Gluten is terrible for you, right? But what is it, really?
Most people think gluten is the same thing as bread, or pasta, or carbs in general.
Gluten is actually a protein, one that’s sustained millions of people for thousands of years. It’s what gives bread and pizza their nice stretchy texture, and it’s what allows those light, airy bubbles in to form. That’s why gluten-free baked goods tend to be dry and dense.
If you are part of the one percent of the population who actually has celiac disease, even a tiny bit gluten can severely damage your intestines.
However, most people who believe they have gluten allergies actually might be sensitive to a group of carbohydrates known to scientists as FODMAPs. These common carbs pull water into the intestines, causing bloating, and then ferment in the colon, causing gas. Studies where scientists removed first gluten, and then FODMAPs from people’s diets showed that most people are fine with gluten, and it’s actually the FODMAPs carbs causing all the problems. Could this be what’s happening to you?
Via: NPR, Stanford University