For many years, those with Celiac Disease (CD) had been told that they should avoid oats because they contained the harmful gluten proteins that Celiacs must avoid.
Since 2007, both Health Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association recognize that oats themselves do not contain harmful gluten. But because of North American farming practices, traditionally farmed oats are highly contaminated with the harmful gluten grains: wheat, barley and rye.
What Health Canada and the Canadian Celiac Association have determined is that most Celiacs can have “pure” oats; those oats that are specially farmed, milled in a dedicated facility and tested for gluten using currently accepted scientific procedures.
These pure oats are what we use in all of our granola bars and granola. In fact, Nonuttin’ Foods was the first company to use pure oats in granola products starting in April 2007.
OATS AND GLUTEN FREE LABELING
Canada’s gluten free labeling law is over a decade old and lags behind current scientific evidence. This law still states that oats, even pure oats, may not be labeled gluten free.
Health Canada has recognized that their 2007 statement and the law are contradictory and indicated in May 2010 that they intended to change the gluten free labeling law to allow pure oats. The opportunity to comment on this intent ended July 11, 2010 and Health Canada is now reviewing all comments.
In the meantime, all granola products that contain pure oats cannot say “gluten free” so we have indicated on all packaging that these products are wheat, barley and rye free. If you look at our US website information, you will see gluten free on all Nonuttin’ products as pure oats may be called gluten free in the US.
All Canadian packaging for other Nonuttin’ products such as trail mix and baking ingredients does indicate our gluten free certification status by GFCO to under 10 parts per million as those products without pure oats may be labeled as gluten free.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PURE OATS IN A GLUTEN FREE DIET
Nonuttin’ products have been listed as suitable for gluten free diets in The Gluten Free Diet Resource Guide by Shelley Case. Shelley is a registered dietician and recognized as the top gluten free nutrition expert in North America. Shelley indicates that whole grain pure oats are a welcome nutritional boost to gluten free diets for their fibre, B vitamins and iron.
It is estimated that about 5% of Celiacs may be sensitive to the protein in pure oats and so Health Canada provides the following recommendations for Celiacs adding oats to their diets:
To avoid any adverse reactions, including a fiber reaction from a gastrointestinal system unused to oats, it is advised to begin slowly and moderate the amount eaten.
When introducing pure oats into their gluten-free diet, individuals with CD should have proper follow up by a health professional, including initial and long term assessments. The amounts of pure oats should be limited to:
o 20-25 grams/day (65 ml – or 1/4 cup dry rolled oats) for children
o 50 -70 grams/day (125 to 175 ml – or ½ to ¾ cup dry rolled oats) for adults
To put this into perspective for Nonuttin’ products, each 30 gram granola bar contains 13 grams of pure oats and each 30 gram serving of granola contains 15 grams of pure oats.
If you have any questions, please give our team a call toll free at 1-866-714-5411.