Including oats within a gluten free diet

Spotty bowl filled with gluten free porridge

Updated 14th July 2021

Although NICE guidelines (The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) advise that gluten free oats can be introduced by a coeliac into their gf diet at any stage, it should still be done via the guidance of a dietician or healthcare specialist. As a small number of coeliacs are unable to tolerate oats (1 in 20), as they contain avenin; a protein which is similar to gluten.

To prevent any risk of cross contamination from the production process, only oats labelled gluten free should be included within a gluten free diet.

When I was diagnosed with coeliac back in 2003, I was advised to avoid oats for the first 6 to 12 months, then gradually introduce them. I prefer this process, rather than the one we currently work with in the UK. As if you have felt well on your gluten free diet, any upset after introducing gluten free oats, would be a clear indication that they don’t personally agree with you.

On the other side of the world, Coeliac Australia recommend that a gastroscopy is done before and three months after gluten free oats have been included within a gf diet. I like the thoroughness of this, as it confirms from the ‘inside’ if oats really do suit you.

Whilst the majority of coeliacs that I speak to seem good to go with gluten free oats, personally, I’ve blown a little hot and cold with how they really make me feel? So for now, I no longer include them within my gluten free diet.

Hope you found this information helpful. Thanks for reading.

Liz x

*A few specialist gluten free products include gluten free oats as an ingredient.

2 thoughts on “Including oats within a gluten free diet

  1. Maggie says:

    Dear Liz

    Thank you for this valuable post. It is important that people realise that not all coeliacs can eat oats. If in doubt, leave them out when catering for coeliacs.

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