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Is Milk Gluten Free? Find Out If Milk Is Safe For Gluten-Intolerant People In 2023
Many people follow a gluten-free diet due to having celiac disease or gluten intolerance, for health reasons such as weight loss, or for personal preferences. Sometimes, foods we think would be gluten-free are not; for example, some dairy products contain gluten.
Some food products contain gluten naturally, while others contain additives that possess gluten. Is there gluten in milk, or is milk gluten-free? In this article, we’ll cover cases where milk might contain gluten, the types of gluten-free milk available, and milk’s health benefits.
Is Milk Gluten-Free?
Yes, dairy milk and most plant-based milk alternatives are naturally gluten-free. However, milk that has flavoring added may contain gluten.
Does Milk Contain Gluten?
Does milk have gluten? No, unflavored dairy milk does not contain gluten and is naturally gluten-free. However, there are many different types of milk. Some dairy milk with added flavoring may contain gluten because the flavors might be derived from gluten-containing grains. For example, chocolate milk or vanilla milk may contain gluten.
Most plant-based milk alternatives, such as soy, coconut, or almond, are also naturally gluten-free. However, milk made from gluten-containing grains wheat, barley, or rye should be avoided. Oats can often be contaminated with gluten, so always choose oat milk made with certified gluten-free oats.
In fact, opt for certified gluten-free options wherever possible. In the United States, food and beverage products labeled as gluten-free are regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and must be certified. Certified gluten-free food and beverage products contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten, as any less can not be detected.
However, not all gluten products are labeled, as it is voluntary. Hence, many naturally gluten-free products — such as dairy milk — will not be labeled as gluten-free.
If you have celiac disease, it is essential always to read the ingredients list for any gluten-containing ingredients. This is the best way you can ensure you do not consume gluten. Sometimes, even reading the ingredient list is insufficient to ensure gluten status, so you need to ask the manufacturer. If ever in doubt, it is best to not eat the food or beverage product in question.
If you are interested in trying out a gluten-free diet but are not sure where to start, there are many gluten-free meal delivery services available. This could allow you to try out some gluten-free meals before committing to a gluten-free diet.
Is Gluten Unhealthy?
Gluten is a protein found grains such as in wheat and other grains such as barley and rye. Celiac disease patients are unable to digest gluten and must adhere to a strict gluten-free diet. Those with gluten sensitivity may be able to tolerate some gluten, but individual tolerance will vary.
If you do not have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, there is no need to follow a gluten-free diet plan to be healthier, but some people may prefer it and find it works best for them.
The main focus of any healthy diet should be to consume a variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean proteins. Milk and gluten-containing foods can certainly be a part of a healthy diet.
Types Of Gluten-Free Milk
The best types of gluten-free milk include:
- Unflavored dairy milk is guaranteed to be gluten-free, including lactose-free milk. This means that is no need to follow a dairy-free diet if trying to avoid gluten. Some flavored dairy milk may contain gluten, so be sure to read the food label.
- Soy milk.
- Almond milk.
- Coconut milk.
- Certified gluten-free oat milk.
If you wish to eliminate dairy from your too diet, opt for a gluten-free plant-based alternative.
While it may seem challenging to determine what milk is gluten-free, it is pretty simple. Just look for products labeled gluten-free or that contain no gluten ingredients.
Is Milk Healthy?
Milk can certainly be part of a healthy diet. Dairy milk is high in protein and many essential vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium and phosphorous. These minerals are important for bone health.
Powerful Health Benefits Of Milk
Chronic Disease And Cancer Prevention
Research shows consuming milk products is beneficial for health. A 2021 review determined that milk consumption was associated with a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and osteoporosis.
Overall it was concluded that milk consumption is beneficial for human health and supports milk being part of a healthy diet.
A 2022 study found that children and adults who avoid milk products are at higher risk of fractures, whereas milk product consumption was associated with a lower risk of hip fracture.
Child Growth And Obesity
A 2020 research review study revealed that milk and dairy product consumption in children aged one to five years old was linked to healthy growth and development.
The review also found some evidence that consuming milk and dairy in early childhood was protective against overweight and obesity.
A 2017 study showed consuming a high amount of dairy products in a calorie-restricted diet resulted in weight loss, fat loss, and smaller waist circumference. But when high dairy consumption was not combined with a calorie restriction, there was weight gain.
Be sure to leave a calorie deficit in your diet if you want to lose weight. No kind of diet or food product can help you to lose weight without consuming fewer calories than you are burning.
So, while milk is not necessarily a fat burner, it can certainly be part of a healthy weight loss diet.
A 2019 research review determined that consuming dairy, particularly low-fat dairy, had a positive impact on insulin resistance and led to lower waist circumference and body weight. This was concluded as being able to reduce one’s risk of diabetes.
Gluten-Free Milk Alternatives
If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy milk, some gluten-free options include:
- Hemp milk.
- Rice milk.
- Almond milk.
- Coconut milk.
- Chesnut milk.
- Soy milk.
A milk alternative to be extra cautious of is oat milk. While oats are naturally gluten-free, many oat-based products are cross-contaminated as they are processed alongside gluten-containing grains in factories.
Go for certified gluten-free oat milk, made from certified gluten-free oats. However, even then, there is still the risk of contamination. If you have celiac disease or a very low tolerance to gluten, it’s best to avoid oat milk altogether.
So, does milk have gluten? No, milk is gluten-free. While some plant-based alternatives or flavored milk may contain gluten, there are many gluten-free milk options available.
If you have celiac disease or are considering trying out a gluten-free diet, you can continue to drink cow’s milk. Consuming milk and dairy products has many health benefits, and they can be part of a healthy gluten-free diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Plan dairy milk is gluten-free, but flavored milk and some plant-based milk alternatives might contain gluten.
Drinking milk daily can be part of a healthy diet, but it is not necessary. Consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and whole grains is essential to being healthy.
Yes, whole milk is naturally gluten-free.
Butter is naturally gluten-free; however, butter with flavoring added may contain gluten.
Oat milk is probably gluten-free because oats are naturally gluten-free. However, this is a high chance of cross-contamination between oats and gluten-containing grains. There are certified gluten-free oat milk options available.
Yes, most almond milk is gluten-free as almonds are naturally gluten-free. However, almond milk that has added flavoring may contain gluten.
+ 9 sources
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