September 01, 2010

Gluten Free Grains

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what grains contain gluten?
If you are looking for foods that contain gluten free grains, then it is important to understand what exactly the term “gluten free” entails to begin with.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in many grains, cereals, breads, desserts, and flours. This protein cannot be processed correctly by people who are allergic to gluten, those who are gluten sensitive, and people who have celicac disease. And some people decide to avoid gluten by choice.

 By definition, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), gluten free grains (and all gluten free foods, for that matter) cannot contain any of the following:

  • All forms of wheat
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Any and all derivatives of the above

List of Gluten Free Grains

One of the best examples of gluten free grains is one particular type of grain known as Quinoa. Quinoa is a grain grown primarily in South America. Quinoa is not only gluten free, but it is also high in fiber. It is a complete protein that contains large amounts of the elements lysine, manganese, magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. Being as protein-rich as it is, it makes for an excellent component of a vegan diet. Listed below are several other examples of gluten free grains and starches:
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzos)
  • Corn
  • Flax
  • Flours from nuts/beans/seeds
  • Millet
  • Potato starch or flour
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (and rice bran/flour)
  • Sago
  • Sorghum
  • Soy (but not most soy sauce)
  • Tapioca
  • Teff
Any of the above are grains and starches which are deemed safe to eat, as gluten free grains. To be 100 percent gluten free, these should also be free from the opportunity of cross contamination. You can eat them stand-alone or you can use them as ingredients in other foods.

List of Grains Containing Gluten

Here is a list of grains and grain products to avoid at all costs, because they do most likely contain gluten or have a high chance of cross contamination:
  • Barley
  • Barley malt/extract
  • Bran
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Faro
  • Kamut
  • Malt
  • Matzo flour/meal
  • Orzo
  • Panko
  • Rye
  • Seitan
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Udon
  • Wheat
  • Wheat bran / germ / starch


  1. Ok, kinda confused here. Oats are mentioned in the top FDA list but not the "avoid" list, nor are they on the "List of Foods Containing Gluten."

    What's the deal with oats?

    1. Anonymous6:35 PM

      Oats themselves are gluten free, specifically steel cut oats, but they are usually cross contaminated with some form of flour.

    2. The thing to know is that almost 80 to 90% of wheat/soy/corn nowadays is GMO so we are screwed either way.

  2. I'm confused to!

  3. From the website listed above:

    These raw ingredients have special conditions:

    Oats - they have long been one of the 4 grains which were confirmed to contain gluten, but it now seems it was only by association. They have always been processed together with wheat products so there were always traces of gluten present in oats. Improvements in processing have reduced this and many nutritionists now consider oats to be gluten free.
    HOWEVER: we recommend seeking personal advice on oats and looking for organic, individually processed oats which are certified gluten free. This information is always changing so keep up with the latest news from your local health food shop… or us of course. We still consider oats to be one of the 4 grains containing gluten, but believe this will not be the case much longer.

  4. I'm sorry for the confusion! I hope this helps clear it up:

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  6. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Oats - To avoid consuming gluten with oats, it is safer to opt for pure oats which have not been ground in a mill which grinds wheat. Therefore avoiding cross contamination of the naturally gluten free oat.
    However there is a protein in oats named Avenin, which is physically very similar to the gluten protein. Some coeliac's find that Avenin triggers the auto immune response responsible for damaging their intestines. Inclusion of dietary oats should therefore be carefully considered in those with coeliac disease.

  7. What gluten-free grains or products can give that chewy tecture we all love so much in bread and bagels?

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Anonymous9:56 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Corn DOES contain gluten. It is a different type of protein than that found in wheat, but testing has shown it can be just as harmful to a person with gluten intolerance or Celiacs Disease. My wife and her cousin have Celiacs Disease and have learned this the hard way.

    1. This also includes rice, sorghum, and several other grains once considered gluten free. The rule is, if it is a grain, it has gluten. And Quinoa is not exactly a grain. Here is another good article on Quinoa

  11. Anonymous5:33 PM

    Um..."Panko" literally means "bread-children" in Japanese (they don't have any indicators for pluralizations so we must use context to work that out). Essentially, it's "breadcrumbs". It's not a grain in and of itself but something made from grains.
    Seitan is wheat gluten itself, taken from wheat to be a sort of protein for people. It is also not a grain but a product of it, like matzo meal (wheat), couscous (which is kind of like a pasta) and semolina (wheat again).