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Are Lentils Really Gluten Free?



Are lentils technically gluten free?  This is a great question and one that is so confusing.  Many grains (lentils, rice, corn, quinoa, etc…) are inherently gluten free. But when you get the grain home is it still gluten free?  It is possible that the grains became contaminated during processing and therefore are no longer gluten free.

One of my readers, Cindy, asked me yesterday about which lentils I purchase and do I worry if they are contaminated.  I told her that personally I don’t worry about it but I know many of you are concerned and need to be.  My family isn’t as sensitive as most and we have never reacted to contaminated lentils or other grains, such as rice, which we eat on a regular basis.

Cindy’s question was what brand of lentils are safe.  She knew that Tru-Roots has a wonderful sprouted certified gluten-free lentil but that it wouldn’t hold up in a slow cooker, which was her goal.  After some research Cindy reported in that Arrowhead Mills green and red lentils are tested and are indeed gluten free.

So thanks Cindy for you question and your research about the lentils.  If you know of other brands that are tested to be gluten free, please let us know in the comment section.

Here are some of my favorite lentil recipes.

Easy Thyme Lentils

Meditteranean Lentil and Chickpea Salad

Lentil and Sausage Soup

Nutrient Dense Lentil Soup

 

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11 Responses to “Are Lentils Really Gluten Free?”

  1. Mishi says:

    Huh…I never even thought of that! It never ceases to amaze me that after almost 3 1/2 yrs of being diagnosed with Celiac and nut/wheat allergies, I still learn something new all the time! Thanks for bringing this question to light:) I love Arrowhead Mills! Having nut allergies too really limits me on the GF products I can use…the major one being Bob’s Red Mill, which really stinks because they make so many GF mixes~! They produce almond meal on the same lines as their other mixes (which Ill never understand!). They say they sterilize their lines, but I am so extremely sensitive, that I am afraid to even try it.

  2. Hi Jen,
    A technicality, lentils are legumes, not grains. Still, it is important to always be wary of cross contamination. I personally don’t worry when I am buying whole foods, rather than flours. I can see a stray wheat seed mixed in. And I have not found any. With flours though, it is impossible to see. Tricia Thompson, Anne Roland Lee, and Thomas Grace sampled and tested naturally gluten free “grains” for cross contamination. They found contamination in one third of the samples. To be really safe, it is best to buy products that have been tested for gluten by the manufacturer. You can see Tricia’s post here:
    http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/contamination-of-naturally-guten-free-grains/

    And a follow up here:
    http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/contamination-of-naturally-gluten-free-grains-part-2/

    Here is a link to the abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20497786

    • Jen Cafferty says:

      Hi Linda,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and share Tricia’s links. As always, Tricia has such great information!

  3. Marta says:

    Thanks so much! I’m eating more vegetarian fare and keep getting cross-contaminated with lentils, even after sorting and rinsing. Great to know Att

  4. Liliane says:

    Just spoke with arrowhead mills. Their products are not certified gluten free! They package their gluten containing products in the same facility as gluten free products. When they say their products are gluten free they are just stating that the product is inherently gluten free but those products won’t necessarily leave their facility uncontaminated. Very frustrating!

  5. barb says:

    Thanks for the info. We consistently pull whole wheat grains out of the lentil packages of most brands we can find. My daughter’s ttg continues to show problems although mine is fine. The lentils are the only source we cn think of even though we have tested our lentil- based foods using ez gluten test strips and I ave never heard of anyone with problems with lentils.

    • wheatsauced says:

      I have been suspect of lentils for a while now. I’m on a cleanse and was served sprouted lentils and had a major breakout. I’m glad to finally figure it out . It doesn’t matter how many times you rinse them. Lentils should go in the same category as oats, all contaminated unless they state otherwise and tested certified gf . I will be telling everyone about lentil contamination. Thanks for doing the research.

  6. Judith says:

    I like the small green French lentils – the flavor is great and they don’t get mushy so quickly, but I always find wheat kernels mixed in. I never find wheat kernels in the plain, larger, pale green lentils. Does anyone know why this occurs?

  7. Simon says:

    All lentils are typically grown in rotation with cereals due to the nitrogen fixing properties of the leguminous plants. Wheat is also co-gown in fields of lentils as support plants to prevent the lentil plants falling in the wind and rotting on the ground. The practice of rotation is commercially a winner especially with the rising cost of fertilisers. No body will guarantee gluten / cereal free products due to these agricultural practices and/or the adventitious contamination during harvesting, transportation and packing processes. Cleaning is not an option especially with the smaller e.g Dark Speckled / Puy type as wheat grains are similar size to lentil.

  8. karen says:

    I have been getting increasingly sick, i.e. poisoned over 3 days due to -what I realize now- are lentils. Thank goodness I know. I was starting to get scared that I am getting allergic to something else, but all I’ve been eating for 3 days has been certified gluten-free food and my own home-made lentil soup. So happy to find this article, thank you!

    I’ll put my attempts to return to my veggie diet on hold for a bit until I get back my courage ;-)

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