Are Oats Gluten Free? Limit Consumption? Avoid Completely?

Oats are naturally gluten free; however, oats commonly contain gluten, possibly as much as 10%. Gluten grains may grow in nearby fields. Then when the seeds blow over to the oat crops, they grow together. In addition, transportation vehicles and processing equipment may contain remnants of gluten-containing grains.

Gluten Free Oats and The Controversy


Limit the Amount of Gluten Free Oats

Only certified gluten-free oats should be consumed by those with celiac disease or who are intolerant to gluten. Because many gluten intolerant individuals cannot tolerate a large amount of oats, (some none at all), the recommended amount to consume is a maximum of 1/2 cup of uncooked oats per day. Consider lessening this amount for children according to their weight.


Oat Intolerance

Oats contain a protein fragment called avenin that reacts similar to gluten in some people. Majority of people with celiac disease do not react to avenin. However, some clinical and experimental studies show that in a small percentage of individuals, it triggers an autoimmune response. Research shows that a small percentage of people with celiac disease do react to avenin. Because not everyone presents symptoms when they have an autoimmune response to gluten or avenin, professionals suggest to limiting the amount you consume.


Newly Diagnosed

If you are newly diagnosed, discuss the consumption of oats with your doctor. Many medical professionals suggest avoiding oats for at least the first year. Your gut needs to heal and the avoidance of oats will help ensure this.


Gluten Free Oat Brands

Common gluten-free oat brands are Bob’s Red Mill (in the United States) and Cream Hill Estates (in Canada).


Other Ingredients That May Cause an Autoimmune Reaction

When you have celiac disease, not only may oats trigger an autoimmune reaction similar to gluten, but other foods may, as well. Learn more these foods by reading Foods that Reacts Like Gluten and Quinoa Cross-Reactivity.

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