Speed Reads

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You're almost certainly not gluten sensitive

If you're among the 99 percent of Americans who doesn't have celiac disease, but you still think you're sensitive to gluten, chances are you're wrong — according to science.

Although many people believe that their sensitivity toward gluten, a protein present in wheat and barley, is responsible for their unfortunate bouts with irritable bowel syndrome, a recently published study found that fructans — a polymer frequently found in gluten — actually was the more common culprit for causing IBS in non-celiacs. It wasn't the gluten — it was the fructans!

So the good news is that you, dear reader, are probably not gluten sensitive. (A 2014 study suggested that only one in four people who self-reported gluten sensitivity actually meet the criteria for diagnosis.) But this new study does pose some bad news, as fructans do exist independently of gluten. You'll find them in notably delicious foods such as onions, garlic, black beans, watermelon, and bananas. Sadly, humans are apparently not that great at processing fructans, as they can be "malabsorbed" in the small intestine and cause gas, bloating, pain, and all sorts of things that should never be associated with the delicious taste of garlic.