Are Oats Gluten-Free And Safe For Celiacs?

Oats are healthy and can be beneficial to our health How about if you have allergies? Are oats gluten-free and safe for patients with celiac disease?

A bowl of oatmeal

We must know all the ingredients in a meal to save ourselves from any serious allergic reactions. Some people have allergies or are sensitive to seafood, while others are to peanuts and more. If you think that suffering from an allergic reaction is a simple one, you should think twice as this condition can result in medical emergencies. In this article, we will talk about oats, whether oats are gluten-free or not.

Among the serious health conditions that we should worry about is celiac disease. Also known as enteropathy gluten sensitivity or celiac sprue, celiac disease is characterized by having diarrhea and bloating. These symptoms along with others, occur if a person with this condition ate foods with gluten content. 

The health condition is not fatal in many cases, but having discomfort and pain are among those that patients should be aware of as chronic celiac disease can be present for lifelong. Health professionals state that gluten causes the immune system of patients with celiac disease to respond in an unhealthy way, leading to small intestinal damage and inflammation.

Suffering from nutritional deficiencies and digestive issues are also among the expected symptoms of this health condition. Other signs include gas, fatigue, weight loss, iron-deficiency anemia, constipation, and depression in some patients.

Celiac Disease Management

Unfortunately for those who have this health condition, they have to live their lives knowing that there are no treatments available for the disease at the moment. Healthy and proper eating habits are important to save yourself from the discomfort that this condition comes with.

One of the most significant ways to manage the signs of celiac disease is to implement and follow a strict diet that is free from all foods with gluten content. Products with rye, barley, spelled as well as wheat are harmful to patients with the condition. Other common foods to watch out for are gravies, sauces, crackers, beer, cookies, bread, pasta, and cakes because most of these have gluten in them.

One of the most frequently asked questions about celiac disease is whether it’s safe for patients to have oats in their diet. Is it free from any gluten content?

Well, for those who are suffering from the condition, the answer is a big yes. Oats are free from gluten. However, they need to be careful with processed oats as there is a possibility that it can be contaminated with ingredients that have gluten content.

Patients who are not tolerant to gluten should watch out for oats that are produced by companies that also produce or process grains that have gluten in them, such as barley, rye, and wheat. Because there is a possibility that the oats are contaminated and might have gluten in them.

Oats are among the healthy foods that we should always have in our diet. These are also recommended, especially to those who are practicing a gluten-free diet. Some countries highly suggest oats to celiac disease patients. There are also medical studies showing the intestinal health of patients with the condition in the countries to be better than the patients in other places.

Contamination of Oats

To reiterate, oats by themselves do not have gluten in them. Yet, in some cases, they are prone to gluten contamination. To have a better understanding of this matter, let us have a quick look at how the contamination of oats can occur.

To be sure that the contamination will not happen, the best move is to grow oats and process them by themselves alone. One of the situations that can result in contamination is when oats are grown with rye, wheat, and other kinds of crops. 

Because although as much as the manufacturers of commercially available oats try their best to keep these free from gluten, there is still a chance of contamination. You might be asking why. One of the reasons is that there is a possibility that the equipment or tools that are used to harvest the crops are also the same ones used to harvest oats. 

Another possible reason is that the seeds to be sown are impure and could be mixed with the seeds of other crops like barley, rye, or wheat. In some cases, oats that are processed, packaged, or prepared by the same company preparing wheat and other crops can have gluten in them because chances are they are packed in the same area where products with gluten are processed.

Some studies were published proving these. One of those showed the results that around 109 of oats products in Europe, as well as North America, have some parts of gluten in them.

What happens when oats contamination occurs? Of course, it will now be unsafe for patients with celiac disease to eat oats as having as low as 20 parts per million gluten in their diet are enough to trigger their condition.

Are Oats Gluten-Free? Studies Related to Celiac Disease and Gluten

Are oats gluten-free and safe for patients with celiac disease? One of the studies that have been conducted to give better light on this matter is the research by a team led by Ontario, Canada’s McMaster University gastroenterology expert Dr. Maria Ines Pinto-Sanchez. After analyzing and studying a group of celiac disease patients whose diet includes gluten-free oats, they reported zero evidence showing that turning to this diet hurts the subjects.

Studies Related to Celiac Disease and Gluten

Are oats gluten-free and safe for patients with celiac disease? One of the studies that have been conducted to give better light on this matter is the research by a team led by Ontario, Canada’s McMaster University gastroenterology expert Dr. Maria Ines Pinto-Sanchez. After analyzing and studying a group of celiac disease patients whose diets include gluten-free oats, they reported zero evidence showing that turning to this diet hurts the subjects.

The Bottom Line

Oats are among the nutritious foods that many health experts recommend to be included in our daily diet. They come and can be served in various forms. Oats are present in many snacks such as muesli and granola.

Oat is healthy and can be helpful to our body, however, there are some limitations to this. If you are one of those who are allergic to gluten, it is important to bear in mind that not all oat products are free of gluten. Some contain gluten, especially those that are sold as snacks like oatmeal cookies and bars. To save you from any health troubles, it is beneficial to always look at product labels to ensure that the oats products that you are taking are good for your body.

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