Feeling Frustrated? Learn the Differences of Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free for the Low-FODMAP Diet

fodmap diet gluten free wheat freePeople 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.  The book Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter says that whole grains “can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression” and by avoiding these wheat-based carbs and grains (that have gluten) he says more people might be able to avoid these problems that affect the brain, also including, but not limited to Parkinson’s and Alzheimers.  Do your research to learn more about grains and how they may affect your digestive and brain health.  

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 and soy…I am very passionate about those topics and could go on forever but let’s stick to today’s topic.

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. Not all gluten-free products are low-FODMAP either.  High FODMAP ingredients that you will see in gluten-free foods are:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • pear juice – or other high FODMAP juices often found in jellies and jams
  • honey
  • 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.

Young Woman With OatsAn 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 they 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

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Colleen

I'm Colleen Francioli, a certified nutritionist and author with a focus on helping people with IBS, other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and food intolerances. I once suffered from IBS and have since found life balance with the low-FODMAP diet, an elimination diet developed in Australia, proven to help relieve symptoms of IBS.

6 thoughts on “Feeling Frustrated? Learn the Differences of Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free for the Low-FODMAP Diet”

  1. m suffering from celiac disease for last three years which got identified recently and on a gluten free diet for last two months or so.
    How long does it take for the intestine to get normal? Please advise it’s been worse than hell so far!:(

  2. I ate a gluten free cookie made with apple and pear juice and it gave me a little gas.one cookie is all I had.later an hour after dinner.

  3. Thank you colleen.Im going to try the fodmap diet for a while and if it don’t help much I would like to contact you about getting a dietician in my area.Im going to be going soon for a colonoscopy .I was diagnosed with diverticulosis also besides having H pylori and sibo.Had them taking care of with antibiotics.But I guess it will just take time.Thankyou again.

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