Yes, most yogurts are gluten-free, with some exceptions explained below. In fact, milk and most cheeses are also naturally gluten-free foods, as are dairy ingredients, such as whey protein.
Gluten, a protein, is naturally found in certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley and combinations of these grains. As a result, foods made from these grains such as pasta, bread and cereals contain gluten. Foods from other food groups are gluten-free, as long as they don’t have added ingredients that contain any of those gluten-containing grains.
For instance, some yogurts are packaged with granola toppings or contain flavorings/ingredients that may contain gluten, so make sure you read the ingredients list. If in doubt, call the company that manufactured the food or visit its website.
Many people wonder if they should be concerned about gluten in their food – and for most the answer is no. For example, those with celiac disease, an auto-immune disease that causes damage to the area of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients, need to follow a strict, gluten-free diet. Celiac disease is not common, estimated to affect about 1 in 100 worldwide, but if left undiagnosed or untreated it can lead to serious health consequences.
Important note: If you think you might have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, talk to your doctor about testing before you eliminate gluten-containing foods from your meal plan. This is the only way to make sure you get an accurate medical diagnosis and protect your long-term health.
Also remember that some foods, like vegetables and fruits, are naturally gluten-free, but they may not always be labeled “gluten-free.” By understanding what gluten is and using some of the best practices above, you can feel confident about keeping nutrient-rich yogurt and other dairy foods in your eating plan.