Do You Eat Pure Uncontaminated Oats?
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Feb 20 2013

Gluten Free Diet and Pure Uncontaminated Oats: Do You Eat Them?

In the United States, oats (recommended to be labeled “pure uncontaminated oats”) are considered gluten-free. The same is not true in Canada and products with oats of any kind, can not be labeled “gluten-free”. In the past few years, there have been a few proposals submitted to allow oats to be considered “gluten-free” in Canada, but thankfully they did not pass.

Early on in my gluten-free eating, I gave “pure uncontaminated” oats a try. I missed the oatmeal cookies and there wasn’t really a good oat substitute. I took it that since the United States considers them safe…that I should be okay.

I was wrong and it was not something my body could handle the oats.

I looked into it further and while studies have shown oats are safe for consumption for people with celiac disease, studies have also shown that oats are only safe to consume a certain amount (50-70g daily) with many not able to handle oats at all. With all that in mind, I was surprised to find out they’re able to be labeled gluten-free in the US — to my knowledge the law does not say they have to be pure-uncontaminated to be labeled gluten-free either.

My brother seems to be able to tolerate the pure uncontaminated oats and I tried my daughter on them, but she was more like me…it didn’t sit well. She’s been on an oat-free diet now too and there’s no doubt it was causing her issues.

I worry about Canada allowing oats to be labeled gluten-free. We have such amazing labeling laws and they’re so strict I imagine until there’s a great standard for ensuring the oats are truly uncontaminated, we won’t be sifting through oats anytime soon.

I was wondering, do you eat oats in your diet? Do you like to make sure they’re pure uncontaminated oats?

Article Written by:

Devan McGuinness is a gluten free mom to 3 kids and an advocate for celiac disease and the gluten free lifestyle. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and her second child diagnosed in 2009, Devan is passionate about advocating for safe food and awareness for fellow Canadians with celiac disease, gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. A go-to person for the newly diagnosed, Devan eases the minds of those faced with the new life-long diet and even has a trick or two for the gluten free veterans. Tweet me at @AccustomedChaos or join me on Facebook.


  1. Donna says:

    I eat 1/3 cup of raw oats a day in a smoothie drink for breakfast. I use Trader Joe’s GF oats and have never had a problem. Maybe it’s not gluten but a sensitivity to oats as a grain. I was once sensitive to coffee when 1st diagnosed but I’ve now been able to drink it again. I have celiac disease.

  2. Elaine. says:

    I eat oats every day on my gluten free diet and enjoy them thoroughly. No problems with oats whatsoever. I have used several brands of gluten free oats

  3. Joan says:

    I use oats that are labeled gluten free to make granola and eat them once or twice a week. Never had any problem.

  4. Greta says:

    My son has celiac, and every time he tries gluten-free oats he gets loose stools. So we avoid those now too.

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