Cereals Food Preparation

Is Organic Oatmeal Gluten-Free? Our Guide 2020!

Pure and organic oats are nutritious grains that entail various benefits to one’s health. You can basically consume it in the form of a popular porridge during breakfast. There are also some who munch over it through some healthy treats like granola and muesli. But, the question is organic oatmeal gluten-free?

As we go along, we will determine if organic oatmeal is gluten-free. But, before that, we will discuss first the definition of gluten and its effect on individuals. Aside from that, we also have here the benefits and downsides of eating oats.

The Concern with Gluten

Nowadays, gluten-free diets dominate our market. Research shows that there are about 15 to 30% of US individuals are trying to keep away from gluten for a reason or two. Basically, gluten is a protein that naturally occurs in most grains which includes wheat, barley, and rye. This kind of protein is primarily responsible for the chewy consistency of most food like pasta and pizza.

People can actually eat gluten without any worry of suffering from unwanted adverse reactions to the body. However, there are significant numbers of individuals that react negatively once they eat gluten. Consuming gluten may lead to some digestive problems in particular groups of people. This is due to the fact that gluten has a distinct amino acid structure which blocks the activity of digestive enzymes located in the gut.

If you are suffering from celiac disease, the body automatically elicits an immune reaction to gluten. This will eventually cause havoc to the lining of the intestine. So, if you are gluten-intolerant, consuming a small amount of it may be damaging to your health. In order to avoid this, you must have to eliminate gluten-containing foods in your diet.

Is Organic Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

After having a brief background about gluten, let us try to determine some food that may or may not contain gluten. One of these is organic oat or oatmeal products. Generally, the main concern involves the concept behind is organic oatmeal gluten-free?

Basically, pure and organic oats do not have any traces of gluten which means that it is safe for consumption of most people even those who suffer from gluten intolerance. On the other hand, during processing on the same facilities similar to barley and wheat, oats become contaminated with gluten. This is where the concern about is organic oatmeal gluten-free arise.

is organic oatmeal gluten-free

Pure and organic oats and oatmeal are gluten-free. Yet, most brands of oatmeal available in the market today are not pure. Because of cross-contamination, there is still a little amount of wheat, rye or barley. Thus, you must have to get along with brands that are gluten-free especially if you have celiac disease.

However, there are individuals suffering from celiac who also have an untoward response with oats. That’s why you should take extra caution not to overeat oats if you are not sure with your reaction towards it.

Is Organic Oatmeal Gluten-Free – the Cross-Contamination with Gluten

Is organic oatmeal gluten-free? Basically, yes! Pure and organic oats do have gluten but the main issue is that they are grown and produced in facilities the same with other crops. Cross-contamination of gluten usually occurs during the production process of oats in the same equipment where other crops containing gluten are also processed.

Due to this, it is already not a surprise that the number of regular oatmeal that contains levels of gluten significantly exceeded the standard level of gluten-free products. There is one study showing that 109 oat products within North America and Europe contained about an average level of 200 parts per million.

But, keep in mind that only about 20 ppm of gluten can already cause a significant digestive reaction for those with celiac disease which we will discuss further later on. Moreover, the study shows that there is a high risk of cross-contamination and that risk is generally unsafe to include oats in a gluten-free diet. This may help us to know is organic oatmeal gluten-free.

Perhaps, because of growing numbers of individuals with gluten sensitivity, many companies started to process oats in separate clean equipment and cultivate it on fields only for gluten-free crops. So, is organic oatmeal gluten-free? Basically, the oats processed in a gluten-free facility and equipment can be considered as gluten-free thus containing 20ppm of gluten and lower.

Moreover, there are gluten-free labels in which their claims are not really reliable. This means that the gluten levels contained there are higher than the safety standards of gluten-free labelled products of 5%. But, most 100% of oats passed and comply with the standard certifying and determining is organic oat gluten-free.

Organic Oatmeal and Celiac Disease

Even if there is already a direction on the concern about is organic oatmeal gluten-free, the other issue lies behind the consumption of oat by people with celiac disease. Generally, even if you have celiac, you can still eat oats. However, there is a small percentage of gluten-sensitive individuals with celiac and non-celiac disease who also react to avenin. This is basically a protein that is usually found in oats.

Yet, the numbers of people suffering from celiac who also react negatively with oats are still unknown. Moreover, there are estimates of about 10 to 15 percent but there is still ongoing research on this. Additionally, some studies show that certain types of oats tend to be more toxic to people with celiacs.

On the other hand, there are also studies that reveal that there are people with celiac or wheat sensitivity can still consume 2 to 3.5 ounces or 50 to 100 grams of pure or organic oats per day. They can freely consume this amount without having to experience any adverse reactions.

Is Organic Oatmeal Gluten-Free – Specific Studies with Celiac Disease

Moreover, there are some proofs that specific types of oats are less toxic to celiac disease sufferers. One study in Spanish observed the way of the immune system components reacted to various oat types in celiac sufferers. After the study, they found out that some oats can trigger lesser immune reactions compared to others.

Meanwhile, another study by Italian researchers utilized the cell samples of people with celiac in order to observe the cell reactions to different oat variations placed inside the test tubes. The result of the study reveals that two varieties of oats are not able to trigger a major immune system response to celiac disease. These oat varieties are the Avena genziana and Avena Potenza.

Unfortunately, researchers suggest that both oat types may still trigger immune system changes at low level over the cell samples. The study in relation to this is still on-going and it is too early to jump up on a conclusion that certain oat types are safer or not for the consumption of celiac sufferers.

Furthermore, some countries already include oats in the list of a gluten-free diet. Promotion of intestinal healing was observed to be better with people suffering from celiac living in those countries. Pure organic oat is naturally gluten-free is safe for wheat allergy sufferers as well.

Friendly Advice:

In order to determine your reaction to oats and oatmeal products especially if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consider having a munch of it in a pure and gluten-free version. It is actually better to begin a munch with spoonful or two. Initially, consult your physician and be very cautious in incorporating gluten-free oats in the diet. The moment the symptoms of celiac return, immediately stop consuming the gluten-free oatmeal right away.

Other Possible Downsides of Oatmeal

There are still numbers of people suffering from celiac disease who do not have the ability to tolerate eating pure oats. Earlier, we said that pure oats contain a protein known as avenin. This protein is the one responsible for the occurrence of some digestive problems caused by consuming oats even the pure form. Basically, avenin produces this kind of reaction because the structure of its amino acid is the same as that of gluten. 

Possible Downsides of Oatmeal

Fortunately, large numbers of people with gluten sensitivity do not have any response with avenin. These people can consume pure and organic oats without any hassle. Meanwhile, a small percentage of celiac sufferers also reacts to avenin as well. So, the consumption of oats even the certified gluten-free ones may generally be unsafe.

Moreover, there are two other separate studies that observed that some celiac sufferers dealt with a little immune system reaction and more of the digestive symptoms after eating oats. Although showing these effects, no one in the studies experienced intestinal concerns from eating oats.

The Health Benefits of Gluten-Free Oatmeal

Following a strict gluten-free diet entails a few selections of food most likely when it comes to grains and starchy foods. Addition of oats and oatmeal products can incorporate a new option in the variety. But, you should stick on the concept is organic oatmeal gluten-free.

Moreover, organic oatmeal that is gluten-free may lead to insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals like the B-complex, folate, and fiber. Also, minerals including magnesium, manganese, iron, selenium, and zinc may also be deficient with this diet based on studies. On the contrary, oats may be a perfect source of vitamins and minerals like those mentioned above.

Aside from that, oats also offer amazing health benefits:

  1. HEART HEALTH – Eating oats basically improve the risks associated with heart disease as it lowers the level of LDL or bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol or HDL.
  2. WEIGHT LOSS – By controlling the appetite and increasing the fullness, oats and oatmeal support weight loss.
  3. DIABETES – Improving the blood sugar, levels of fat in the blood, and also the insulin sensitivity of people suffering from type 2 diabetes is one of the benefits of eating oats.

Getting Rid of Gluten in Oats

The question regarding is organic oatmeal gluten-free involves the answer that yes it is. However, due to cross-contamination with gluten-containing crops, pure and organic oat and oatmeal may contain some amount of gluten. So, in order to keep away from those gluten-containing foods, you need to sort the oats out or grow them in a separate facility. At the same time, it also applies to the processing of oats on specific machines in facilities without gluten-containing grains.

Basically, this only shows that the oats within the US contain some amount of gluten. Time-bound and budget are the factors affecting most of the oat growers. Fortunately, lots of manufacturers begin to produce gluten-free oats answering the query is organic oatmeal gluten-free. Yet, there’s a lot of debate involving the celiac disease sufferers.

Well-known and big-name manufacturers are using a mechanical way of sorting to take away any contaminants present within the oat. This mechanical sorting is also known as the optical method. Bob’s Red Mill and General Mills are two examples of those oat manufacturers using this kind of method in oat production. But, still many people with celiac disease kept on arguing that doing such is not enough to remove any glutinous contaminants on oats.

Moreover, other manufacturers may not experience the same kind of issue which means that their samples are under the standard limit. As studies show, most celiac disease sufferers can consume gluten-free oats without any problems. But, if it calls for a worry, consider consuming oats that are manufactured focusing on its purity. This means that the oats were grown entirely on a separate area from other grains and crops answering the query is organic oatmeal gluten-free.

Go for Oats and Organic Oatmeal that is Gluten-Free

is organic oatmeal gluten-free

Eating oats is highly beneficial as it can provide various vitamins, minerals, and lots of fiber. However, dealing with it somehow entails a complicated issue especially for those who have gluten sensitivity. So, in order to get rid of it, one best way to do is to consume organic oatmeal that is gluten-free. Luckily, there are certified gluten-free organic oats and oatmeal available in the market.

Check the following oatmeal brands that are certified gluten-free:

Bob’s Red Mill

If there’s one name in the oatmeal industry that is well-known for producing a wide variety of oatmeal and organic oatmeal that is gluten-free, it is none other than the Bob’s Red Mill. Testing some of their oat and oatmeal products show that the gluten content is basically lower than 20 parts per million. But, there’s no need to worry as Bob’s has gluten-free oat in its product range. The other oatmeal products that they have include the easy-to-prepare oatmeal, quick-cooking oats, steel-cut, and rolled oats.

GF Harvest

The thing that makes GF Harvest amazing and unique compared to other oatmeal brands is that it is owned by a family in Wyoming suffering from celiac disease. Growing the oats and performing other processing methods and testing are done in their own field. This is to basically aim for an uncontaminated oat and dealing on the issue is organic oatmeal gluten-free. Moreover, testing the seeds needed in the production ends up to only 3 parts per million.

In order to stop the doubt of the consumer, GF Harvest has Gluten-Free Certification together with Organic Certification and Kosher Certifications. Their product range covers gluten-free rolled oats in both organic and regular form. GF Harvest proves that organic oatmeal is gluten-free. Aside from that, the company also has easy-to-prepare oatmeal.

Glutenfreeda Foods

There are generally eight various types of instant gluten-free oatmeal under Glutenfreeda Foods. All of the oatmeal products include flax meal as an ingredient. Aside from that, the plain instant oatmeal and the bulk oats are included in their oatmeal product list. They usually market and sell their products via online and in specialty stores. Do not worry as most of its oatmeal products have gluten levels of less than 5 parts per million.

Montana Gluten-Free

The company of Montana Gluten-Free coordinates basically with the farmers in order to guarantee that their oats are not contaminated with gluten. Moreover, they also certify that their oat products contain lower than 3 parts per million of gluten. Their oatmeal products include raw oatmeal, naked oats, toasted oats, cream of oats, and baking supplies made from oats.

Quaker Oats

Among the other oat brands, Quaker Oats is the most commonly seen in the local store. Concerning the issue is organic oat gluten-free; Quaker Oats sells three varieties of gluten-free oatmeal. This includes the instant plain oatmeal, quick oats, and instant oatmeal with maple and brown sugar. Aside from their regular oatmeal, they basically have oat that is gluten-free which comes in a purple banner.  

But, just a quick overview of their process of oat production, their oat sources are not grown away out of glutinous grains. Besides, Quaker only purchases regular oats which have the possibility of acquiring cross-contamination from gluten grains. Afterwards, they utilize the sorting technique in which the effectiveness is still debatable.

Moreover, Quaker Oats undergoes testing of their oatmeal products to address the issue is organic oatmeal gluten-free. The testing also guarantees that the oats from Quaker have gluten level of fewer than 20 parts per million. But, it is still important that you may opt for oat brands which use comprehensive testing standards if you are sensitive to any gluten traces.

Also, keep in mind that many companies are selling gluten-free oats also manufacture oatmeal with some gluten content. Knowing this, be very cautious in checking the labels and conclude that the product is not really safe. Not unless that you already see a mark that it is gluten-free.      

Final Thoughts

Is organic oatmeal gluten-free? The answer is definitely yes. But, due to the process of manufacturing, oats may contain some traces of gluten due to cross-contamination by using the same facility or equipment where glutinous grains are also made.

It is generally important to buy certified gluten-free oatmeal products especially if you are suffering from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Moreover, buying pure oats nowadays is actually easy. However, you must need to be sure if oatmeal is gluten-free. This is to guarantee that the oats you eat are pure and uncontaminated.   


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