Including oatmeal in your diet is always considered as healthy. However, when people want to keep out gluten from their diet, they need to know if oatmeal gluten-free or not.
The sales for gluten-free products was above $4.3 billion by the 2018, and is anticipated to catch up with the $7.9 billion mark during the period 2020 to 2026. ― Source: PRnewswire
The gluten-free diet fad is not limited to people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity alone. They aren't the only reason for the boom in gluten-free products found in the market. Health-conscious people believe that going gluten-free is the way to weight loss.
This has propelled the demand of gluten-free foods. Oatmeal is known to be a common preference amongst many. However, it needs to be figured out whether oatmeal contains gluten or not. We sort out this issue once and for all for you.
What is Oatmeal?
◆ Oats are cereal grain species grown for its groats, commonly known as oatmeal. Crushed, rolled, and steal-cut oatmeal forms are also available. It can be consumed in the form of porridge, cereal, cakes, cookies, pancakes, etc.
◆ A bowl of oatmeal is recommended to be eaten daily to lower cholesterol. When combined with low-fat diet, it can reduce the chances of a heart disease as well. It has a high content of soluble fibers and complex carbohydrates that help in bettering the digestion process and stabilizing blood glucose levels. It also has a higher content of vitamin B.
Is Oatmeal Gluten-free Naturally?
◆ In its purest form, yes! Oats do not contain any gluten. However, most oats that are seen in the market are not in their natural form.
◆ Oats can be contaminated with gluten. It can happen in a field where oats and wheat, barley, or rye, which have gluten in them, are grown side by side. Contamination can happen at the time of harvesting by using the same harvesting equipment for all the grains.
Many processing facilities may use same machinery to process them. Contact with wheat, barley, or rye can contaminate pure and natural oats and make it unfit for those on a gluten-free diet. Consuming such oats can be harmful for people with celiac disease.
What is the Solution?
◆ According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, people with celiac disease can consume oats daily in a recommended quantity. However, it is necessary to consume oats as per the physician's recommendation.
◆ The Canadian Celiac Association suggests that adults with celiac disease may consume 50 to 70 g of pure, dry rolled oats on a daily basis, while children can take in 20 to 25 g daily. Also, the association mentions that oats should be made a part of the diet only when celiac disease in under control and when a health care professional gives the go ahead.
◆ Another way to solve the problem is to find gluten-free brands available in the market. An easier way to find such brands is to check the label on their products. It they are gluten-free, the labels will say so. Here are some of gluten-free brands that you can opt for:
▶ GF Harvest
It is a family business situated in Wyoming. It is known to perform extensive testing on oats to make the oats content 3 parts per million of gluten. The company holds gluten-free certifications as well as Kosher certifications. The company offers a number of products including oatmeal flour, oatmeal stout, oatmeal granola, and rolled oats.
▶ Bob's Red Mill
The company produces three types of oatmeal, i.e. quick-cooking oats, rolled oats, and steel-cut oatmeal with 19 parts per million gluten. It produces around 50 gluten-free products such as oat bran, thick rolled oats, quick to cook oats, etc.
▶ Holly's Oatmeal
The company offers oatmeal that contains less than 5 parts per million of gluten. Oatmeal comes in plain and cranberry flavors. Buyers can make their custom-flavored oatmeal as well.
▶ Glutenfreeda Foods
This company offers a range of flavors in oatmeal including plain, banana maple, apple cinnamon, and maple raisin. The company is certified with a gluten-free label and produces oats that contain 5 parts per million gluten.
▶ Montana Gluten Free Processors
The company is known to work directly with farmers to be certain that the oats aren't cross-contaminated. The company holds a gluten-free certification. Their products contain 3 parts per million gluten, including high fibers and proteins.
Celiac disease-affected people can easily maintain a healthy diet with gluten-free oats. Even people without such a condition can include such oats in their diet. However, as per the studies, gluten-free oats may lack all the needed fibers and proteins. On the other hand, gluten-free oats may be high in fats, cholesterol, and calories. However, with a balanced diet, one can cut back a little on gluten in oats for a healthy diet.