Oats and Celiac Diet
Pure oats do not contain gluten. However, people with Celiac disease have often avoided eating oats, as it was believed that they triggered a reaction similar to gluten containing cereals. There was also concern that oats could easily be cross-contaminated with gluten containing cereals such as wheat, barley and rye.
Several studies conclude that consumption of oats is safe for the majority of children and adults with celiac disease. Based on this research, a growing number of health professionals, government and celiac organizations now allow consumption of moderate amounts of pure, uncontaminated oat products in a gluten-free diet.
The Canadian Celiac Association Professional Advisory Board, in consultation with Health Canada, has developed a position statement and recommendations for consumption of pure, uncontaminated oats. It states... "The safety of oats in individuals with celiac disease has been extensively investigated. Clinical evidence confirms that consumption of pure, uncontaminated oats is safe in the amount of 50 to 70 grams per day (1/2 – 3/4 cup dry rolled oats) by adults and 20 to 25 grams per day (1/4 cup dry rolled oats) by children with celiac disease. Studies looking at the consumption of oats over five years have confirmed their safety. However, the studies looking at safety of oats in celiac disease have involved a small number of subjects, the oats used were pure, free of gluten contamination and the amount allowed per day was also limited."
Health Canada's Position on Celiac Disease and the Safety of Oats:
Canadian Celiac Association's Position on Oats:
Position Statement on Oats. Revised August 20, 2007 Author: Professional Advisory Board of Canadian Celiac Association
Guidelines for Consumption of Pure and Uncontaminated Oats by Individuals with Celiac Disease. June 8, 2007 Author: Mohsin Rashid for Professional Advisory Board of Canadian Celiac Association.
Gluten-Free Certification Organization
Avena Foods pure whole grain oat products are certified gluten-free in the US by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) is a program of The Gluten Intolerance Group®. The GFCO provides an independent service monitoring compliance with their strict standards through annual plant inspections and product testing.
Consumer identification of gluten-free foods is simplified by the presence of the GF Certification Mark on product labels. The GF logo represents independent verification of quality, integrity, and purity of products that meet strict gluten-free standards to a purity level of less than 10ppm.
A Welcome Addition
Gluten-Free Oats are often a welcome addition to a gluten-free diet as they provide dietary fiber, B vitamins and iron, which are often difficult to obtain on this diet. For example, Oat Flour contains more fiber, protein, iron and calcium and less carbohydrates than other Celiac friendly flours.
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