The movement to “go gluten-free” has become such a cultural phenomenon, major food manufacturers have started producing gluten-free foods and mixes to the point where people don’t need to feel neglected anymore when they hit the grocery store.
Unfortunately, with this wide embrace from food producers to provide gluten-free (GF) options, the GF crowd’s critics have no problem making fun of those who follow a GF diet. It’s not uncommon to see the topic of gluten as a regular topic of scorn and ridicule on comedy shows and among late night hosts, which delegitimizes the importance of strict adherence to a gluten-free diet for people who suffer from true celiac disease.
The widespread popularity of gluten-free products now available have made it much easier to follow a diet originally based on being the only medical treatment for people with celiac disease. This has been both a blessing and a curse to those who have a medical need to completely abstain from wheat, rye, and barley. Mixed messages from hacky “health” specialists and trendy diets have inspired people to vilify gluten, even if there is no scientific basis for avoiding the common grain.
Call it “gluten-sensitivity” or “non-celiac-gluten-intolerance”: such a thing may exist but has yet to be validated medically. However, research has determined that wheat contains a difficult-to-digest carbohydrate known as a “fructan,” which is being implicated in triggering reactions in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and may be the source of the health conditions that seem to improve when non-celiac patients quit eating wheat.
Fructans stand for the “F” in FODMAPs, which is an acronym referencing the many carbohydrates that trigger gastrointestinal and other symptoms in people prone to have IBS. These may be the source of so-called “gluten-intolerance” for many people who have been increasingly following this diet over the last decade.
Find out more about FODMAPs on NPR, or read up on FODMAPs if you’ve been avoiding gluten-containing grains in order to feel better and improved health.
Sensitive To Gluten? A Carb In Wheat May Be The Real Culprit : The Salt : NPR.