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The Grains That Contain Dietary Gluten

Although few in number, the gluten-containing grains, called toxic or unsafe grains, are widely used in food preparation. The excessively high use of unsafe grains in the Western diet makes avoiding consumption difficult. The chart below highlights the four gluten-containing grains, popular strains of wheat, and triticale.  Triticale does not naturally occur but is hybidized by crossing wheat with rye.

  • Wheat and these wheat strains: Durum, Kamut, Spelt, Einkorn, Emmer, Farro.
  • Barley.
  • Rye.
  • Triticale (wheat / rye hybrid).
  • Oat.

Anatomy Of Gluten-Containing Grains

Gluten that is the cause of  immune responses in susceptible individuals is a formless storage protein in wheat, rye, barley and oat grains. These grains belong to the grass family of seed plants, called cereal grains. Gluten is called a “storage protein” because it is stored, or inactive, until the seed begins to grow.


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