I love peanuts and peanut butter. A good source of protein and healthy fats, they were a staple of my intake growing up and even as an adult. Until recently. Once I became sensitive to gluten and went through an elimination and reintroduction diet, I realized that some nuts (peanuts and almonds) and their nut butters (peanut butter and almond butter) were making me sick, causing the gluten symptoms that are unique to me. You have your own symptoms, and hopefully you are in tune with what they feel like so you can quickly identify their source.
I think I am pretty sensitive to the gluten in these particular foods, because I get symptoms even with brands that other gluten-free bloggers and educators say are typically safe. You really have to figure out what works or does not work for you.
So began my search for gluten-free nuts and nut butters. Peanuts and other nuts are gluten-free in their natural forms. If you were lucky enough to grown them or pick them yourself, you wouldn’t have to worry about gluten! Natural nut butters, that contain just the nut with no extras, are most likely to be gluten-free, but still, you have to watch out because the nuts or the nut butter may have been processed with wheat to prevent clumping or may have been processed in a facility that also processes wheat, so they have a high risk of cross-contact.
Depending on the brand, some peanut butters and almond butters have additional ingredients that may contain gluten; these would be ingredients beyond the basics, beyond the peanuts or almonds, oil, sugar or other sweetener, and salt.
Most grocery stores do have brands of gluten-free butter that are safe to eat. Look for the gluten-free label, check the list of ingredients, and call the manufacturer if you still are not sure. Then, by process of elimination, you can find one that works for you.
For suggestions, check out these Top Brands of Gluten-Free Peanut Butter and other Gluten Free Nut Butter Brands.
What does a dietitian, nutritionist, and health professional do when she discovers she has to avoid gluten? I mean, avoid it to prevent painful symptoms, not to follow a trend!