How Coffee Triggers Gluten Sensitivity
So what exactly happens when a gluten sensitive person eats gluten?
Folks with gluten antibodies react to any gluten in the diet by mounting an immune response. This means that gluten is perceived by the body as an invader and the gluten antibodies attack the gluten itself trying to destroy it. This gluten attack is an inflammatory response and inflammation issues can occur anywhere in the body in any tissue or organ.
Heres the real shocker I came across when researching the coffee/gluten connection:
Theres not a disease or health condition you can think of that does not have an association in the research literature with gluten sensitivity.
Thats a very strong statement!
In essence then, if you are gluten sensitive in any way shape or form, and it seems that most people are whether they know it or not given the epidemic levels of autoimmune issues today, gluten antibodies have the potential to react to proteins in other foods as if they are gluten thereby triggering an immune and inflammatory response.
The protein in coffee is the most common cross-reactor for gluten. Because it is the protein in the coffee that is the trigger, switching to decaf coffee does not solve the problem. Apparently, instant coffee is the worst offender.
Is it possible to be gluten sensitive and not cross-react to coffee? Yes, its possible but youll have to do some expensive lab testing with a knowledgeable doctor to find out.
Teeccino Dandelion Herbal Coffee
Teeccino dandelion herbal coffee is a good substitution for regular coffee and offers a variety of flavors to meet any taste preference. Choosing Teeccino means you’re foregoing gluten, caffeine, and acidity found in coffee. Teeccino herbal coffee is endorsed by numerous doctors and other healthcare providers. Amazon reviewers generally like it, giving it four out of five stars and saying it is surprisingly tasty. One negative review suggests it irritates the reviewer’s irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease, so you may want to use caution if you have either of these two conditions to see how it affects you. The taste varies based on the flavor you choose. Examples of flavors include dandelion mocha mint, dandelion caramel nut, dandelion red chai, almond amaretto, and dandelion dark roast. Main ingredients include carob, dandelion root, and chicory root.
Cost: $12.50 for an 11-ounce bag
Avoid Gluten Contamination With Specialty Brands
Big-name brands like Coffee-Mate and International Delight are considered gluten-free, but you also might want to try a speciality brand like Laird Superfood creamers, which are dairy-free, vegan and gluten-free, if youre worried about this type of contamination or if you are extra sensitive to trace amounts of gluten.
As for pre-flavored coffee blends , they are generally considered gluten-free. Stefanski says that it’s rare to have artificial flavorings in the U.S. that are made from barley or wheat. Plus, the amount of flavoring with gluten in these blends would be very small in comparison to an entire pot of brewed coffee, she adds.
Unfortunately, the flavorings used to make these blends could have an alcohol base, which is typically derived from grains, including gluten ones. And while the distillation process should remove the gluten protein from the alcohol, it can still cause a reaction for those who are super sensitive, even though the amount of gluten is teeny tiny. But if plain, black coffee just isnt your jam, try Expedition Roasters coffees, which are certified gluten- and allergen-free and come in Dunkin Donuts-worthy flavors like coffee crumb cake, churro and blueberry cobbler.
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Chameleon Organic Guatemalan Ground Coffee
This coffee is certified organic and sustainably sourced. They offer whole bean and ground coffee in a huge variety of flavors, but they started with a mission to make the best cold-brew in the world. Their ground coffee is pretty tasty, too! It isnt certified gluten-free, but contains only one ingredient: ground coffee beans sourced from Guatemala.
Nutrition Facts :
- Calories 4
- Total Fat 0.1 g / 0%
- Sodium 4.7 mg / 0%
- Dietary Fiber 0 g / 0%
- Sugars 0 g
- Protein 0 g
What About Flavored Coffees
Another consideration for gluten-sensitive coffee drinkers is what you put into your coffee.
Some people who are gluten sensitive may also be dairy sensitive . So, adding milk or creamer is a problem for some.
A systematic review of 15 randomized control trials found
probiotics significantly improved dairy tolerance.
If you are dairy sensitive, its a good idea to give probiotics a try. I recommend the 3 Probiotic Protocol from my book Healthy Gut, Healthy You. This is the same protocol I use in my clinical practice. Its a comprehensive approach that often works where other probiotics have failed.
And then there are all the different flavorings for coffee, including coffee syrups, flavored creamers, and flavored coffee. Each of these comes with its own ingredient list and may potentially cause reactions for some people. As a general rule, the shorter the list of ingredients, the better.
A further issue for those who are celiac or highly sensitive to gluten is cross-contamination. Coffee, sweeteners, flavorings or creamers may have been prepared in facilities where gluten products are also present. For those very sensitive to gluten, even small trace amounts of gluten that get into these food products could elicit a reaction. Thankfully, most gluten-sensitive individuals dont need to be so vigilant. But if you are highly reactive, it pays to look for certified gluten-free products.
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Gluten Free Flours To Use
Baking with gluten-free flours can be confusing at first, but if you know the characteristics of each, it will make gluten-free baking a breeze.
And it’s common to use a mixture of two or more gluten free flours to achieve the recipe’s desired flavor and texture, hence our use of three different flours – oat, almond, and rice – in this particular recipe.
That said, Oat flour is a fluffy and sweet flour that will give whatever you are baking a chewier and crumblier texture. And it substitutes with all-purpose flour on a 1:1 ratio.
Almond flour provides baked goods with a moist and tender texture, making it an excellent option for cakes like this one. It is also very high in nutrients and substitutes with all-purpose flour on a 1:1 ratio.
Lastly, rice flour has a fine texture and neutral flavor.It yields the best results when combined with other gluten-free flours. Rice flour alone is not the best gluten-free flour option – so you’ll want to use it in combination with other ones – and it also cannot be used in place of all-purpose flour on a 1:1 ratio.
All that said, I highly recommend either using this combination of flours for your gluten free coffee cake, or at the very least using a premixed blendlike this one.
Gluten Free Flours To Avoid
Now, there are some gluten free flours that I don’t recommend using in this recipe. Mostly since they can affect either the texture or flavor of this coffee cake.
So, the first flour I wouldn’t try using is coconut flour.
Is Dandy Blend Gluten Free
Dandy Blend is a caffeine-free coffee alternative many people enjoy, particular those trying to quit coffee. Dandy Blend is made from five ingredients:
- Roasted barley extracts
- Roasted chicory root extracts
- Roasted sugar beet root extracts
Before you write-off Dandy Blend, please note that Dandy Blend does NOT contain barley and rye, it contains barley and rye extracts, which are gluten free in a similar way that wheat starch is gluten free.
Dandy Blend confirms that its product is gluten free on its website:
It does not contain barley and rye. It contains the water extracts of barley and rye, and that is a big difference. Gluten and Gliadin proteins are not water soluble. That means that all gluten and gliadin are left behind in the grounds and get thrown away .
We test for gluten and gliaden using the ELIZA tests accepted by FDA and Health Canada. The results always show that there are none or less than 5 ppm of both in Dandy Blend. Standards in both countries are that 20 ppm or less is gluten-free.
A copy of the test results can be found on the Certificates page.
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First Things First: Coffee Is Indeed Gluten
Coffee beans are gluten-free. So what’s all the fuss about? When investigating why coffee is so commonly named as a culprit in gastrointestinal discomfort for celiacs, we came across three main factors: cross-contamination, additional ingredients, and a little something called gluten cross-reactivity.
The Maxwell House Gluten Contamination
Is Maxwell House coffee gluten-free? The answer is not clear.
For safety, you should avoid the pre-grounded coffee product, like Maxwell House. This product was indeed marketed as pure coffee grounded. And, when it has the pure word in it, people will think that it is safe and healthy.
It also is tempting for people that need a gluten-free beverage. However, you must remember the essential thing about the gluten-free matter before you take any sip of Maxwell House coffee or any pre-grounded coffee product. It is cross-contamination.
Kraft admitted several years ago that one of its popular products, Folgers has a slight trace of gluten in it. Furthermore, with the manufacturing center at the same place as Maxwell House, there is also a risk of cross-contamination in it.
The other problem is the Keurig Kcups included in the Maxwell House package. People found out that this is not the actual cup produced by Keurig. It is only the cup that is compatible with the Keurig coffee maker. Therefore, there is also a risk of contamination because of this part of the product.
We dont know how Kraft makes this part. It could have any trace of the ingredient that adds the gluten substance in the Maxwell House grounded beans before you put it in your coffee maker.
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Is Instant Coffee Gluten
Plain, black instant coffee is gluten-free, but that doesnt mean that all coffee is gluten-free. Its made by roasting beans, extracting the flavour compounds, and freeze-drying the beans to remove the liquids. Then all you have to do is pop it in a mug with hot water, and voila, gluten-free instant coffee.
If you have celiac disease, always check the labels and only select brands that guarantee they are gluten-free. Its also worth noting that barista-inspired instant coffees often contain milk, sugars, oils, and texturising agents that your body would probably be happier without.
Is Coffee Creamer Gluten
Coffee creamer is an artificial substitute for milk or cream that is especially popular in the United States and is slowly making its way into European supermarkets. The most iconic brand of coffee creamer Coffee mate – markets their products as gluten-free dairy-free coffee creamer.
However, gluten is used as a texturising agent, so you should always check the label if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease. Its worth mentioning that even when coffee creamer is gluten-free, its still a highly processed food with many complex ingredients that dont have much nutritional value for your body.
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How To Know If Coffee Is A Problem For You
Fear of food is something I see far too often with health-conscious patients. With all of the overzealous, conflicting and ill-informed health advice that is readily available on the internet, its no wonder that people cant figure out what they should or shouldnt eat.
The fact is, some people do have bad reactions to coffee. It may be because of problematic proteins or low tolerance for caffeine. It probably has nothing to do with gluten cross-reactivity, unless you drink instant coffee.
The best tool for figuring out your personal food intolerances is a simple technique of elimination and reintroduction.
Do you think coffee might be a problem for you? Stop drinking coffee for 1 to 2 weeks and drink green tea instead. After the elimination period, try reintroducing coffee. Pay attention to your symptoms. If you feel better when avoiding coffee, and see symptoms return when drinking it youve got your answer. You might notice no difference with or without coffee. Or, you might notice some subtle reactions when drinking coffee. Avoid coffee in correspondence with your level of reactivity, strong reactors should be strongly avoided.
What Is Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a faulty autoimmune response triggered by eating foods or drinking beverages that contain gluten. When someone with celiac disease consumes gluten, their bodys immune system attacks part of their small intestine as if it were an invading virus, damaging important structures necessary for digestion. Bloating, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are the most common symptoms, and they arise due to damage to the small intestine.
Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning people are more likely to develop celiac disease if their parents or siblings have it. An estimated 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, while people who have close relatives with celiac disease have a whopping 10% chance of developing it.
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Is Starbucks Coffee Gluten
Many drinks at Starbucks are gluten-free. Though there are a few coffee drinks that arent gluten-free like the caramel frappuccino or the drinks featuring java chips.
Just like any other coffee shop, when ordering gluten-free drinks at Starbucks, make sure to ask for cross-contact precautions. Alternatively, order drinks that are made in the cup.
Can You Drink Coffee With A Gluten Free Diet
So you need to follow a gluten-free diet but can’t imagine a day without coffee. Well, there’s actually no need to worry. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance or simply want to follow a gluten-free diet for other reasons, you don’t have to give up your cup of joe. Coffee is naturally gluten-free, which isn’t to say, however, that things you add to it are necessarily gluten-free or that it can’t be cross-contaminated with gluten.
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Flavored Coffee And Gluten
Coffee beans or ground coffee that you buy pre-flavored are likely to be considered gluten-free, and may even be labeled “gluten-free.” But that’s not the end of the story.
Coffee flavorings generally are made with a proprietary blend of “natural flavors.” This term can hide gluten-containing ingredients, most commonly barley-based flavorings. But it appears we don’t need to worry about “natural flavors” in this contextthose used in coffee are rarely if ever, derived from gluten grains.
However, many coffee flavorings have an alcohol base. That alcohol typically is derived from grains, including gluten grains.
The conventional wisdom among some celiac disease and gluten sensitivity experts are that distillation removes the gluten protein from the alcohol, and so alcohol is considered gluten-free even if it’s derived from gluten grains. However, many people experience gluten reactions to distilled grains.
The amount of grain-based alcohol in flavored coffee is minuscule, even if there was some residual gluten left in that alcohol, it would register way below the 20 parts per million which is generally considered “gluten-free.” But a minuscule amount is all it takes for some people to react, although very, very few people are this sensitive to trace gluten.
Pure Organic Coffee Beans Is Best Option
Choosing certified or labelled gluten free coffee brands is how we can be sure the coffee is safe to drink. As explained above, coffee beans are gluten free.
The best option is choosing only pure organic coffee bean. Certified organic coffee bean is free from pesticide and other contamination. It is always recommended to grind coffee beans and brew the coffee at home.
Freshly ground and brew coffee is much superior in aroma and taste, and more importantly, you can control everything to prevent any gluten contamination.
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Summary To Is Coffee Gluten Free
The good news is that you wont be at a loss for choice here at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, home to around 70 types of Fresh Coffee.
Most of these, of course, are gluten free Coffee Beans that aim to please with every sip. Those with concerns should contact us – were always happy to answer your queries so that, ultimately, you get the best possible experience.
Is There Gluten In Coffee Beans
The coffee bean is gluten-free. Thats probably because the biology of coffee beans is very different to that gluten-containing grasses, especially when you look at their seeds and the function of gluten in plant reproduction.
Gluten is composed of two protein molecules gliadin and glutenin and their function is to store starches that will nourish the seed when it sprouts . The worlds favourite bean doesnt have or need gluten because it relies on other natural sugars to germinate.
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Ingredients For Gluten Free Coffee Cake
So, there are three components to this gluten free coffee cake recipe – the cake, the filling, and the crumble.
Now, the ingredient list looks long, but no need to worry. We will be using the same ingredients in all three components. So, you actually don’t need as many ingredients as you might think.
The only ingredient used in one layer, and not another, is the pecans. And those are optional!
That said, to make the cake you will need:
- Dash of cinnamon
So, as you might have noticed, we will only be using about ten ingredients to create this one-of-a-kind coffee cake.
And to top the cake off, you can add some extra pecans and a dash of honey too. But, that’s totally up to you, and your tastebuds.
Anyway, now let’s dive a little into the ingredients and some substitutions you can make with them.