Eats

Why Some People Can’t Eat Gluten In The U.S. But Can In Europe

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on our sister site Livestly.com.

Someone gluten-free may have told you they can eat gluten in Italy, or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. According to the story, someone who usually follows a gluten-free or low-gluten diet at home complains about bloating, abdominal pain, and an upset stomach but can eat many carbs in Europe without any issues.

According to some, U.S. wheat has a higher gluten content, and more herbicides are used in its production. Is this possible? According to nutrition experts, it is difficult to say whether it is a placebo effect. “There are a lot of variables in play with gluten sensitivity, so it’s not clear what’s at work,” said Claire Baker, Beyond Celiac’s senior communications director. Here are some reasons Americans can eat pasta, bread, and pastries in Europe.

Why Can’t Some People Eat Gluten?

In the U.S., celiac disease affects about one percent of the population. It is an autoimmune disease that damages the small intestine when gluten is consumed. Grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats contain gluten.

People with celiac disease are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, infertility, and thyroid disease if they consume gluten. Even when traveling, gluten should never be consumed.

Various Flours Have Various Gluten Levels

Due to the majority of American wheat being hard red wheat, it has a higher gluten content than European soft wheat. Europe’s bread isn’t made strictly from soft wheat, so you can’t be sure.

It’s More About Chemicals Than Gluten

Compared to their European counterparts, gluten-containing foods in the United States can also contain higher levels of chemicals that can interfere with gut health. Some scientists believe glyphosate is involved in increased reports of health problems associated with wheat products.