Gluten may not be the reason you’re always bloated
The carbs in the corner
Poor gluten always takes the blame every time we're bloated beyond belief or feeling unwell post-meal and that makes sense, these uncomfortable symptoms are similar to what people with coeliac disease suffer from if they eat anything containing gluten (coeliacs immune systems react abnormally to gluten which causes bowel damage).
Plus, it's almost too easy to go gluten-free these days what with all the GF options on offer from bread to baked goods to comfort food faves like gluten-free pasta.
But, only a small proportion of the population (about 1 in 70 Australians according to Coeliac Australia) have coeliac disease so is it gluten or something else causing these tummy troubles?
New Scientist reports a 2013 study of people who didn't have coeliac disease but were on a gluten-free diet to help soothe their tummy troubles, "...found no difference in symptoms when (they) ate identical meals that either lacked gluten, or were full of it."
It turns out the culprit might actually be something else just casually sitting on your plate quietly chanting "nothing to see here". We're talking about the carbs in the corner.
The specific suspected carbohydrate, called 'fructans', is found in artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, asparagus, barley, rye, chickpeas and wheat among other foods. According to New Scientist a Monash University study tested a cereal bar containing fructans and a cereal bar containing gluten on subjects, "...the fructan bar triggering 15 per cent more bloating and a 13 per cent increase in overall gastrointestinal symptoms... The gluten bar, however, had no effect."
The article further reports recent trials suggest "...about 70 per cent of people with irritable bowl syndrome feel better when they cut out fructans and other nutrients from the food group known as FODMAPs." FODMAPS are, according to FODMAP Friendly, found in similar foods to those containing fructans like asparagus, onions, leek etc.
This fructans finding is actually good news because there are a ton of delish foods which have gluten but not fructans including artisanal fave, sourdough bread, which can now go back on the bloat-free menu.
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