Do you know if Kirkland protein bars are gluten-free? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.
Kirkland protein bars provide the perfect burst of energy you need to make it through a long afternoon or after a workout. They’re packed full of potassium, iron, and calcium, and with 21g of protein, they’ll keep you satisfied until mealtime.
So, are Kirkland Protein Bars Gluten-Free? Yes, despite their wide range of flavors, all Kirkland protein bars are gluten-free. You can still enjoy Kirkland protein bars even if you are gluten intolerant. They are made from whey proteins and milk isolates, combined with tapioca starch, nuts, chocolates, and many other natural ingredients, depending on which flavor you enjoy.
In the overview, we’ll explain why so many protein bars often contain gluten, how it affects gluten-intolerant consumers, and how you can easily spot gluten in your favorite mid-afternoon or post-workout snacks.
Table of Contents
Do All Protein Bars Contain Gluten?
As Kirkland has shown, you can make a wide variety of delicious protein bars without adding gluten. So then why do so many brands add gluten to their recipes?
It’s not so much that they are actively adding gluten but that their base recipes rely on wheat, granola, and other gluten-heavy grains.
Don’t think of gluten as an additive. It’s a naturally occurring protein native to many common grains, including wheat, rye, barley, and triticale—a rye/wheat crossbreed. When it’s mixed together with water and kneaded into a dough, it creates a sort of glue that holds foods together.
In protein bars, gluten generally finds its way into the recipe from contaminated oats or a wheat-based outer crust.
While oats don’t naturally contain gluten, they’re normally packaged and shipped with other gluten-heavy grains and therefore become a source of contamination.
Should Everyone Avoid Gluten?
Avoid gluten if you have Celiac disease or another form of gluten intolerance. Otherwise, it’s perfectly safe to consume gluten.
In recent years, it’s gotten a bad reputation for causing digestive problems but, as of yet, scientists have not found any evidence that gluten is harmful to the average person.
If you’re unsure if you are gluten intolerant, check the following symptoms:
- Sudden and uncontrollable diarrhea
- Long-term constipation
- Sharp and inexplicable abdominal pain
- Bloating and persistent gas
- Symptoms similar to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
For some people, these symptoms may appear immediately after eating gluten.
For others, they can manage a small amount of gluten but if they consume a large amount of bread, cakes, or other gluten-rich foods over several days, they’ll develop symptoms that last several weeks.
Read also: Are Nakd Bars Gluten-Free? (Best Tips!)
The Underlying Cause of Gluten Intolerance
Gluten may have only just become a buzzword within the last few years but researchers have been studying its effects on the body for several decades.
Unfortunately, though, they’re still not entirely sure what causes gluten intolerance. The research suggests that it could be similar to lactose intolerance, though.
As we age, certain genes turn on or off. For some people, it appears as if they lose the ability to produce an enzyme that digests the entire gluten protein.
When a piece of undigested gluten reaches the GI tract, it causes the immune system to react to the “invading” protein. This then creates a chain reaction of violent and sometimes painful symptoms.
Scientists are still researching why this particular gene stops working for some people and not others but, until that day, it’s best to avoid gluten products if you struggle to digest them.
As science progresses, perhaps it’ll be possible to restart the gene.
Other Sources of Gluten in Your Protein Bars
Most grains don’t contain gluten yet it still manages to sneak itself into many of our everyday foods. In fact, you could be consuming it without even realizing it.
Since manufacturers aren’t required to disclose whether their products contain gluten, you could be missing some of these lesser-known gluten carriers.
Check your protein bars ingredients for the following:
- Hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, which are used to create artificial meat flavorings
- Maltodextrin and dextrin, another common flavor enhancer
- Modified vegetable starches made from barley
- Artificial and natural flavorings also made from barley
You might also find the following scientific names for common gluten-rich grains:
- Triticum spelta (spelt flour)
- Triticum vulgare (wheat)
- Triticale (a wheat and rye crossbreed)
- Secale cereale (rye)
- Hordeum vulgare (barley)
Are Kirkland Protein Bars Gluten-Free?
Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find protein-rich gluten-free snack bars. Costco’s Kirkland Signature line offers four different delicious flavors all made from gluten-free ingredients.
Using whey and milk isolates for protein, Kirkland built their bars from tapioca and nuts to create an enjoyable texture without gluten.
Currently, you can enjoy your post-workout treat in the following flavors:
- Cookies and cream
- Chocolate peanut butter chunk
- Chocolate chip cookie dough
- Chocolate brownie
Head to Costco or any other Kirkland carrier with your membership card to pick up a box and start enjoying these delectable gluten-free snacks today.
Read also: Are Kirkland Protein Bars Healthy
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