Are Oats Gluten Free?

Oats, a cereal grain that originates from Scotland and Ireland, is gluten-free. This means it can be eaten by those with celiac disease or who suffer from the autoimmune condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). People with NCGS should experiment with oats for some time to see if they react negatively before giving up their favorite food forever.

The health benefits of oats are numerous, but experts have been debating the nutritional facts about gluten-free Oatmeal. The debate is still ongoing about whether or not oats contain gluten, so here’s a breakdown of how you can eat healthy with this breakfast staple.

Oats are often touted as one of the healthiest breakfast alternatives available. Still, many people are unsure how they are created or what distinguishes them from other cereal grains, such as wheat.

“Are oats gluten-free?” you may question. But without understanding the complete tale, some individuals opt to give them up entirely.

So, how do you feel about oats? Are they healthful, or will they, like refined carbs, cause gluten intolerance, indigestion, and other problems?

We’ll look at whether or not various varieties of oats are gluten-free, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of adding them to your diet.

What Exactly Are Oats?

Oats are a kind of common whole-grain cereal grain produced for the seeds. They derive from the plant Avena sativa, which has the scientific name Avena sativa.

Is it possible to consume Oatmeal on a gluten-free diet? Yes, in certain situations.

Even if you believe it’s time to eliminate gluten from your diet — and hence things like bread, spaghetti, most cereals, and so on — you don’t have to stop all oats.

Wheat vs. Oats

The three whole grains categories that naturally include the protein gluten are wheat, barley, and rye grains. In addition, oats contain a protein called avenins, which replaces gluten in the diet.

While oats do not contain gluten, they are often farmed on the same land and in the same rotation as gluten-containing cereals (wheat, barley, and rye). As a result, gluten grains might develop inside oat harvests if planted in the field the previous year, causing the oats to become gluten-contaminated.

Even though oats are a whole grain that hasn’t been processed and has certain health advantages that wheat doesn’t, it’s still best to eat whole grains in moderation. Although entire grains contain critical nutrients and may be obtained in gluten-free varieties, they can cause digestive difficulties, weight gain, and blood sugar abnormalities when consumed in high quantities.


For thousands of years, people have consumed oats. They’ve traditionally been crucial for feeding cattle as well as delivering critical nutrients to rising people.

Wild oats were initially cultivated centuries ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Near East, yet people did not domesticate them until the Bronze Age in Europe. As a result, oat grass has been used for therapeutic reasons for many years, including to assist women in regulating their menstrual cycles, as a natural osteoporosis cure, and as a home medicine for urinary tract infections.

Beyond providing the basis for a basic breakfast, oats are used in various ways across the globe. For hundreds of years, oat bread, for example, has been a staple of many European civilizations, particularly the English, Irish, and Scottish.

Oatcakes, oats cookies, and oat bread are just a few of the baked foods that include them.

Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, oats are technically gluten-free grains since they aren’t a form of wheat, barley, or rye grain.

Is it OK to eat oats if you have celiac disease?

Most persons with a gluten allergy, often known as celiac disease, are fine eating gluten-free oats.

They’re also simpler to digest and less likely to produce allergic responses in most people than other grains, so they’re usually accepted by individuals with gluten intolerance symptoms, as long as they’re cautious about how the oats are created and processed.

“Perhaps fewer than 1% of celiac patients exhibit a sensitivity to a large number of oats in their diets,” according to reports.

Is it possible to tell whether oats are gluten-free?

If someone with a gluten allergy or sensitivity wishes to purchase and consume gluten-free oats, they should make sure they get them from a source that assures no cross-contamination with wheat, rye, or barley. “Certified gluten-free” brands of gluten-free oats are branded as such.

Keep in mind that organic labeling does not indicate whether or not a product contains gluten. So even if you purchase organic oats, be sure they’re certified gluten-free.

What oat brands are gluten-free?

Here’s how you can be sure they’re gluten-free:

  • Unless they are labeled gluten-free, most conventional supermarket oats (including Quaker varieties), even organic types or those offered in “bulk bins” at health food shops, are unlikely to be gluten-free. Why? Because gluten-containing foods are often cross-contaminated for a variety of reasons.
  • Because oats are often handled in the same facilities as wheat-containing items, there’s always a danger that they’ll get gluten-contaminated during the packing process. Gluten crops may be blended in with oats after being harvested and sent to a manufacturing plant to be cleaned and packed. As a result, little pieces of wheat, barley, or rye may wind up in a bag of other grains. Even if this does not occur, oats and gluten crops are likely to be processed on the same equipment, posing a risk of contamination.
  • Gluten-free oats are guaranteed to be farmed in gluten-free fields, transported in gluten-free trucks, and processed on gluten-free machinery.
  • Third-party quality assessments also confirm that the pedigreed crops are devoid of wheat, rye, barley, and other related cereals – and that the gluten-free product is indeed that. This is the only method to ensure that oats are gluten-free, even if only in tiny levels.

Nutritional Information

Oatmeal is a popular whole grain dish all across the globe, and for a good reason. Fiber, trace minerals, and even plant-based protein may all be found in oat grains.

B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium may all be obtained by eating gluten-free Oatmeal on a daily basis. In addition, Oatmeal is a “recognized heart-healthy food,” according to the American Heart Association.

Oatmeal includes some beneficial fatty acids like other whole grains since the germ, endosperm, and bran are all intact. However, it’s here that nutrients and modest quantities of essential lipids are kept.

A half-cup (about 40 grams) of regular dry or instant rolled oats (equivalent to one cup cooked oatmeal) includes approximately:

  • Calorie Count: 154
  • Carbs: 28 grams
  • Protein content: 5–6 grams
  • Fat: 1–2 grams
  • Fiber: 4–5 grams
  • Manganese: 5 milligrams (73 percent DV)
  • Phosphorus: 166 milligrams (16 percent)
  • Selenium: 7 milligrams (16 percent)
  • Magnesium: 56 milligrams (14 percent)
  • Thiamine: 0.19 milligrams (12 percent)
  • Iron: 7 milligrams (10 percent)
  • Zinc: 5 milligrams (10 percent)
  • Copper: 0.16 grams (8 percent)
  • Vitamin B5/ pantothenic: 0.45 milligrams(5 percent)


1. Assist with Cholesterol Reduction

When consumed many times or more each week, Oatmeal includes soluble fiber, notably beta-glucans, which may help naturally decrease cholesterol.

B-glucan is a soluble dietary fiber present in the endosperm cell walls of oats and is known for its cholesterol-lowering and insulin-regulating activities. Oats are one of the most recommended grains for lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, total cholesterol levels, and the risk of heart disease because they contain more soluble fiber than many other grains.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, a high-fiber diet (with as little as three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grains) may reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, according to studies, people who eat whole grains like oats and eat a lot of fiber from whole foods are more likely to have better cardiovascular health and healthy body weight.

This is because they contain not just fiber but also vital, heart-healthy trace minerals and phenolic chemicals associated with decreased inflammation, hypertension, and disease prevention. In addition, the fiber we get from these grains swells up in our intestines, absorbing water and carrying waste and excess cholesterol particles along with it.

2. Provide Fiber for Filling

When opposed to processed and refined cereal grains or carbs, whole grains include more belly-filling fiber, as well as more vitamins and minerals.

The outer casing, known as the bran, contains soluble fiber. Oats have a soluble fiber content of 55 percent and an insoluble fiber content of 45 percent.

Fiber is more than just a calming agent. In addition to taking up a lot of room in your stomach, high-fiber meals absorb a lot of water. As a result, while being low in calories, they help you feel satiated.

Are oats beneficial for weight reduction, or may they make you fat? Oatmeal’s high fiber content may aid weight reduction by making you feel full, contented, and less likely to succumb to cravings.

In several trials, short- and long-term oatmeal consumption has been reported to substantially impact controlling hyperglycemia, lowering blood lipids, and losing weight.

However, if you consume Oatmeal for breakfast daily, be sure to include some protein and fat to help you remain fuller for longer.

While oats may seem thick and satisfying, they will not keep you as complete as a higher-protein breakfast. In a 2017 research, two eggs per day, compared to an oatmeal breakfast, had no adverse effects on biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease risk in healthy persons but enhanced satiety throughout the day.

3. Assist with Digestion

Fiber may help you keep your bowel motions regular. However, because humans can’t digest dietary fiber included in whole meals, it passes through our digestive systems, dragging poisons and waste after it.

This is one of the reasons why numerous studies demonstrate that eating a fiber-rich diet improves gut and colon health, relieves constipation, and reduces irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. To get the most out of eating whole grains, be sure to drink enough water so that fiber can do its work correctly.

4. Boost Your Immunity

Beta-glucans, a kind of naturally occurring polysaccharide found in oats and other beneficial foods like mushrooms, have improved immune function by reducing inflammation and preventing bacterial infection.

They achieve this by triggering immunological responses, particularly macrophages, white blood cells that fight fungi, bacteria, and poisons.

Eating foods high in beta-glucans has been related to naturally combating cancer cells. In addition, beta-glucans have been proven to have anticarcinogenic properties and may be able to assist slow the formation of malignant tumors.

5. Have a lower glycemic index than refined grains

Steel-cut or rolled oats (the unsweetened, unflavored kind) have a low glycemic index, particularly when compared to enriched or refined carbs. This implies avoiding energy spikes and troughs, as shown by human and animal research.

Oatmeal contains slow-release carbs that help maintain blood sugar balance and give long-term energy. Insulin sensitivity may also be improved by eating whole grains.

One reason they’re linked to decreased incidence of diabetes and other chronic illnesses is this.

According to a diabetes-adapted diet alone, a two-day “oatmeal intervention” compared to a diabetes-adapted diet alone resulted in a very significant reduction in necessary daily insulin dosages in individuals with type 2 diabetes while maintaining sufficient metabolic control, according to 2018 research.

6. Supplement with trace minerals 

Oatmeal supplies around 73 percent of your daily manganese and 16 percent of your daily phosphorus requirements in just one half-cup serving. Manganese is necessary for maintaining a healthy bone structure since it aids in the production of critical enzymes for bone formation. It also aids in the proper functioning of your metabolism, energy levels, brain, and hormonal balance.

In addition to supporting teeth and gums, phosphorus is an essential vitamin for bone health. Meals high in phosphorus control nutrient digestion and maintain skeletal/bone, kidney, muscle, heart, and nerve functioning, and foods high in phosphorus may contribute to healthy growth and development.

Selenium, magnesium, iron, copper, and B vitamins are all abundant in Oatmeal. These nutrients are found in foods that help avoid deficiencies that may lead to slow metabolism, anemia, low energy, “brain fog,” mood swings, and aches and pains.

When compared to most grains, it has a higher protein content. With more than eight grams of plant-based protein in every 2/3 cup of Oatmeal — more than virtually all cereals — whole grains are a vital source of plant-based protein. It may be made into a substantial breakfast with fruit, raw milk, or yogurt, providing antioxidants and revitalizing elements.

How to Use

Steel-cut rolled, or old-fashioned oats manufactured without extra sugars or tastes are also crucial to search for.

Make sure there are no flavorings, preservatives, or chemical sweeteners on the ingredients list. For pure oats, the sugar concentration should always be nil.

Are you perplexed by the several types of oats available in supermarkets?

All varieties of oat groats begin as oat groats, regardless of the type you purchase. Then they’re processed in various ways, resulting in a wide range of textures, applications, and digestive effects.

Although “quick oats” are absorbed by the body faster and may increase blood sugar more quickly than rolled or steel-cut oats, they have nearly the exact nutritional breakdown and health advantages. Ideally, steel-cut or rolled oats should be purchased.

Although they take somewhat longer to cook, they are less processed and retain their texture; they are more adaptable in baking and recipes.

The following is a list of the several varieties of oats:

  • Steel-Cut Oats are made by slicing the whole oat groat into pieces. These oats are also known as Irish or Scottish oats and have a chewy, nutty taste. They have a lower blood sugar effect than processed oats. Steel-cut oats are gluten-free. Steel-cut oats follow the same rules as ordinary oats. They should be gluten-free, but make sure you get certified gluten-free oats if you have gluten sensitivity.
  • Rolled Oats are groats that have been cooked to soften them before being pressed between rollers and dried. Because they absorb water rapidly, they cook faster than steel-cut oats while remaining low on the glycemic index.
  • Old-Fashioned oats are the same as rolled oats, but they’re called something else.
  • When groats are pressed thinner than rolled oats and steamed for a longer time, they cook faster. They’re sliced into small bits, which might give them a powdered appearance. These are the ones that are usually sweet and pre-flavored, so make sure they’re plain.
  • Oat Flour is made by steaming, rolling, pressing, and cutting oats into a fine powder or flour. This may cause blood sugar levels to rise more rapidly.
  • Oat Bran – Oat bran is made up of the seeds’ outer shells. It has high fiber content and is usually consumed in modest doses. But is oat bran devoid of gluten? Yes, oat bran is gluten-free, exactly like other forms of oats. But, like different oats, Oat bran is nevertheless suspected of being contaminated with wheat, rye, or barley during processing.

Cooking Advice

Oats may be cooked in various ways, but the most common method is to boil them on the stovetop. However, if you’re short on time, you may prepare overnight oats or cook them in an instant pot, both of which are quick and easy.

Bring one cup of water (or your favorite milk, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or raw goat milk) to a boil, then stir in a half cup of old-fashioned rolled oats. Reduce the heat to medium and sit them for five to seven minutes, or until they’re soft and have absorbed most of the liquid.

Looking for a different method to prepare oats? Soak them in water overnight, then clean them well and microwave them for one to two minutes.

You may also use rolled oats in granola or oat flour instead of breadcrumbs in baked products. It’s also worth noting that oats don’t have to be cooked at all.

They’re made palatable by steaming and rolling them (which occurs before they’re sold to clients) and soaking them. Uncooked oats, for example, are used in muesli.

Side Effects and Risks

Even if a person does not have a negative response to gluten, it is conceivable that they may develop symptoms while consuming gluten-free grains.

What are some of the possible oat side effects? Bloating, cramps or diarrhea are examples of gastrointestinal problems.

This might be due to the high fiber content of these cereals. People who aren’t accustomed to consuming a lot of high-fiber meals are more prone to have issues.

Digestion difficulties may also be relieved by soaking grains overnight and drinking plenty of water. Like all other whole grains, soaking oats reduces antinutrients and enzymes that might interfere with nutrient absorption and digestion.


  • Is it true that oats are gluten-free? Unfortunately, although oats do not contain the protein gluten, the gluten-free status of most retail varieties cannot be confirmed. As a result, if you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, you should search for products labeled/certified as gluten-free.
  • Steel-cut rolled, and quick/instant oats are all gluten-free if labeled as such. Only a gluten-free label, not an organic certification, indicates that they are gluten-free.
  • What is the process of making oats? This is when things become a little tricky. When commercially marketed oats are combined with grains like wheat, barley, or rye during the growing or manufacturing process, they may become gluten-contaminated. Therefore, unless they are declared “gluten-free,” they may contain trace levels of gluten.
  • Fiber, decreasing cholesterol, improving digestion, reducing hunger, supplying essential minerals, and giving some plant-based protein are all health advantages of gluten-free oatmeal nutrition.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all oats have gluten?

A: It depends on the oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but some brands may have been cross-contaminated with wheat during processing.

Are regular Quaker oats gluten-free?

A: To be safe, I recommend that you contact the seller to determine if the specific flavor of oats in question is gluten-free.

Can I eat oats gluten-free?

A: No, oats are not gluten-free.

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