Does Nature’s Path granola have gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that causes negative health effects in people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. For people who need to follow a gluten-free diet, it’s important to check labels and understand which foods contain gluten and which are naturally gluten-free. Granola is often thought of as a healthy breakfast option, but not all granola is gluten-free. So does Nature’s Path granola contain gluten? Here is a quick overview of the answer:

Most Nature’s Path granola products are certified gluten-free and do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. However, a few varieties do contain gluten, like their Kamut flakes or wheat flakes. It’s important for gluten-sensitive individuals to read labels and look for their “gluten-free” symbol on packaging to determine if a granola product is safe. Overall, Nature’s Path offers many gluten-free granola options made from gluten-free oats and grains.

What is Gluten and Why Must Some People Avoid It?

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. The two main proteins that make up gluten are:

– Gliadin
– Glutenin

When flour is mixed with water to make dough, the gluten proteins form cross-linked bonds that give bread and other baked goods an elastic texture. For most people, gluten does not cause any issues or negative health effects.

However, for those with certain medical conditions, gluten can trigger severe reactions and damage to the body:

– **Celiac Disease:** An autoimmune disorder where gluten causes immune system attacks on the small intestine. Over time, this damage prevents proper absorption of nutrients. About 1% of people have celiac disease.

– **Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS):** A condition where gluten causes uncomfortable digestive symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. It does not cause autoimmune damage like celiac disease. Roughly 10-13% of people may have NCGS.

– **Wheat Allergy:** An allergy response triggered by proteins in wheat, including gluten. Reactions can include hives, swelling, and anaphylaxis. Wheat is one of the top 8 food allergens.

For those with celiac disease or NCGS, the only treatment is following a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. This means avoiding any food containing wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Reading labels and understanding where gluten hides is crucial to managing the condition.

What Grains and Ingredients Contain Gluten?

Here are the main grains and ingredients to avoid on a gluten-free diet:

– **Wheat:** Wheat contains gluten and should always be avoided. This includes wheat berries, durum wheat, farro, einkorn, semolina, spelt, and triticale.

– **Barley:** Barley contains hordeins, a type of gluten protein. All forms of barley must be avoided, including pearl barley and malt extract from barley.

– **Rye:** Rye contains secalins, another gluten protein. Rye flour, baked goods, cereals, etc. are not gluten-free.

– **Oats:** Oats do not naturally contain gluten, but are often cross-contaminated with wheat during growing and processing. Look for oats specifically labeled “gluten-free” if following a strict diet.

– **Malt:** Malt is usually made from barley. Malt extract, malt flavoring, malt vinegar are not gluten-free.

– **Brewer’s yeast:** A yeast product that may be derived from barley or wheat. Not gluten-free unless specifically labeled.

Gluten can also hide in many processed foods, sauces, soups, salad dressings, seasonings, and more. Checking labels is important to spot ingredients like wheat flour, barley malt, and rye. When in doubt, contact the manufacturer to ask about sourcing.

Are Oats Gluten-Free?

Oats deserve special mention when it comes to gluten. Oats do not naturally contain gluten. However, most commercially grown and processed oats are contaminated with gluten grains like wheat and barley during harvesting, transport, and processing.

Many experts consider oats unsafe unless they are specifically labeled “gluten-free.” Gluten-free oats are grown and handled with extra care to avoid any cross-contact with other grains.

Some individuals who are sensitive may still react to avenins, the protein found in oats. Starting with small servings of certified gluten-free oats can help determine if they are tolerated.

For a truly gluten-free diet, it’s generally recommended to choose oat products with a “gluten-free” label to ensure safety.

What About Wheat-Free and Gluten-Free Labeling?

When browsing the grocery aisle, you may see the labels “wheat-free” and “gluten-free.” What exactly do they mean?

– **Wheat-Free:** Means the product does not contain any wheat ingredients. However, it may still contain barley, rye, and other gluten sources. Not safe for celiac or NCGS.

– **Gluten-Free:** Means the product does not contain wheat, barley, rye, or oats that were contaminated with gluten. Verified to be under 20 ppm gluten. Safe for gluten-free diets.

– **Certified Gluten-Free:** The product is certified by GFCO (Gluten-Free Certification Organization) to be

Always look for the words “gluten-free” or certification symbols like the GFCO logo when purchasing foods to avoid gluten. Wheat-free is not sufficient on its own. Calling manufacturers directly can also help determine gluten status.

Nature’s Path as a Company

Now that we understand gluten and what must be avoided in a gluten-free diet, let’s take a closer look at Nature’s Path as a brand.

Nature’s Path Organic Foods, Inc. is a family-owned Canadian company that produces certified organic breakfast foods, granolas, snacks, and cereals. The company was founded in 1985 by Arran and Ratana Stephens and is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia.

Nature’s Path is North America’s largest organic breakfast and snack food manufacturer. They offer over 100 certified organic product lines sold throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Their products are certified organic and Non-GMO Project verified.

Nature’s Path is committed to sustainability in their sourcing and facilities. Some of their initiatives include:

– 100% organic ingredienets
– Renewable energy in facilities
– Eco-Pac sustainable packaging
– Food donations to food banks
– B-Corp certified sustainable business

When it comes to special diets, Nature’s Path accommodates many dietary needs:

– **Gluten-free:** Many products certified gluten-free

– **Vegan and vegetarian:** Dairy-free and egg-free options

– **Paleo-friendly:** Grain-free granolas made from nuts and seeds

– **High fiber and protein:** Options with extra fiber or plant-based protein

Nature’s Path seems committed to providing specialty diet options, including a thorough selection of gluten-free foods. But we still need to evaluate specific products to determine if all their granola is actually gluten-free.

Are Nature’s Path Granolas Gluten-Free?

So finally, the key question – does Nature’s Path granola contain gluten? Here is an overview:

Most Nature’s Path granola products **are gluten-free** and made without any gluten-containing ingredients. However, there are **a few exceptions** where certain granolas contain wheat or barley and are not gluten-free.

To determine if a specific granola variety is gluten-free, consumers need to **check the ingredients list** and **look for the gluten-free symbol** on Nature’s Path packaging.

Here are more details on the gluten status of Nature’s Path granola:

– The majority of their granola products are certified gluten-free and marked with the GF symbol. These are made from gluten-free oats and grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and millet.

– Some flavors contain wheat or barley ingredients and are **not gluten-free**, like their Kamut Flakes or Wheat Flakes Granola.

– Any granola with the GF symbol is tested to be under 10 ppm gluten. This very low amount is considered gluten-free and safe for celiacs.

– Nature’s Path notes all major allergens like wheat under the ingredients list. Checking this can help determine gluten status.

So in summary, while most Nature’s Path granolas are gluten-free, people following gluten-free diets need to read labels and verify the GF symbol. Contacting Nature’s Path directly can also help clarify any uncertainties on certain products.

Examples of Gluten-Free Nature’s Path Granolas

To give a better idea of which Nature’s Path granola flavors are gluten-free, here are some top examples:

Gluten-Free Granola Description
Organic Smart Bran Made from gluten-free grains like rice, quinoa, and millet. Good source of fiber.
Coconut Cashew Granola Gluten-free oats, coconut, cashews, and coconut oil. Vegan too.
Protein Maple Pecan Gluten-free rolled oats, pecans, pea protein. 10g plant-based protein.
Crunchy Maple Sunrise Gluten-free oats, buckwheat, amaranth. Maple syrup for sweetness.
Hazelnut Granola Gluten-free oats, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, rice syrup.

These granolas are just a sample of the many gluten-free varieties available from Nature’s Path. As long as the product has the “gluten-free” symbol on the packaging, it can be part of a gluten-free diet.

Examples of Nature’s Path Granolas with Gluten

While most are gluten-free, here are a few examples of Nature’s Path granolas that contain gluten from wheat or barley:

Granola Source of Gluten
Kamut Flakes Contains khorasan wheat (form of wheat)
Cinnamon Sunrise Contains wheat flakes
Pumpkin Flax Granola Contains malted barley flour
Oatmeal Raisin Flax Contains wheat flour

Individuals following a strict gluten-free diet would need to avoid these granolas containing wheat, khorasan wheat, or barley malt. Sticking with products marked “gluten-free” is the safest approach.

Finding Nature’s Path Gluten-Free Granola

Here are some tips for locating Nature’s Path gluten-free granola options near you:

– Check larger grocery stores like Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Safeway, etc. They often carry a wide range of Nature’s Path products.

– Search the shelves near other gluten-free cereals and breakfast foods. Sometimes there’s a designated “gluten-free” section.

– Natural food stores and co-ops will likely have a robust selection of Nature’s Path gluten-free granola.

– Check the Nature’s Path website which lists stores near you selling their products. You can also buy online.

– Look for the tell-tale GF symbol on any granola packaging to ensure it’s gluten-free.

– Contact stores ahead to ask if they carry Nature’s Path gluten-free granola varieties.

With some hunting, you should be able to find a satisfying gluten-free granola from Nature’s Path’s extensive product lineup. Just double check the label to be safe.

Precautions When Eating Nature’s Path Granola

Here are some precautions to take when selecting and eating Nature’s Path granola:

– Always check the ingredients list and look for the “gluten-free” symbol, even for familiar products. Recipes can change.

– Check for any statements like “may contain wheat” or “made in a facility with wheat.” This indicates a risk of gluten cross-contact.

– Call the company if you are unsure about any ingredients or the risk of contamination during manufacturing.

– When trying a new granola, eat a small amount at first to test tolerance, especially with oat-based varieties.

– Check the label each time you buy as production facilities can change. Don’t make assumptions.

– Be wary of bulk bins, which may mix various Nature’s Path products together leading to cross-contact.

– If you have celiac disease, consider being tested for oat tolerance before eating gluten-free oats regularly.

Following these steps will help ensure you choose a granola that works for your gluten-free diet. Consult a registered dietitian if you have any concerns.

The Bottom Line

So in summary, the answer to “does Nature’s Path granola have gluten?” is:

Most Nature’s Path granolas are gluten-free, but some varieties do contain gluten. Consumers need to read labels carefully, look for the “gluten-free” symbol, and check ingredients lists to determine if a specific granola is safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.

Nature’s Path offers a wide range of gluten-free options made from oats, quinoa, buckwheat and other gluten-free grains for a flexible, yet gluten-free granola choice. With caution and label reading, most people requiring a gluten-free diet can safely enjoy their gluten-free granola varieties.

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