• Q: Where can I get Nairn’s gluten free oat porridge?
New Nairn’s Gluten Free Oat Porridge will be available in a 500g bag to order from pharmacies. We also have a wide range of Gluten Free Nairn’s products available to buy in supermarkets, see stockist section.
• Q: When will Nairn’s gluten free oat porridge be available?
Nairn’s Gluten Free Oat Porridge x 500g bag will be available to order through pharmacies from 19th March 2012. See our downloadable form for more information.
• Q: How can I include Nairn’s Gluten Free Oat Porridge in my monthly allowance?
Coeliac UK will be amending their current guidance to include gluten free porridge oats and will be communicating this shortly. For more information visit www.coeliac.org.uk
• Q: I’m newly diagnosed, when can I introduce gluten free oats into my diet?
It is recommended that you avoid all oats including those labelled gluten free in the first six months to a year after you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease. This is to allow time for your gut to heal and antibody levels to fall. It will also ensure you become free of symptoms. After this time of being symptom free we suggest you speak with your health care professional or nutritionist and if they are happy for you to try oats then you must ensure they are certified gluten free. Including gluten free oats should be considered on an individual basis and it is important you receive regular follow ups with your healthcare professional.
• Q: How do I know if gluten free oats are suitable for me?
Most people with coeliac disease can eat certified gluten free oats with no problems. However a small percentage of people with coeliac disease may react to the gluten-like protein found in oats known as avenins. The only way to know if they are suitable for you is to try them. But this should always be done under the guidance of your healthcare professional, nutritionist or dietician. Normally they will arrange for you to have an antibody blood test before you start eating them and then monitor your response as you introduce them into your diet. We do however advise you to avoid all oats, including gluten free oats for at least the first six months to a year after you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease as it can take this long for the gut to heal and for antibody levels to fall.
• Q: Can I eat as much gluten free oats as I like or is there a maximum amount per day?
We advise you to introduce oats gradually into your diet and to look out for any symptoms. While this can vary from one person to another, typical symptoms may include bloating, wind or discomfort, diarrhoea, constipation and mouth ulcers but remember too that some people are asymptomatic which is why we suggest introducing them under the guidance of your healthcare professional. We also suggest if you introduce oats on one day the following day you avoid them so you can check carefully for any reactions. You may wish to start with a bowl of porridge and then perhaps on a separate day use oats in homemade muesli or homemade oat biscuits. As everyone is different it is important you should monitor your symptoms as different people may be able to tolerate different amounts. Remember too that for a healthy diet variety is the key so we would recommend including oats in addition to other gluten free grains.
• Q: Are gluten free oats suitable for my coeliac child?
The same recommendations apply to children as they do to adults (see above). However remember that as their body weight is lower portion sizes would be less. In addition as their digestive and immune systems are still relatively immature it is important to work closely with a healthcare professional or nutritionist to ensure oats are suitable for your child. Bear in mind too that sometimes the symptoms in children are different from those in adults. For example it may include poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea or a bloated stomach. As oats are rich in soluble fibre ensure your child drinks plenty of fluids through the day too.
Encouragingly a double blind, multi-centre study involving 8 clinics treating 116 children newly diagnosed with coeliac disease suggested gluten free oats are suitable for children with coeliac disease. The children were randomly assigned to receive either the standard gluten-free diet (no wheat, barley, rye or oats) or a gluten-free diet with some gluten-free oat products. At the end of the study, which ran for a year, all the children were doing well, and in both groups, the mucosal lining of the small bowel (which is damaged by wheat gluten in coeliac disease) had healed and the immune system (which is excessively reactive in coeliac patients) had returned to normal .
• Q: I have Type II Diabetes, are oats suitable for me?
One of the benefits with including oats in your diet is that they are a useful source of soluble fibre and slow releasing carbohydrate. They are termed a low glycemic index (GI) food which means they can help balance your blood sugar levels avoiding sudden highs and lows in glucose levels. This means they can be beneficial in helping glycemic control in diabetics. Studies also show that beta-glucan (a type of fibre) found in oats has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetes patients given foods high in this type of oat fibre or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread. Oats are also a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body's use of glucose and insulin secretion. Starting out your day with a blood sugar stabilizing food such as oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also supported with nourishing fibre-rich foods.
• Q: Are gluten free oats suitable if you are pregnant?
During pregnancy it is important that you focus on nourishing your body optimally and ensure the gut is absorbing all the key nutrients needed for your health and the growth and development of your baby. As coeliac disease is not an allergy but an inherited autoimmune risk if you are already eating gluten free oats and tolerating them there should be no risk to the baby. It is important regular antibody assessments are undertaken through your pregnancy. If gluten antibody markers do increase this may increase inflammatory responses and therefore it would be appropriate to seek guidance from your health care professional. Similarly if you have not introduced oats before becoming pregnant it would be important to have an antibody assessment before introducing them and again seek guidance from your health care professional as to whether it is appropriate.
• Q: Can gluten free oats help me to lose weight?
Oats have many health benefits including being a low glycemic index food and high in soluble fibre. This means they can help you feel fuller for longer, sustaining energy levels and avoiding those energy dips and hunger pangs. So when combined with a healthy low sugar diet and active lifestyle they may help you lose weight.
• Q: Can I just use your gluten free oats for porridge or do you have any other recipes?
Oats are incredibly versatile so in addition to porridge we have created a whole range of delicious, healthy recipes for you to enjoy – all of course gluten free and with a focus on nutritious ingredients to support your health and wellbeing. Try adding them to oat smoothies, healthy cereal and protein bars, granola, muesli, breads, cakes, muffins and biscuits. You can also use them as a gratin topping over sweet and savoury dishes, crumbles and pancakes. Have a look at our recipes pages for inspiration.