Celiac Symptoms and different glutens
Just because you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, does this mean ALL glutens are banned from your diet? Gluten is the name given to the protein in oats, barley, rye and wheat that affects people exhibiting celiac symptoms. The name Gluten actually represents several types of proteins -
• Avenin in oats
• Secalin in rye
• Hordein in barley
• Gliadin in wheat
Most people exhibiting celiac symptoms are allergic to wheat gluten. Few are allergic to all four proteins. The current tests for gluten can measure gliadin, hordein and secalin but not avenin in oats as it is a slightly different protein.
Unfortunately 20% of celiac sufferers react to pure uncontaminated oats, i.e. they exhibit the usual celiac symptoms after eating any food containing oats. The good news is that the other 80% of us don’t. What this means is, we can have our morning porridge without having to resort to eating expensive rice porridge. Apart from the expense of rice porridge, oats based porridge has another very important benefit to our diet if we find we are not allergic to the avenin.
Fibre is required in our diet
Fibre originates from plant based foods. It helps our digestive system to process food, and helps control the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which in turn can help control appetite. There are two types of fibre -
• Insoluble fibre helps move food through your digestive system.
• Soluble fibre helps lower cholesterol re-absorption and helps control the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
Oats are high in fibre
Oats contain high amounts of fibre, both soluble and insoluble. Rolled oats have 9.2% fibre. A food with 6% fibre is regarded as a high fibre source therefore rolled oats is a high fibre food. One 45g serving of porridge will provide you with 17% (female) or 14% (male) of the fibre requirements needed by an average adult each day.
When gluten free oats are sold, what should be stated is that they are free from wheat, barley and rye proteins and that there is no measurable contamination. Avenin is an essential part of oats (as is gliadin in wheat), therefore oats will never be gluten free even if they are described or sold as such. Since we know that damage can occur in the absence of celiac symptoms, our advice is that oats should not be consumed without a biopsy prior to and during consumption.