In our never ending search for the “perfect” diet, the tag “gluten-free” has become what “low-carb” was not so long ago; “Gluten Free has been designated as the next “sure thing” in diets. Today, all sorts of gluten-free products are being promoted by surgically thin spokeswomen and even Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cake was said to be gluten-free. In short, the messages promoting the benefits of gluten free diet are hard to avoid.
In fact, it seems that the explosion in popularity and interest seems to be fueled largely by celebrity interest. More than one actress speaks about the benefits of gluten-free diet in public and some even have it on their websites.
Unlike other true diet evil doers such as trans-fats and cholesterol, gluten is not at all bad for your diet. There are very few people whose systems cannot tolerate gluten and fashioning a completely gluten-free lifestyle is very expensive and very difficult.
Also helping with the diet’s popularity are the many claims that one of the benefits of Gluten Free Diet
is that you more active and dynamic. Among the claims that have received wide spread notice is the claim that there is such a thing as a “gluten hang over.” So far, medical research has not been able to substantiate such a condition but that hasn’t stopped the claims that there is.
The protein does affect some people, mostly those who suffer from Celiac disease. These people experience an immune reaction from eating foods containing gluten. This condition is thought to affect about one percent of the overall population. In the United States is about 3 million people.
But, according to one marketing research firm’s research, almost 25% of adults in the U.S. are practicing avoiding gluten either partially, or altogether. In other words, the vast majority of folks avoiding gluten are doing so out of choice and not necessity. Such is the power of celebrity endorsements on the benefits of gluten free diet!
The good news in all this is that most medical professionals say that there’s no harm in avoiding gluten just as long as your diet is balanced. However, being completely gluten-free and still nutritionally balanced can be challenging because of the lack of food choices. And be aware that a product claiming to have no gluten may still contain unhealthy levels of calories, salt, or other substances as well. In other words, while there may be benefits or a gluten free diet, there is a potential downside as well.
Regardless, the industry supporting the fervor continues to increase rapidly. In the United States alone, sales of food claiming to be gluten-free have easily doubled in the last five years to more than a billion and a half dollars annually.
In the end, it is your decision to balance the benefits of gluten free diet with your personal health goals. If you understand both the benefits and potential risks completely, then it is worth considering.
Benefits of Gluten Free Diet