Why can I NOT tolerate GF oats?

Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN

Q: Why can I NOT tolerate GF oats?  The reaction I have is not as severe like when I've inadvertently gotten into gluten in the past but I still react w/mild GI symptoms.  Mainly gas and bloating.  I REALLY miss eating oats and they are not considered an allergen so I have to check the ingredients even when it's labeled gluten free.


There can be several reasons for your GI symptoms with oats. A small number of celiac patients react to the protein called avenin in oats.  Another issue can be the high levels of soluble fiber in oats. Soluble fiber can cause gas and bloating in some individuals depending on the amount they are consuming.

However, one of the biggest issues with oats is that a lot of sources of oats have had cross-contact with gluten-containing grains - even some that are labeled gluten-free.

At NCA we recommend sources of oats that have used the “purity protocol” and tested to contain less than 20 ppm gluten, as well as mechanically sorted oats that have been rigorously tested to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. 

Read through our resources below to educate yourself on the different sources of oats to decide what is best for you.


NCA information on oats:


Always discuss with your doctor or dietitian before introducing oats.

Reviewed and updated October 14, 2022.

Note: This information is provided by NCA and Katarina Mollo MEd, RDN, LDN, NCA's Director of Education. This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for personalized medical advice or replace any medical advice provided directly to you by your health care provider. No liability is assumed by the NCA or Katarina Mollo, MEd, RDN, LDN by providing this information.

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