I have heard that barley and wheat grass are safe to eat on the gluten-free diet. I find this hard to believe. Is it true?
The Gluten Intolerance Group, a national celiac disease support organization, has researched the gluten-free status of barley and wheat grass. Here is what they have concluded: US Department of Agriculture research chemists who specialize in wheat gluten and cereal proteins say gluten is only found in the seed kernel, the endosperm, and not in the stem and leaves. The American Association of Cereal Chemists agrees, according to a statement by the group.
If the grass is cut from a growing plant and does not include the seed kernel, it should be safe for those who follow the gluten- free diet.
But Cynthia Kupper, RD, executive director of GIG, also points out that if you are eating these grasses as sources of added nutrition, you would do better to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, which she says are overall healthier and less expensive.