Oatmeal is a classic and healthy breakfast staple. But it’s also made from grain, which begs the question: is oatmeal a gluten-free food?
The good news: oatmeal can be gluten-free! But the caveat: this does not necessarily apply to all oatmeal brands and products.
First, what is gluten, and why does it negatively affect certain people?
Gluten is a type of protein found in certain grains like wheat, rye, and barley. It is most commonly found in baked goods like bread, pancakes, muffins, cake, pizza dough, and some cereals.
Contrary to popular belief, gluten isn’t necessarily a bad thing for most individuals. Studies have shown that, in the absence of medical gluten intolerances, most people can eat gluten without experiencing any adverse side effects.
Unfortunately, people with certain health conditions can experience uncomfortable and even painful symptoms when consuming gluten. For example, people with gluten intolerances might experience issues like hives, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, and anxiety if they accidentally eat foods containing gluten. Similarly, people with wheat allergies might also look for foods that are gluten-free since many products with gluten are also made with wheat products.
In addition, people with celiac disease experience an autoimmune reaction when they consume gluten, which can manifest in serious symptoms like headaches, fatigue, joint pain, bloating, and anemia.
How is oatmeal made?
Oatmeal is made from whole oats, a type of cereal grain. Oats are harvested, washed, and milled. From there, oats are further processed by either being cut with steel blades or steamed and rolled to create the final product.
So, is oatmeal gluten-free?
The whole oats in oatmeal do not naturally contain any gluten. So in its purest form, oatmeal is a gluten-free food.
However, many oats are processed in facilities that also process other types of grain like wheat, rye, and barley. This means some oat products are at risk of cross-contamination and might still contain trace amounts of gluten, which may not be safe for people with celiac disease. In fact, one study evaluated 134 different oat-based products and found that 109 of the 134 product samples were contaminated with wheat, barley, or rye.
If you are concerned about your gluten intake, look for oats that are specifically certified as gluten-free – meaning they have been processed in a gluten-free facility. Luckily, all delicious flavors of Yishi oats fit the bill! All Yishi oats are processed in a certified gluten-free facility so you can have peace of mind while enjoying a delicious and nutritious breakfast.
More good reasons to eat oatmeal
Besides being naturally gluten-free, oatmeal has plenty of other benefits that make it a beloved breakfast staple.
Because oatmeal is made from whole grains, it contains plenty of fiber (3-5 grams per serving, depending on your favorite Yishi flavor!). Fiber is an essential nutrient for keeping your heart and digestive system healthy, but up to 95% of Americans aren’t getting enough of it in their diet.
Clean and Sustainable
All Yishi oats are USDA-certified organic, vegan, and non-GMO, making them an excellent choice for anyone looking for a breakfast or snack option that is good for you and for the planet.
With its excellent helping of fiber per serving, plus nutritious vitamins and minerals like thiamine, zinc, and magnesium, oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast choices you can make if you’re looking to support your heart health.
Besides being a nutrition-packed functional food, oatmeal is also delicious. It’s easily tailored to any craving you might have –whether you’re craving something sweet (like our Red Bean Berry Oatmeal) or nutty (like our Toasted Black Sesame Oatmeal). You can also add your favorite toppings like fresh fruit, seeds, and nut butter.
Other healthy gluten-free breakfast ideas
Looking for other ways to start your day off on the right foot, without gluten? Some nutritious options that generally won’t trigger a gluten-induced reaction include:
- Fresh fruits
- Egg scrambles
- Coconut flour pancakes
- Fruit and yogurt parfaits
- Gluten-free toast (check the bread brand to ensure that it’s certified gluten-free!)
Yes, oatmeal can be a delicious and nutritious gluten-free breakfast. However, cross-contamination by other grains means that not all oatmeal products are created equally. It’s not safe to assume that all oatmeal brands are gluten-free because, unfortunately, many are processed in the same plants as other grains like wheat, rye, and barley that do contain gluten.
This means many oatmeal products aren’t safe for people who need to completely avoid gluten. Instead, look for oatmeal that is certified gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility (like all Yishi oats!) for a safe, delicious, and healthy breakfast option without complications.