Oats and Coeliac Disease - To eat or not to eat?

Updated: Oct 24


"To eat or not to eat" - Had Shakespeare had Coeliac Disease then that may have been the BIG question.


In Australia oats are excluded from foods labelled Gluten Free which is often confusing as many other countries allow those with Coeliac Disease to eat "Gluten Free" oats but Australia and New Zealand don't.

Gluten Free oats are grown from a pure oat seed on land that has not grown wheat for at least 2 years. All of the farming equipment used must also be free from cross contamination


Oats are tested and if negative, the oats can be eaten by someone with Coeliac Disease but in Australia cannot be labelled as Gluten Free, instead they will be labelled as wheat free or contaminant free oats.


Oats contain a different protein than wheat, which acts more like the protein in Gluten Free grains, and therefore does not act like the damaging proteins in Gluten. Gluten free oats have been studied and only 5-8% of people with Coeliac Disease react to them which means 92-95% are safe.


The positives of oats are the improvements to gastrointestinal health in the large bowel, the steady blood sugar levels, and improvements to cholesterol and heart health that come from including them in the diet. Inclusion of oats also provides a good source of fibre which is often lacking in a Gluten free diet.


In Australia, a person newly diagnosed with Coeliac Disease is recommended to avoid oats until the bowel begins to recover. Then in discussion with their Gastroenterologist "Gluten Free" oats can be trialed for three months to determine tolerance.


A new bowel biopsy will need to be completed after three months of eating "Gluten Free" oats - approximately 50g 5 days per week.


If you have been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease or have been avoiding oats for a long time due to having Coeliac Disease and would like to include Oats in your diet, speak to your Medical Professsional.


References:-

Faulkner-Hogg, K, Practice Tips, DAA Professional Service Magazine, Oct 22, pg 10-11