Yogurt has long been considered a safe breakfast option for those on the gluten-free diet. But as grains steadily infiltrate the dairy aisle, gluten-free consumers may need to pay closer attention to their yogurt purchases.
Yogurt companies are increasingly adding popular grains and seeds to their products in order to capitalize on the recent trends toward eating whole grains either mixed right into the yogurt or packaged on top of the yogurt container.
While nutritious seeds such as quinoa, amaranth, chia and flax are gluten-free additions, YoCrunch yogurt products come topped with a variety of gluten-containing cookies, cereal and a granola that includes wheat, barley, rye, spelt and triticale in its nine grains. Flavors that don’t list any gluten-containing ingredients in the topping come with a notation that they may contain wheat.
Oats can also pose problem when added to granola if they are not grown or processed to remove the gluten that results from cross-contamination.
But that doesn’t mean oats in yogurt are automatically unsafe as some companies are choosing to use gluten-free oats. Gluten-free oats have to meet the Food and Drug Administration standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten, as does any finished food under FDA jurisdiction labeled gluten free. Look for products that have a gluten-free label.
Chobani reports the company uses only “carefully selected gluten-free steel-cut oats” in their Ancient Grains varieties of yogurt. Yoplait’s new Plentí line is labeled gluten free and a spokesperson says the oats are tested to ensure they comply with FDA standards. Both brands mix in the oats and gluten-free grains and seeds.
However, other companies, such as Zen Monkey, confirm that their oats are not gluten free.
You can also purchase your own gluten-free granola or other mix-ins so you’ll know exactly what’s going into your cup of yogurt each morning—and your DIY yogurt will almost certainly be cheaper than the preassembled versions.
Here’s our cheat sheet on the particulars of yogurt brands.
The Epic Seed Greek Yogurt + Chia
Contains: Chia seeds
Makes a gluten-free claim? Yes—uses naturally gluten-free ingredients
Contains: Whole grain oats, flax and pumpkin seeds
Makes a gluten-free claim? Yes—uses gluten-free oats that are tested to meet FDA standards
Chobani Ancient Grains
Contains: Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, chia seeds, oats
Makes a gluten-free claim? Yes—uses gluten-free oats and gluten-free grains
Contains: “Juicy oats” soaked in apple juice
Makes a gluten-free claim? No—does not use gluten-free oats (reportedly about 20-40 ppm gluten)
Makes a gluten-free claim? Yes—certified gluten free and company regularly tests for gluten
Contains: Cookies, cereal and 9-grain granola with oats, barley, white wheat, rye,
triticale, spelt, brown rice, millet and buckwheat
Makes a gluten-free claim? No—uses wheat and other gluten-containing ingredients