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Are Oats Paleo?

paleo-friendly oats in purple yogurt

Starting your Paleo journey can be quite the challenge. Not only is it difficult to break old habits, but it can also be really hard to figure out what is kosher to eat and what isn't. Because oats are known for being a healthy, nutrient-rich food, many wonder if oats work with a Paleo diet. So, today we are going to digest exactly how oats work with a Paleo diet:

Why are Oats not Paleo-friendly?

Although oats are a very healthy food for a more mainstream diet, oats do contain anti-nutrients that the Paleo diet aims to avoid such as phytic acid, lectins, and avenin. Not only do oats contain a few anti-nutrients, they are also often contaminated with gluten.

Next, let’s go over exactly what these anti-nutrients are:

  • Phytic acid: Very commonly found in grains, nuts, and seeds, and is found in the outer husk of the oat. Phytic acid can prevent your body from absorbing important minerals. Although oats do contain phytic acid, it contains a very little amount especially after being processed.
  • Lectins: Lectins are proteins that the oat carries to ward off insects and other pests that can be damaging to the oat. Lectins, when digested, can play a role in the irritation of the digestive tract, causing discomfort.
  • Avenin: Avenin is another protein found in the oat. If you have a gluten sensitivity, avenin can irritate your intestinal lining.
  • Gluten: Although oats are naturally gluten-free, many oats become contaminated with gluten. This contamination comes from oats being processed in factories where other foods containing gluten are also processed. Gluten can also come from any additives the manufacturer may have included in the packaging.

But I Love Oatmeal! Can I Make it Work?

Honestly, we don’t blame you for loving a warm bowl oat porridge on an early morning. It truly warms the soul. If you’re anything like us and just can’t imagine your life without oats, don’t worry. It’s not an end all be all situation. There are a couple of things you can do to make your oats more Paleo-friendly.

The first thing is to buy gluten-free oats. If you are having trouble finding gluten-free oats, at Oats Overnight, all of our oats are gluten-free, nutrient-rich and will deliver straight to you. Once you’ve got your gluten-free oats, here are a few other steps to take to reduce the amount of phytic acid:

  • Sprout and soak: The first option is to malt the oats for five days at 11ºC/52ºF, then soak for 17 hours at 49ºC/120ºF. This process removes 98 percent of phytic acid.
  • Soak with a complimentary grain: The second option is to add a small amount of ground wheat, spelt, rye, or buckwheat while soaking.
  • Soak and ferment: The last option is to soak the oats with a complimentary grain, like the ones listed above, in an acidic source such as whey, kefir or yogurt.

Best Oats to Buy for a Paleo Diet

Oats Overnight offers deliciously nutritious, gluten-free oats that can be modified to work with your Paleo diet. Check out our selection here.



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