Gluten Free and the Low FODMAP Diet
People with celiac disease avoid far more foods than people on the low-FODMAP diet. Celiacs have to stay away from the gluten protein which is found in a wide variety of foods and ingredients. Celiacs need to avoid gluten because the protein can cause serious intestinal damage and could mean a trip to the hospital- exposure to gluten results in inflammation of the small intestine when any gluten is ingested. Cross-contamination is also a big deal and it’s harder for celiacs to eat out but thankfully gluten-free products made at 100% gluten-free facilities are more widely available.
*Also note that I have IBS as well as the auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s disease. People like me have been told to also avoid gluten as many people that have Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism also have gluten-sensitivity.
FODMAP – Fructans
Wheat has been said to be the largest source of fructans in food here in the U.S. I believe it as I can name so many of these foods in a heartbeat! The middle aisles of your grocery stores are filled with wheat products as well as highly processed foods.
On the low-FODMAP diet, wheat, barley and rye (which have gluten) contain the carbohydrate FODMAP fructans, so you are essentially negating a specific kind of carbohydrate in the wheat – you are not negating the gluten protein like celiacs need to. Some people who thought prior to the low FODMAP diet that gluten was an issue find that it was just the fructans in wheat triggering symptoms.
Wheat, barley and rye are only problem ingredients if they are listed near the top of a food label. If they are listed near the bottom, the food product should be safe with low amounts of FODMAPs. On the low FODMAP diet you can have a 1/2 cup (74 grams) of wheat pasta but 2/3 cup becomes moderate in FODMAPs and 1 cup is high FODMAP. You can have one slice wheat bread but 2 slices is high FODMAP.
Not all gluten-free products are low-FODMAP
When buying gluten free products you’ll need to read the food labels. The type of high FODMAP ingredients that you will see in gluten-free foods are:
- pear juice, apple juice – or other high FODMAP juices often found in jellies and jams
- agave syrup
- chicory, root chicory, chicory root fiber contain inulin (a carbohydrate fiber) – found in chocolate bars, breakfast bars, yogurt, ice cream, salad dressings and margarine
- dried fruits and more.
An example of a food that contains gluten but is low in FODMAPs is spelt bread – it is suitable on the diet in low servings. Oats are often times cross-contaminated with gluten. They can be in a celiac’s diet if they are selected from sources that guarantee a lack of contamination by wheat, rye or barley.
Where is Gluten Found?
For celiacs, gluten can be found in ingredients like barley malt, malt vinegar, wheat starch, wheat thickeners and more. Gluten is found in some salad dressings, soy sauce, mustard (like wheat flour), mayonnaise, candy (like wheat flour), yogurt, spice mixes and seasonings. So these food items are dangerous for celiacs but most are not high in fructans and are suitable to include in a low-FODMAP diet.
If you have any questions please comment below!
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Here’s to your health!
Colleen Francioli, Certified Nutritionist & Founder