First of all Oats do NOT contain Gluten.
This means that most Coeliacs can eat Oats without any problems at all. However, some coeliacs may also be sensitive to Oats, as they contain a similar protein called Avenins. So this is something to be aware of.
Also, you need to bear in mind that many oats, and oat products are contaminated with gluten from wheat, barley and rye so it is super important to check the label to make sure the food is suitable for you – See below!
It is recommended that as soon as you find out you are Coeliac, you stop eating oats altogether for 6 months, and then reintroduce to our diet after you have consulted your GP or dietician.
But on the whole… for most people… it does mean that the humble Flap Jack is back on the menu!!!! Woo hoo!!!
The crossed grain symbol is basically the holy grail when shopping for Coeliacs. The presence of this symbol on packaging means that your food is free from gluten…. and is safe!
So look out for it on the packaging of your food! Unfortunately it is not the law for food manufacturers to display this on their packaging, and some supermarkets do have their own variation on this symbol.
You may also come across a number of statements on the packaging such as:
- Suitable for Coeliacs
- Gluten Free
If you cannot see any of this.. make sure you check the ingredients carefully.
It is a bit of a tricky one. Which grains can you eat? Which grains should you avoid like the plague?
I have pulled together a simple list to help you on your way!
Gluten Free :
- Corn (maize)
- Polenta (cornmeal)
- Oats (in most cases coeliacs can still eat oats… just be careful of the manufacturing methods!)
Not Gluten Free:
- Bulgar wheat
- Durum Wheat
- Emmer Wheat
Sooooooo, in a nut shell…. stick to the first list, and avoid the second list! Simple! Or not so simple… it can be pretty tricky remembering what you can and cannot have, finding it on a food label, identifying it on a menu, especially when, lets face it, we haven’t even HEARD of half of these!
But don’t worry… more information is on its way.