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Ancient Grains & the Gluten-Free Diet

January 27, 2015


I read on the internet that ancient grains are ok for people with celiac disease, even if it’s a form of wheat. Is this true?


Despite what you may have read, it is not okay for people with celiac disease to eat any form of wheat, even if it is an ancient form of wheat that hasn’t been hybridized.  Even if you do experience fewer symptoms or none at all when eating ancient forms of wheat, the body still experiences the typical immune reaction when eating gluten, which causes damage to the intestines and sets off an inflammatory response in the body.  The reports you have seen probably cited a piece of research in which people with celiac disease showed fewer symptoms when eating ancient forms of wheat versus modern forms.  This is just one study and it was done in a small group of people. Previous studies do indicate that ancient forms of wheat are still toxic to people with celiac disease.

The good news is that there are many gluten-free ancient grains that people with celiac disease can enjoy, including teff, amaranth, millet and quinoa.  So, feel free to enjoy these gluten-free ancient grains!

Be well,

Rachel Begun, MS, RDN


Complete our Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist today to find out if you could have celiac disease and how to talk to your doctor about getting tested.