This seems to be a recurring question for me, so I thought I'd write a little article about this topic!
YES, pure oats are indeed gluten free.
I think there is a lot of confusion with oats, because you normally see that in most gluten free diet plans, oats are put in the NOT ALLOWED BOX. Now the reason being is because processing of oats are subject to contamination from wheat, rye and barley being processed in the same place, or crops having cross contamination. Even the smallest trace amount of gluten can cause severe symptoms in someone with Coeliac Disease.
“Pure” Oats are out there. They are so nutritious to include in your diet and are absolutely in my must have super food list. There are several companies that provide pure gluten free oats, (Bobs Red Mill, Cream Hill Estates, GF Harvest and Avena Foods) to name a few.
Study after study have shown proven results of the special fibre known as Beta-Glucan in reducing cholesterol levels, which then in turn helps in the prevention of Heart Disease and Diabetes by keeping blood sugar levels in order.
Oats also have anti-inflammatory properties and have a unique antioxidant called Avenanthramides, which also have a cardio protective effect on the body. There are lots of various studies out there on this wonderful antioxidant.
Lets have a look at the proteins of Gluten and the proteins in Oats:
GLIADIN + GLUTENIN = GLUTEN
OAT PROTEINS = AVENALIN and AVENIN
People who have sensitivity to Avenin can have a reaction similar to that of someone with Coeliac Disease. However most people who do have Coeliac Disease can tolerate the protein Avenin.
If you do suffer with Coeliac Disease and follow a strict Gluten Free diet and don’t have a sensitivity to Avenin, by all means try to include pure gluten free oats in your diet, they are a great carbohydrate and will give you energy, a great source of fibre and many other wonderful health benefits.