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Organic Oats: A Healthy, Nutritious And Gluten-Free Option

Updated on May 4, 2015
Wheat Field
Wheat Field
Oats growing
Oats growing
Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal in the morning has always been a winter morning past time for some families. It was considered nutritious – a healthy energy providing food. Cooked oats, even the instant kinds made you feel full and warm inside. Oats were also added to chocolate chip cookies or mixed with raisins. Both options were tasty.

Yet, in the past few years, as many people have decided to go gluten-free, oats have been abandoned by the wayside. Medical professionals told their celiac patients and those with gluten intolerance not to eat oats. They said that oat products contained gluten. Well, it turns out they were wrong.

The Problem with Oats

Oats have been lumped together with the notorious sources of gluten. The Famous Four are:

  • Barley

  • Rye

  • Triticale

  • Wheat

All are known to contain gluten, two proteins: gliadin and gluten, which give dough the elasticity it needs to produce bread. It is gluten that is the culprit in causing serious to severe reactions in those susceptible. It is also these same proteins that have made their way into oat products, including rolled oats and baked goods, branding oats as containing gluten.

What Is at Fault?

What research has recently discovered is that oats do not contain gluten in their natural form. They are gluten free until they are processed. At this point, one of two things can happen to contaminate the oats with gluten:

  1. The equipment is the same used to mix various gluten containing products such as wheat and barley

  2. Gluten containing products are added as part of the process

In either instance, oats going in gluten-free, emerge containing gluten.

The Solution

There is only one solution for the consumer who wants to avoid gluten and still eat oats. It is essential you only purchase oats and oat products produced in facilities that do not handle any gluten products. Alternatively, you buy oat products from facilities where, at the bare minimum, the equipment used to process and package oats is restricted solely for that purpose.

If you still want your oats and eat them gluten free, you need to do your research. You need to look at:

  • Where they are grown

  • Whether they are organic

  • If they are produced in gluten-free facilities

By shopping shop sensibly, carefully reading the labels on the packages and finding good companies with solid online reviews, you can once more make hot oat cereals and oatmeal cookies part of your everyday gluten-free routine.


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