When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease in the 1990s, oats were firmly planted on the “Do Not Eat” list. Since then, scientists have learned that the reason oats had historically tested positive for gluten was because they were contaminated with gluten-containing grains during the growing, harvesting, milling and packing stages.
You see, oat groats are similar in size and shape to other grains like wheat, so the same machines have long been used for both. Luckily, in many countries there are now dedicated fields and machines to produce and pack oats, which are then tested by independent agencies to ensure that they contain less than 10ppm gluten (less even, than the proposed FDA standard of <20ppm gluten). These are known as “certified gluten-free oats.”
However, some still doubt that oats should be included on a gluten-free diet. For those of you still unsure if certified gluten-free oats are safe for celiacs & others with gluten sensitivity, these study results should help. New research from Wageningen UR (University & Research Centre) has concluded that of the 29 internationally agreed toxic peptides of wheat, barley or rye which cause reactions in people with celiac or gluten intolerance, none are present in oats.
What does this mean for you? It means that if your doctor says you can try certified gluten-free oats on your GF diet, you should! They are über healthy, delicious and versatile, and make a gluten-free diet all that much easier to follow.
Adding a healthy bowl of gluten-free oatmeal to your breakfast options, oatmeal crisp and oatmeal cookies to your dessert choices, and oat flour to your scones and breads can dramatically increase not only the nutrition in your diet, but also your happiness while sticking to it.
Unfortunately, there are those who still find that oats disagree with them. This isn’t unusual, as any food product could cause any individual problems. If you experience symptoms or discomfort when including oats in your diet, then you are one of those folks who just can’t tolerate oats for some reason, and you should exclude them from your diet. Just as you should exclude dairy or soy or sesame seeds or or or …, if they disagree with you. If GF oats aren’t your friend, a good substitute to try is Quinoa Flakes.
I hope this information is helpful to you as you navigate the world of safe gluten-free foods.
✱P.S. If you’re wondering where to find Certified Gluten-Free Oats, one easy place to look is on my website. Jules Oats are also “instant” oats, so they’re great for cookie recipes or for a morning bowl of oatmeal!
Reverse Oatmeal Crisp
GF Popcorn Bread made with popcorn & GF oat flour
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Popcorn Bread with Oat Flour
Maple Oat Scones
Make Your Own Oat Flour