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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Are Oats Gluten Free?

Are Oats Gluten Free?

Are Oats Gluten Free? This is a subject with a lot of confusion here in Australia - so I thought I'd share some information with you to clear things up. 

As you may have already seen, many of the recipes on Southern In-Law use Gluten Free Oatmeal - but I'm a coeliac - and a very sensitive one at that. For years the Coeliac Society have been telling us that Oatmeal is not gluten free - and whilst they're partially right, there's not complete truth behind that statement. 

What is the difference between oat gluten and other types of gluten?
If the question is, Do Oats Contain Gluten? The simple answer is yes - but oats contain a different type of gluten to other gluten grains such as wheat, barley, rye, triticale and spelt.

One in Five Coeliacs cannot tolerate oats - Are Oats Gluten Free?

One in Five Coeliacs (that's 1 in 10,000 Australians) cannot tolerate Oat Gluten - Avenin. This means that four out of five coeliacs can eat oats.

This also means that someone who is not intolerant or allergic to gluten can be allergic or intolerant of oat gluten. 

But before you go running oat to by oatmeal, be careful.... because there's a catch. 

Warning Oats Contaminated with Gluten

Many brands of oatmeal have been contaminated by other gluten grains (unless stated otherwise). This can occur for a number of reasons, but the main three are:
  1. Contamination in the fieldOften times, farmers will rotate their oatmeal crops with barley or wheat from year to year to ensure the healthiest and most productive crop is grown. 
  2. Contamination during harvesting
    If the farmer harvests his oat crops with a harvester that also harvests other gluten grains - or stores it in a silo/area which other gluten grains have been stored in - the oatmeal will be contaminated (regardless of whether it has been grown in an oat-only crop). 
  3. Contamination during processing
    If the oats have made it from the farm without any contamination, they're not safe yet. Oats still undergo processing at the factory - and if the factory produces other gluten grains on the same line, these oats can become contaminated.
Where Can I Buy Gluten Free Oats in Australia?

If you live in Australia, you would know that you can't find gluten free oats on the shelves of Coles or Woolworths - and that's because the Coeliac Society does not allow oats to be labelled as gluten free due to the small percentage of people that would still get sick. 

That said, there are options available. So where do you buy gluten free oats in Australia? Or anywhere else in the world?

Gluten Free Oatmeal in Australia

I'm an incredibly sensitive coeliac - I get very sick from traces of gluten - so I can assure you that if you can tolerate oats, these products will be fine for you.

I can only recommend products that I have tried personally, so whilst there may be other brands out there, I cannot recommend them to you until I have tried them myself. Over time, I will add to this list with different oat products that I have tried with success. 

Gluten Free Oats in Australia: 
Freedom Foods Quick Oats Gluten Free
Freedom Foods Free Oats Quick Oats
These oats are available in the health food section of Woolworths and Coles stores nationwide and are also available at many IGA and health food stores across the country. 

Free Oats are tested for any wheat gluten, barley, triticale and rye to 3 parts per million using the strictest testing methods available.

Currently they only have their Quick Oats (no rolled oats, unfortunately) for a natural oat solution.


I can also vouch that their Crunchola Range is suitable for Oat Tolerant Coeliacs! I've tried and tested it myself and love it - so if you can tolerate oats, you'll be happy to know this granola is on the menu!

Their Crunchola/Free Oats bars are also suitable for oat tolerant coeliacs too so eat up and enjoy!








Gloriously Free Uncontaminated Oats are also available in Australia and I've tried and tested them and have had absolutely no problems at all (and I'm an incredibly sensitive coeliac). You can buy them at wheatfree.com.au











Gluten Free Oats outside of Australia (which I order in): 
Bob's Red Gluten Free Oatmeal RangeBob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Range
I order Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats from iHerb and they're actually not all that expensive to ship in thanks to iHerbs incredible prices and low shipping rates (plus if you use the coupon code OTO868 you get $10 off your first order). 

Currently the Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oat Range includes; Rolled Oats, Quick Cooking Oats, Oat Flour, Oat Bran and Steel Cut Oats and I have tried and regularly use all of these products.



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So there you go, hopefully now you understand a little bit more about oats and whether oats are gluten free or not. Please share this post with your friends and family members who are coeliacs or gluten intolerant so they too can learn the truth behind gluten free oats!

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for clearing that up :) I think I am 1:5 but might give it another try as it was quite some time ago I tried them. Regards Jo-Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Jo-Anne, when you tried oats, which brand/type did you buy?

      Delete
  2. My question I posted yesterday went under anonymous..no idea why!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are coeliac you should not consume any oats without having first done a supervised oat challenge under guidance of your Gastro specialist.

      Absence of symptoms after consuming oats does not indicate that they are fine to eat. You could still be doing your body damage internally

      Delete
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