There is a lot of information out there about what you should eat vs. what you shouldn't, organic foods vs. non-organic, gluten-free diets, and gluten-filled diets. We all want to be healthier and we all try, as much as we can, for ourselves and for our kids too.
We recently came across Rachel Pauls Food and were really interested in her food plans and diet information. Rachel promotes the low FODMAP food, which is a diet low in certain carbs that can cause bloating, gas, discomfort, constipation, and/or diarrhea. In fact, their research shows that some popular diets, like a gluten-free diet, may actually be making kids feel worse. Interesting, huh?
Of course, we aren't sharing this information for those of you that are on a gluten-free diet as recommended by your doctor. BUT there are plenty of us who choose to limit our gluten intake (or that of our children) in the hopes of a healthier lifestyle.
The team at Rachel Pauls shared with us that, "a recent study published in The Journal of Pediatrics revealed that children with a common GI condition, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), may be inadvertently eating and drinking foods and beverages that are gluten-free and supposedly more GI-friendly, but the choices are actually making their tummy troubles worse.
Sometimes referred to as spastic colon or colitis, IBS affects up to 20 percent of children (as well as adults). For comparison, celiac disease, which requires the avoidance of gluten, afflicts just one percent of the population.
IBS is a functional gastrointestinal condition that is diagnosed by its symptoms which include gas, bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation several times a month or week. It’s unclear what contributes to IBS, but researchers believe stress, gut-brain communications, changes to gut microbiota, and other factors may play a role.
When kids with IBS eat foods rich in short-chain, fermentable carbohydrates, called FODMAPs, it triggers their annoying and troublesome stomach issues. This is why gastroenterologists recommend a low-FODMAP diet for anyone with IBS."
Get all that?! So, what is a FODMAPs diet? We did a little bit of research and it seems that often times belly problems are thought to be linked to wheat or gluten when in fact it’s more of an IBS issue. That's where FODMAPs comes in.
FODMAPs means Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are poorly-digested, short-chain carbohydrates that are present in a wide variety of foods, including wheat, onions, garlic, legumes, milk, yogurt, honey, apples, dried fruit, some sugar substitutes, and added fiber like inulin.
Basically, there are lots of food and drinks that are gluten-free, but are still full of these carbs that may trigger IBS and the not-so-belly-friendly symptoms that children complain of.
If you or your child is experiencing these symptoms and trying to manage them through diet, we definitely recommend talking with your physician about the low-FODMAP diet. Hey, you never know!
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