A study published in the Gastroenterology journal studied 59 people with a perceived gluten sensitivity, and verified they did not have celiac disease. One group ate a breakfast bar with gluten, another with fructan (a FODMAP), and the third was a placebo bar. After waiting seven days for symptoms to pass, the participants switched groups. This occurred until each group had eaten all three types of bars.
Turns out, people with supposed gluten allergies actually had less symptoms from the gluten bar than they did from the placebo bar. The fructan bar triggered the most unwanted symptoms, though.
The takeaway? “We’ve labeled it as gluten sensitivity, but studies show that it’s probably not the gluten,” Bulsiewicz says. “It’s actually the fructans in wheat, barley, and rye that are likely causing the symptoms.” Since gluten is a protein present in those three grains, the mix-up makes sense. Unnecessarily eliminating them from the diet, though, can be harmful.