Gluten free grains, such as quinoa, teff, amaranth, etc., are a healthy addition to a gluten-free diet because they are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. It is very important to choose gluten free grains labeled gluten-free since these grains can be easily contaminated by gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye and barley.1
Dried and canned beans and legumes (lentils, split peas, and chick peas) are also nutritional powerhouses. More recently we have been able to find labeled gluten free canned and dried beans, (kidney, black, pinto, etc.) and legumes in the grocery stores and online. To prevent cross contact, do not purchase grains or beans, etc., from bulk bins. Purchase them in sealed packages labeled gluten-free. “Under GIPSA standards (Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration), lentils are allowed to contain a certain percentage of foreign grain, including wheat, barley, and rye.”2 So, whether you choose labeled or certified gluten-free dried beans, peas and legumes or not, it’s a good idea to spread them out on a cookie sheet and look for random grains of wheat, rye and barley.2 Rinse and drain them carefully. Rinse and drain canned ones, as well.
Check out glutenfreewatchdog.org for more information on foreign grains found in lentil packages (both certified packages and those labeled “naturally gluten-free food”).
- Thompson T, Lee AR, Grace T. Gluten Contamination of Grains, Seeds, and Flours in the United States: A Pilot Study. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:937-940 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20497786
- Thompson, T. Gluten-Free Watchdog. General Product Warning: Check Your Lentils (including certified gluten-free lentils) for Foreign Grain. Dec 2016.
- Thompson, T. Gluten-Free Watchdog. More Foreign Grain Found in Edison Grainery Lentils. Gluten-Free Watchdog. Nov 2017.
Note: This information is provided by NCA and Melinda Dennis, NCA's Senior Consulting Dietitian. This information is meant for educational purposes and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. This information can be printed and used in consultation with your physician or dietitian. No liability is assumed by NCA, Ms. Dennis or her nutrition consulting service Delete the Wheat, LLC. by providing this information..