Gluten free grains cereals wheat free
5 min read
In Australia, oats are not considered safe for people following a strictly gluten free diet. However, they receive a special mention because this is contradictory to many other countries around the world, and this is due to the chemical structure of the proteins within the various grains...

Gluten is a collective term used to describe slightly different proteins found in wheat (gliadin), rye (secalin) and barley (hordein). The protein found in oats (avenin) is distantly related to the other three proteins and as such, their effect on people with coeliac disease is still unclear. Some studies show that people with coeliac disease can safely tolerate uncontaminated, wheat free oats, however, this is not the case for all people with coeliac disease - some people still seem to react. As this area requires more research, oats are not considered safe in Australia for people with coeliac disease to consume.


Are oats eco-friendly?

Grains make up a large portion of many diets, so it's reasonable to assume that changing our intakes of our grain products may have a positive impact on the carbon footprint of our diet. One of the main concerns with people following a gluten free diet, is the intake of far more highly processed grain products and this adds to the inherent environmental impact of the food product - more processing and packaging leads to more emissions.


Rice is one of the most consumed grains when looking for gluten free substitutes in Australia, but rice has inherently high greenhouse gas emissions due to the emissions produced in the rice paddies. However, on the other side of the debate is that a lot of gluten free products use ancient grains or alternatives, which can be beneficial for overall biodiversity of agricultural areas. However, these grains often need to be imported to Australia while oats and wheat are largely grown locally and so have lower emissions produced in transportation.


Should I avoid gluten to make my diet more environmentally friendly?

There is a lot to consider when comparing the environmentally sustainability of a gluten free diet and limited evidence, so we recommend people don’t change to a gluten free diet based on sustainability reasons as it is not likely to be any more sustainable than eating gluten containing Australian grown grains. However, if you have coeliac disease or feel better eating gluten free or simply choose to, we have a variety of gluten-free recipes and product reviews of gluten free foods.


Did you know most of our recipes are gluten free or have substitutes provided? Our recipes are also clearly labelled for many other allergies.

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