Pure oats that are scientifically proven to be gluten-free are now available for the consumer to purchase. But questions have been presented about their safety for the celiac, gluten-free diet.
When you research the oats debate you’ll find several national and international organizations have a position statement on oats, largely proclaiming their safety and describing their stance on including them in a gluten-free diet. Currently, it appears as though a majority of organizations have come to the consensus that pure, gluten-free oats are completely safe for the celiac diet, if consumed in limited quantity. However, it is advised that the small intestine be given adequate time to heal on a gluten-free diet before introducing pure, gluten-free oats back into the diet. Research suggests that from a quarter cup to one cup a day will not adversely affect individuals with celiac disease. In fact, a majority of organizations support their inclusion in the diet in the interest of providing high-quality fiber, other nutrients, and variety, a boon for those who love oats!
However, before you make your decision, it’s important to note that oats contain another type of protein known as prolamin avenin that some people believe has characteristics similar to gluten. Even though research suggests that the majority can tolerate oats in small quantities, a small number of individuals with celiac disease react negatively to pure, gluten-free oats. As a result of this evidence, some individuals and organizations remain leery about including pure oats on the safe list until further long-term research provides the results they want to see.
If you decide to try pure gluten-free oats after thoroughly researching the issue for yourself, consider doing so carefully with small amounts under the supervision of your physician or dietician, and closely monitor how you react to them. Also, when consuming oats, discuss with your doctor if there is a need to take blood tests to monitor your antibody levels so that you have a biological green or red light to continue with oats.
While the debate about oats continues, it is nice to know that science reveals that oats are by nature gluten-free and when grown and processed in a 100 percent gluten-free environment they can offer yet another ingredient to enjoy and utilize for those who can tolerate them.