“Gluten-Free” Oats?

Lately, some “gluten-free” oats have come on the market.  Can gluten intolerant people have those oats?

The thinking has been that oats themselves are gluten-free, but very easily could become contaminated with gluten.  If oats have been grown in soil that had grown wheat previously, or if oat fields were side-by-side of wheat fields, the oats became contaminated with gluten.  Also, if oats were processed on machinery or a factory where gluten products had been made, just the trace amounts left, would be enough for the oats to be contaminated.

Great care and expense has gone into growing oats in soil that has never been used to grow wheat, and is also in areas nowhere near wheat fields.  Once grown, these oats are then carefully processed and packaged in gluten-free factories.  The resulting oats have then be marketed as “gluten-free.”

I was very excited to hear about these oats, and searched high and low for them.  At the time, I was about two years into the gluten-free life-style, and was ready to get back something I had given up.  Especially oats, I was a fan of all oat products, even plain oatmeal.

It is so satisfying to once again taste a much loved food.  Unfortunately, my joy was short lived because I immediately found these “gluten-free” oats made me just as sick as the ordinary, gluten exposed oats.

It is said that a small portion of gluten intolerant people can not have gluten-free oats, and I am one of that number.  Whether there is still a minute amount of gluten exposure in the oats, or it is due to an actual allergy to oats, there are some that can’t eat them.  If you are preparing something for a gluten-intolerant person, don’t assume oats are not an issue, ask first.



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