Do oats contain gluten? Should I remove oats from my gluten-free diet?

Oats with or without gluten? For a long time the subject has been debated, it is sometimes complicated to understand if oats contain gluten or not.

The answer is quite simple: the storage proteins in oats are very low in gluten. In other words, oats do contain gluten, but only to a very small extent and the type of gluten is very specific. In fact, the components of gluten in oats are different from those found in wheat.

Moreover, a study conducted in 2003 by Lundin K, indicates that only 1 celiac patient in 20 is sensitive to oats. Hence the question “do oats contain gluten” because if they did, 20 celiac patients out of 20 would not tolerate them.

According to several studies, oats can be consumed in small quantities by celiac patients because, as explained above, the storage protein in oats is different from that in wheat or barley.

When there is an inflammatory reaction in the digestive system, it is the storage protein in oats, called avenin, that triggers this disorder. Some stomachs can handle it, others much less.

This is also highlighted by a number of case studies which can bring often contradictory results.

What is gluten? 

As a reminder, gluten is a protein that is not easily digestible for many of us and is found in certain cereals, such as wheat, rye, barley or spelt.

In some cases, such as celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is impossible for patients to eat gluten-based products.

It is therefore necessary to remain vigilant about the composition of flours, industrial foods or restaurant prepared meals.

The gluten contained in the flours, allows among other things the pasta to rise. It also gives elasticity to the dough.

What is oat? 

Oats are a cereal that is often found in products such as cereal bars, breakfast cereals, industrial cakes and pastry desserts. Among all cereals, oats are the richest in lipids.

Do oats contain gluten?

As written before, gluten is found mainly in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, malt and sometimes in oats.

More technically, a low proline content may explain why oat avenins (the prolamins/storage proteins of oats) are less immunogenic than wheat prolamins. Nevertheless, oats should be consumed in very small quantities by people with celiac disease.

As a reminder, generally, “only 1 in 20 celiac patients are sensitive to oats”. (Lundin K, et al, 2003).

In summary, oats contain gluten in small quantities, but a different gluten than wheat or barley for example, because it is made up of specific proteins.

Here is a recipe that you will like where I use gluten-free oats: gluten free spinach wraps.

By the way, get 10% off from 30 euros of purchase on the Smartfooding website with the code SMARTGL . I buy most of my gluten-free products on this website.

Delivery in Europe possible ! 


Specificity of oat milk.

It is possible for people with celiac disease to consume oat milk. Oat milk is gluten-free!

Oat milk completely replaces cow’s milk, both nutritionally and in terms of taste. Being lactose-free, oat milk is also recommended for people with lactose allergies.

My advice regarding the consumption of oats for intolerants and celiacs

My advice for intolerant people is always: test and see if eating oats makes your stomach hurt or creates other symptoms. If not, go straight to certified gluten-free oats.

For celiacs, I recommend not taking too many risks and going straight for certified gluten-free oats. Maybe you are the only one out of 20 people who is sensitive! The concern is that some celiac patients do not feel pain when they eat gluten or oats, and therefore do not realize the impact on their body.


10 gluten-free cereals: Chloe’s selection

Don’t worry, many cereals are gluten-free. Here are 10 from my selection.

  • Rice
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Quinoa (of good quality 🙂 and eco-responsible)
  • Sorghum
  • Teff
  • Fonio
  • Amaranth
  • Soy (but in limited quantities, to be eco-responsible too)

I hope that now you have understood if oats contain gluten or not. In any case do not hesitate if you have any questions to contact me right here or on the networks!

See you soon