Each day we hear a story of someone new finding out about a gluten sensitivity or related complication. At this point, literally millions of men, women, and children have been diagnosed with celiac disease and the numbers are climbing.
However, there may be a bit more to the story as to why some folks feel so crummy after eating certain foods. Modern science is a wonderful thing, and it is now showing us just how delicate our bodies really are by forcing us all to question whether our upsets are caused by gluten or FODMAPs.
What is Gluten and How Does it Affect the Body?
It is important that first you understand exactly what gluten is and also how it reacts within the body of someone with celiac disease. Although gluten is most commonly found within foods with lots of carbohydrates, it is not a carb itself. Instead, it is a simple mixture of non-essential proteins that are usually contained within foods (namely breads) that are made with ingredients such as:
People with celiac disease who eat those foods will ultimately suffer from digestive complications and even damage to the small intestine. When wondering whether your problem stems from gluten or FODMAPs, consider the source.
What are FODMAPs?
Scientists call them “FODMAPs” because the whole name for this category of food is a mouthful. Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, or FODMAPs, can cause a lot of the same symptoms as celiac disease and/or gluten sensitivity. This relatively large group of carbohydrates doesn’t exactly break down easily in the average human gut. Instead, they ferment in your belly and large intestine, drawing precious water from your body in the process. Questioning whether you are dealing with gluten or FODMAPs is simply a matter of food elimination.
What Foods have FODMAPs in Them?
Indeed, there is some overlap in the types of foods that have gluten and FODMAPs in them, and thus some folks get the two mixed up. For the most part, foods with FODMAPs are quite common on modern dinner plates, with items such as onions, apples, garlic, and pistachios as the main culprits. However, it is important to note that switching to a low-FODMAPs diet would not be completely beneficial to your health. Instead, you must consult with your doctor or nutritionist to find out exactly what combination of foods you should be eating.