to other grains as "gluten-free," but that's what gluten-free customarily means: free of wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives.
Read the full answer to “Which grains contain gluten?”

Which grains are safe for people with celiac disease?
In addition to corn and rice, gluten-free grains include amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff.
Read more about which grains (and starches) are safe for people with celiac disease.

Is spelt gluten-free?
Spelt is not gluten-free. It is a species of wheat and is not safe for people with celiac disease or anyone else on a gluten-free diet.
Read the full answer to “Is spelt gluten-free?”

Is buckwheat gluten-free?
Despite its name, buckwheat is not wheat. It’s gluten-free, and it’s safe for people with celiac disease. Buckwheat and wheat are from completely different botanical families. Buckwheat seeds are technically the fruit of the Fagopyrum esculentum plant.
Read the full answer to “Is buckwheat gluten-free?”

Are oats safe for people with celiac disease?
Can gluten-free patients with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis eat oats? Most large celiac organizations and medical centers are advising that limited amounts of gluten-free oats* are probably safe.
Read the full answer to “Are oats safe for people with celiac disease?”
*Where to Buy Gluten-Free Oats

What does “whole grain” mean?
Refined grains have been processed to remove bran and germ. This processing removes fiber, iron, and vitamins. In other words, refined grains have less fiber and are less nutritious than whole grains. Whole grains are a recommended part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Read the full answer to “What does ‘whole grain’ mean?”

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
  4. Gluten-Free Diet
  5. Gluten-Free Grains
  6. Which Grains Have Gluten - Which Grains are Gluten-Free

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