As we all know, gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, gluten can be highly detrimental.
But fortunately, beans do not contain the protein known as gluten and are healthy for you.
Yes, there are more than 300 different varieties of beans, including fava beans, mung beans, black-eyed peas, northern white beans, black beans, soybeans, green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, red beans, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, lima beans and more that are all gluten-free.
Still, some of these legumes are regularly cultivated on the same fields in cycles with gluten-containing cereals like barley.
Therefore cross-contamination is a real possibility and a significant factor to consider when purchasing beans.
So, before cooking and eating, it is advised you wash your beans thoroughly.
Although washing them repeatedly in a few changes of water does not ensure the removal of those incredibly sticky, stubborn molecules, it can lessen but not wholly eliminate gluten cross-contamination in the beans.
Are Canned Beans Gluten-Free and Safe?
Although plain canned beans are typically gluten-free, be careful when buying beans that have additions; examine labels to ensure that they added no additional wheat starch, wheat flour, or other gluten-containing ingredients.
Alternatively, it is best to stick to home-cooked beans where you have complete control over the ingredients.
How Safe is Eating Beans at Restaurants
Beans and other legumes are gluten-free in their natural state.
They are a fantastic source of nutrition for anyone following a gluten-free diet and should be okay to consume anywhere.
Still, the question is: Are the additional ingredients safe for people following a gluten-free diet?
Since beans may be prepared with gluten-containing ingredients or become contaminated through cross-contact, you must exercise extreme caution when ordering them at restaurants.
However, as I’ve always said, nothing beats home-cooked meals because you have complete control over what goes inside.
Beans with a High Risk of Cross-Contamination
Beans are a rich food, and we are pleased they are gluten-free, but there are a few things to remember when buying beans.
As a result, we will discuss below some beans that are susceptible to gluten contamination.
Most likely, cycles of growing lentils and gluten-containing grains like barley take place on the same fields.
Cross-contamination is a reasonable concern that should be considered while buying it.
For this reason, it’s better to purchase from a supplier who clearly specifies that their facilities are gluten-free.
2) Canned Beans
Canned beans with flavoring may contain gluten-containing ingredients or materials contaminated with gluten, making canned beans more likely than raw beans to have gluten.
3) Baked beans
The flavoring, in this case, is a significant factor.
Depending on the manufacturer and the recipe used, baked beans may or may not be contaminated with gluten.
Since gluten is a sticky and stubborn molecule, it can hide in many common ingredients like sauces and liquid smoke flavoring they use.
So, before purchasing baked beans, consider this.
4) Beans in Bulk Bins
Bulk bins can be a great place to find a variety of excellent foods that are less expensive than packaged or boxed foods.
However, it is better to stay away from buying dried beans from bulk bins due to the possibility of cross-contamination with cereals containing gluten.
People put their hands in the containers, and things get mixed up.
Although the pourable dispensers help to some extent, not all are like that.
5) Beans at Restaurants
Restaurants are another high-risk setting for eating beans because they may use gluten-containing ingredients or get contaminated through cross-contact.
Beans and Cross-Contamination
Distributors of beans should inquire about farming practices to determine whether they adhere to specific guidelines that reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination in their products; some may even reveal this information on their labels.
With it, they can improve safe consumption and assist customers in making the most of their purchases without worrying about cross-contamination.
A gluten-free diet requires knowing every ingredient you consume because gluten may be found anywhere.
Therefore, knowing the major food categories that are safe and then choosing alternatives and brands you trust for the ingredients are essential.
So, read more of our articles for additional information on safe foods for a gluten-free diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you remove gluten from beans?
You can thoroughly wash your beans. Although washing them repeatedly in a few changes of water does not ensure the removal of those incredibly sticky, stubborn molecules, it can lessen but not wholly eliminate gluten cross-contamination in the beans.