Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Great Oat Debate

If you're trying to be GF, no doubt you've heard to avoid the acronym BROW. No barley, rye, oats or wheat. And yet, there's certified GF oats available at just about any grocery store. What's up with that?

OK, ready for some science? The truth is, oats are naturally gluten free. They are still a member of the grass family, but are more closely related to rice than to wheat, barley or rye. To get really technical, gluten is a protein, but what is toxic to Celiacs are certain fractions of this protein. And oats do not contain the three different fractions found in wheat, barley or rye. However, there are a small percentage of Celiacs who have a very similar reaction to oats as they do to gluten.

The problem with most commercially grown and processed oats is that they are grown and processed with wheat; which makes them contaminated. But thankfully, a few manufacturers have started to dedicate their facilities and/or machinery to the production of gluten free oats. Hooray!! Which means that we have another choice for a fiber source, especially to those who are watching their cholesterol. Oats are also soothing, so remember that the next time your tum tum's not feeling so great.

Personally, I only like oats two ways: In a cookie/brownie form, or with a big ole glob of peanut butter melted in it and some cinnamon sprinkled on top. But hey, it's nice to have variety, especially for my hardest meal of the day...BREAKFAST!

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