Is Sauerkraut Gluten-Free? The Celiac's Guide

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Naturally, fermented sauerkraut is gluten-free as it only contains two primary ingredients; cabbages and pickling salt, both of which are gluten-free. This guide seeks to unearth if you can consume sauerkraut if you are gluten sensitive or allergic to it.

 

Disclaimer: Always check the sauerkraut packaging and ensure its clearly stated to be gluten-free before consuming such products. If you are not sure if a sauerkraut brand is gluten-free, contact their helpline and enquire on the same. This article is only meant to be informative and should not replace professional medical opinion. If you are experiencing any adverse reaction after consuming sauerkraut, you should seek medical attention immediately.

 

What Is Gluten?

Gluten refers to a group of proteins that are found in cereal grains. These proteins give the dough its sticky texture and allow it to hold its shape during baking. Gluten can also be found in other derivatives of cereal grains such as beer, candies, salad dressings, soy sauce, and self-basting poultry.

Learn more about gluten from healthline.com

 

What Is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a fermented dish that's prepared by pickling thinly sliced cabbages with salt and allowing them to ferment naturally for up to 20 days. Naturally occurring bacteria and yeast cultures that are found on the raw cabbages begin to break down the carbs in the cabbage, releasing lactic acid. This gives sauerkraut its distinctive mildly acidic flavor and also keeps away harmful bacteria from contaminating the sauerkraut.

 

Why Is Sauerkraut Gluten-Free?

Sauerkraut is considered to be gluten-free as it does not contain any ingredients with gluten. While sauerkraut does contain around 0.9 g of protein per 100 g serving, it's mainly simple amino acids that do not trigger allergic reactions, avoid sauerkraut that contains additives as they might contain gluten.

Learn more about gluten-free sauerkraut: celiac.org

 

Ingredients In Sauerkraut - Are They Gluten-Free?

Cabbages - Cabbages are naturally gluten-free.

Salt - Salt does not contain gluten.

Pickling juice - The pickling juice used to ferment sauerkraut is actually obtained from freshly squeezed cabbage leaves and therefore does not contain gluten.

Further reading can be found here. 

 

The Problem With Gluten

Celiac Disease - Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which gluten triggers the immune system overactivity in the small intestine.  Over time, the immune system damages the inner lining of the small intestine leading to inflammation.

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pains
  • Pale foul-smelling stool
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  •  Weight loss
  •  Fatigue·          

Reference: mayoclinic.gov

Gluten Ataxia - Gluten ataxia is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects nerve tissues causing loss of muscle control and involuntary muscle movements. The consumption of gluten-rich foods triggers gluten ataxia.

Reference: nih.gov

 

Gluten Status Of Major Sauerkraut Brands

Sauerkraut Brand

Gluten-Free Status

 

Homemade Sauerkraut

Homemade sauerkraut is prepared with gluten-free ingredients. Read more on onegreenplanet.org

 

Vlasic

Vlasic sauerkraut products are labeled as gluten-free, Read more on vlasic.com

 

Canned

Brand manufacturers usually label their canned sauerkraut products to indicate their gluten quantity.

 

Libby's

Libby’s offers a lineup of gluten-free sauerkraut products: read more on libbys.com

 

Claussen

Claussen sauerkraut is labeled as gluten-free. Read more on spoonacular.com

 

Steinfeld’s

Steinfeld’s sauerkraut is marketed as gluten-free. Read more on spoonacular.com

 

Gundelsheim

Gundelsheim barrel sauerkraut is prepared using gluten-free products. Read more on kuehne.com

 

Silver Floss

Silver floss sells barrel cured sauerkraut that’s also gluten-free. Read more on spoonacular.com

 

 

Conclusion

Gluten intolerance is on the rise, and as a result, manufacturers are busy putting out gluten-free products, including sauerkraut. Go ahead and give this probiotic-rich superfood a try without the fear of gluten-related allergies. 

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