Butter is a great source of important nutrients and fatty acids. But is butter gluten-free? Is it safe for people with gluten intolerance?
Pure, plain, natural butter is gluten-free. Therefore, it’s safe for people on a gluten-free diet. However, flavored butter may not be gluten-free. These flavorings may be formulated using gluten-based additives and gluten ingredients, making it unsafe for those with gluten intolerance.
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A Brief Background on Butter
Butter is a dairy product formulated from milk. It’s a popular ingredient in most households across the world. It can be used to make various types of baked goods such as cakes, pies and cookies.
Also, some restaurants and eateries use it as a finishing ingredient to give various dishes a creamy, glossy finish and a savory, buttery flavor. French cuisine has benefited most from the use of butter in making sauce, and as a matter of fact, the French consider it an indispensable product.
Most of the butter that you will find on the market has been made using cow’s milk. But, it can also be made with milk sourced from sheep, buffalo, yaks and goats, among others.
There are several varieties of rubber sold in supermarkets and local grocery stores. They include salted butter, unsalted butter, cultured butter, plant-based butter, grass-fed butter and organic butter, just to name a few.
Medics suggest that individuals should only take butter at the minimum. This is because excess consumption of butter could lead to negative health consequences.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a naturally-occurring protein found in various types of grains. Specifically, it’s mainly found in rye, barley and wheat. It helps these grains to maintain their shape. Also, it makes dough elastic. You will find it in various products made from wheat and barley, such as bread, cakes, pasta, beers, pies and cookies, just to name a few.
But, gluten can cause serious reactions in people with an autoimmune condition called celiac disease. This disorder is triggered when one consumes gluten. It leads to the gradual destruction of the small intestines.
If someone with this disease consumed gluten, they could experience abdominal pain, constipation, persistent diarrhea, bloating and vomiting. Such symptoms may deteriorate over time especially if one does not take a deliberate effort to be careful with the diet.
In extreme cases, one may undergo an abdominal surgical procedure, and this is related to celiac disease. Though this is not common, it can have a heavy impact on one’s health.
Gluten can also cause adverse reactions in people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance. This group of people will also experience symptoms similar to those of people with celiac disease if they consumed gluten or gluten-based products. These symptoms may include tiredness, stomach pain and diarrhea.
Thus, people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity must be careful on the diet that they choose. For example, they should take gluten free bread and take dairy products which are naturally gluten free.
Having looked at the negative aspects of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, then the best thing that one can do is to avoid taking gluten. This will play a critical role in ensuring that one prevents such negative health outcomes.
Is Butter Gluten Free
Is butter gluten free? If you have celiac disease or any form of gluten intolerance, then you have to strictly follow a gluten-free diet. Simply put, you have to avoid any type of food or product containing gluten in order to enhance your health in both the short and the long run.
And this brings us to the point; is butter gluten-free? Can people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance consume butter? Is butter safe for people with gluten sensitivities? Is butter naturally gluten free?
Plain butter is naturally gluten free. It’s made from milk and cream. While salt may be added, it’s also gluten-free. Simply put, natural, pure and plain butter is gluten-free and should be safe to consume for people who only eat gluten-free food. Plain butter is a favorite product of people with celiac disease.
However, this may not be the case for flavored butter. Flavored butter features various types of additives, which may contain gluten ingredients. So, you need to check food labels before buying any type of flavored butter.
Beware of Cross-Contamination
The problem with the market is that some of the information available can be misleading. For example, some dairy products have a gluten free claim, when in fact, they contain gluten. Consumption of such dairy products that contain gluten should be avoided by all means in order to avoid symptoms that come with gluten sensitivity.
As much as pure, natural butter is gluten-free, you need to be aware of cross-contamination or cross-contact with food items that contain gluten.
And, cross-contamination is highly possible especially if butter is stored in a communal fridge.
For example, someone with access to the fridge may use the same set of knives used to spread margarine or butter on products made from wheat flour like bread. This will lead to a gluten cross. And as we mentioned earlier, the majority of wheat-based products contain gluten.
So, if the same set of knives used to spread margarine on bread was also used to cut butter, it’s almost certain there will be cross-contamination with gluten of the entire butter.
To avoid this, you need to separate gluten-containing products from butter, especially if you are the only one in your household eating gluten-free food. Ideally, you should have your own butter, properly labeled gluten-free. This will help to prevent or reduce the chances of cross-contamination.
With this approach, you will still be able to enjoy butter and its benefits without the risk of cross-contamination with gluten or inconveniencing anyone else in your household.
Tips For Buying Gluten-Free Butter
If you want to evaluate if butter is gluten free, there is a lot of information available on this. While butter gluten free is safe to consume for people with gluten intolerance, you need to take additional measures to ensure you only butter that’s 100% gluten-free.
To this end, you should make sure you read food labels carefully. Ideally, you should make sure the butter you are buying has been certified gluten-free by the FDA. Also, certified gluten-free butter hasn’t been cross-contaminated with gluten during the manufacturing or transportation processes.
In addition, you should avoid buying flavored butter. As we pointed out earlier, the flavorings used on butter may be made using gluten-containing ingredients. Instead, you should only go for pure, natural gluten free butter if you have gluten sensitivities or you follow a gluten-free diet.
When you visit the local grocery store, ask the vendor about any information that he or she could have about the presence of gluten in a product, or lack of it. For example, soy free butter is gluten free. In addition, checking with the manufacturers will help you identify gluten free foods.
There are some cases which will warrant that you ask a medic about the impact of some products. The good thing with such medics is that they are highly trained, and are able to separate the good food and the bad food in the market.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker