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Is All Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

by Elyse the Gluten-Free Foodee

There are a lot of questions that I get asked over and over again because they are confusing-especially to those just starting a gluten-free diet. That brings us to the question of the day: is all oatmeal gluten-free?

I know that you might be thinking, this is an easy question, and you already know the answer. However, we strive to help everyone live their best gluten-free life and the beginning of anyone’s gluten-free journey can have a lot of uncertainty. When you are newly gluten-free, it seems that suddenly gluten is in absolutely everything. You now have to read every food label, and you start to wonder which foods contain gluten, that you have never considered. If you find yourself in this place, you may want to start by looking at some of our resources that help you learn the alternative names for gluten, and what “may contain” vs. “contains” means. You may even want to use a scanner app to help you decipher if a product is safe. Check out the other tactics and practices to avoid gluten in our Ultimate Gluten-Free Guide for Beginners and 15 Steps for going gluten-free.

Even if you are not gluten-free, but are cooking for someone else, you might be wondering, “Is oatmeal gluten-free?” Oatmeal is an easy, filling, and economical option, especially for breakfast. If you are having gluten-free guests staying over, going camping, vacationing etc… you may want to know if this is a safe option.

To help with gluten-free entertaining, here are 11 tips for hosting gluten-free guests to help make it easier. Also, here are 7 helpful tips for supporting the gluten-free person in your life, plus, we shared 5 tips for being a good gluten-free guest, in order to help you in any social situation.

Is Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

Yes, oatmeal in its natural form is gluten-free; however, it is not that simple. This goes for the oats as well.

Can Oats Contain Gluten?

Even though oats are inherently gluten-free. They are often either grown near, harvested with, and/or processed using the same equipment/lines/machinery/factory as wheat. This means that there is a high chance of cross-contact between oats and wheat/gluten.

What Kind Of Oats Are Safe?

If you are Celiac or particularly sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, you should only purchase certified gluten-free oats, or products containing certified gluten-free oats.

If you can handle trace amounts of cross-contact, know that you should still read any products that contain oats or oatmeal to ensure they are otherwise gluten-free. Many restaurants and brands sell flavoured oatmeal, and you still need to ensure that there are no other sources of gluten present in what you are eating.

Is Bulk Oatmeal Gluten-Free?

While there are savings to be had with buying anything in bulk bins or bulk sections at grocery stores, be aware that even certified gluten-free oats can be contaminated in that environment. Those who are celiac, or highly sensitive to gluten, should avoid buying from bulk bins. This is because customers can cause cross-contact issues by using the same scoop for different products. Because you cannot be sure where the scoops have been used, and for which products, the safest option is to avoid the bulk sections, or bulk stores altogether.


Oats are economical and versatile items, everyone should have in their pantry. Check out our gluten-free pantry staple list, and gluten-free baking pantry staple list, for ideas on what to keep on hand. Looking for an easy dish that uses oats that is a great breakfast or snack on the go? Try our THE BEST GLUTEN FREE STREUSEL-TOPPED BANANA MUFFIN RECIPE.

We are all committed to collectively living our best gluten-free lives.

Become a part of our welcoming and informative Facebook group to find a wonderful community of people all interested in helping one another.

If you have any other gluten-free questions that you would like answered, please leave us a comment below, and we will do our best to feature them on an upcoming blog.

There is no benefit in having helpful information pertaining to living a healthy gluten-free life, without sharing….

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PLEASE NOTE: If your question/comment pertains to your health, please understand we are not qualified to provide that advice. If you are feeling unwell, we recommend you seek medical assistance ASAP. If your question/comment is related to a post or living your best gluten-free life (recipe, tips, reviews, etc), we got you covered :)

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