Gluten

The Skinny on Gluten-Free Diets

The Skinny on Gluten-Free Diets

Eating a gluten-free diet has become a mainstream topic in the media, and has led to increased availability and marketing of gluten-free products in supermarkets and restaurants around the country. This is all great news for those (like myself) who have Celiac Disease, an auto-immune disorder which prevents the body from properly digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. However, less than 1% of the population of the United States has Celiac Disease, or about two million people.[1] While that is still a large number, the prevalence of gluten-free dieting has spread beyond those with Celiac Disease. Researchers are still debating whether or not non-Celiac gluten sensitivity exists, but that has not stopped millions of Americans from choosing to follow a gluten-free diet. Nevertheless, the current public obsession with gluten-free dieting should not be accepted at face-value. A lifestyle of gluten-free eating habits may not be a wise or healthy choice for the majority of the population, and may even lead to a poor vitamin status.