Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods. It is rich in nutrients and rich in a particular type of fiber: beta-glucans.
Oatmeal is naturally gluten-free. However, one of the most frequent recommendations for celiacs is to avoid it.
This article looks at the relationship between oats and gluten.
Oatmeal for celiacs
Finding substitutes for wheat can be difficult for those with some degree of gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
Oatmeal is a grain of Mediterranean origin with excellent properties and nutritional benefits, which could be an ideal choice for these people.
Also, oatmeal is one of the best food choices for weight loss. This is because its glycemic index is low; that is, the energy of oats is assimilated slowly and progressively.
Do oats have gluten?
Even though oats do not have gluten in their composition, they are usually contaminated during their production process.
Wheat-based foods are often packaged simultaneously in industries where oats are packaged.
The equipment and the crops where oats are harvested are often combined with other gluten-containing products. For this reason, making oats suitable for celiacs is a challenge for producers.
Studies have found that even brands of oatmeal sold as gluten-free have traces of this molecule in their makeup. (1,2)
In 2008, in an investigation where 134 brands of oat products were evaluated, only 25 passed the gluten test. What has forced producers to take extra measures so that they do not withdraw their products from the market? (3)
Studies in 2018 have yielded negative gluten results for most brands of gluten-free oatmeal.
Oat Proteins – Avenatrinamides
There is a particular type of protein in oats, aveninases, or avenatrinamides (AVAs). AVAs have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
Research claims that they can help control blood pressure by acting as vasodilators. (5)
Avenatrinamides are different from gluten. However, some people with celiac disease may react slightly to it. The studies recommend doing a specific analysis for this type of compound to evacuate doubts. (6)
Final thoughts: Is it a myth that oats have gluten?
Gluten is the protein present in wheat. Only 20 ppm can lead to severe consequences and symptoms in people with intolerance to it. Eating a gluten-free diet is medically essential for these people. (1)
Gluten-free oats exist. Currently, people with celiac disease can eat gluten-free pure oats.
Changes in the standardization of production have allowed the production of oats suitable for celiacs.
Oatmeal is a gluten-free food; it provides high-quality fiber and protein. Oats can be suitable food for coeliacs. However, some people may experience reactions to the proteins in oats: avenatrinamides.