I do not eat oats.
I do not eat gluten-free oats.
This is my personal decision, one that does not make me right or wrong.
I have been living with Celiac Disease for almost 33 years. For 32 of those 33 years, I have always avoided oats. I was always told by my gastrointerologist to avoid oats. I was told at an early age through my support group to avoid oats. After hearing something is off limits for three decades, you tend to believe that oats are not safe for someone living with Celiac Disease.
The idea of "gluten-free oats" is a rather new one. I believe it has only been in the last ten years or so that gluten-free oats has even entered into the picture for Celiac patients. I was intrigued but skeptical about introducing oats into my diet. Oats are questionable mainly due to the high risk of cross-contamination in production and transport. It is also believed that 10-15% of people living with Celiac also react to oats.
Well, I am in that minority. I have a reaction to gluten-free oats. I had severe brain fog last summer when I started eating gluten-free oatmeal for breakfast. I had a reaction to both Crunchmaster crackers and Dr. Lucy's cookies. I felt "glutened" every time I tried gluten-free oats or gluten-free oat products and do not plan to intentionally eat oats in the future.
It is my personal decision to not eat gluten-free oats. The biggest problem I have with this decision is the nasty reactions I receive when I tell people I choose not to eat oats. At the GFAF Expo in NJ in September, I had a vendor flat out stop talking to me when I told her I didn't eat oats and couldn't eat her cupcakes. I had an Udi's demo guy tell me at Natural Foods Expo East that my reaction to oats was all in my head and I should eat their granola. I've had PR people email me and tell me that I was wrong and all gluten-free oats are safe for everyone and I MUST try their products. I've read through full-on Facebook fights in support groups that I belong to that result in people attacking strangers when they say they have a reaction to oats.
WHAT??? It is my choice to not eat gluten-free oats, people. It is my body and my reactions. Who are you to tell me otherwise?!?! What gives you the right to dictate my diet?
Ok, I'm done yelling but I really have a big problem with other people telling me what to eat or not. This is gluten-free world is complicated enough to navigate at times and having people tell me I am wrong about what I eat is just plain aggravating. Please remember that my celiac is not your celiac and I have been eating gluten-free for a VERY long time... probably longer than you have even been alive let alone diagnosed. Let me choose to not eat gluten-free oats and let me be right about my decision. Thank you!
Now, for more information about oats and the Celiac patient that will guide you in making your own personal decision:
Oats and the Gluten-Free Diet
Are Oats OK on the Gluten-Free Diet?
What about oats?
Gluten-Free Whole Grains