Is Chocolate Gluten-Free?

Is Chocolate Gluten-Free?

Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging.

It requires strict dedication and diligence to determine which foods can be safely eaten and which should be avoided.

Sweets — such as chocolate — are a tricky topic for those on a gluten-free diet, as many kinds are made using flour, barley malt, or other ingredients that often contain gluten.

This article tells you whether chocolate is gluten-free and can be enjoyed on a gluten-free diet.

Pure Chocolate Is Gluten-Free

Gluten is a type of protein found in many types of grains, including rye, barley, and wheat (1).

Most people are able to digest gluten without experiencing issues.

However, eating foods that contain gluten can cause side effects in those with celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten.

For those with celiac disease, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that causes the body to attack healthy tissue. This results in symptoms like diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies, and fatigue (2).

Meanwhile, those with gluten sensitivity may experience issues like bloating, gas, and nausea after eating foods that contain gluten (3).

For these individuals, opting for ingredients that are free of gluten is key to preventing side effects and maintaining overall health.

Certain Products May Contain Gluten

Though pure chocolate is considered gluten-free, many chocolate products contain additional ingredients, such as emulsifiers and flavoring agents that improve the taste and texture of the final product.

Some of these ingredients may contain gluten.

For example, crispy chocolate candies are often made using wheat or barley malt — both of which contain gluten.

Additionally, chocolate bars that include pretzels or cookies use gluten-containing ingredients and should be avoided by those on a gluten-free diet.

Plus, baked goods made with chocolate — such as brownies, cakes, and crackers — may also include wheat flour, another glutenous ingredient.

Some common ingredients to look out for that indicate that a product may contain gluten include:

  • barley
  • barley malt
  • brewer’s yeast
  • bulgur
  • durum
  • farro
  • graham flour
  • malt
  • malt extract
  • malt flavoring
  • malt syrup
  • matzo
  • rye flour
  • wheat flour

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