Is ‘Gluten Free’ just a trend?

Gluten Free products are on nearly all supermarket shelves these days, which compared to a couple of years ago, is astounding.

This shift in food awareness is great for those with celiac disease, but others who aren’t celiac also seem to be taking part in this type of diet. So the question remains: is it bad to have a gluten free diet when you’re not celiac?

What do the experts say?

There are different points of views out there when it comes to eating gluten free foods for a prolonged period of time when you’re not in fact gluten intolerant. 

Some studies say a lack of gluten in the diet may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, the Celiac Disease Foundation suggests that those who do not suffer from celiac disease or non-celiac gluten/wheat sensitivity should not avoid gluten. 

Why might people who aren’t celiac eat gluten free?

To begin, there are different types of gluten/wheat sensitivity. Celiac disease is one of the more severe sensitivities to gluten/wheat. In fact, it is classed as “a serious, genetic, autoimmune disease where the ingestion of gluten causes damage to the small intestine” – Celiac Disease Foundation. 

But there are milder sensitivities. Some people can have an ‘innate’ immune response to gluten, or have a non-immune reaction to a group of carbohydrates called fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. You can find out more about FODMAPs in our article ‘What is all this FODMAP?”.  Or thirdly, a person could be allergic to wheat (although this is very rare). 

Because of these reactions people tend to avoid eating the foods that make them happen. But doing that isn’t that easy. Gluten can lurk in many products other than bread, cereals, pasta, pizza and beer. It can be in frozen vegetable sauces, soy sauce, vitamin and mineral supplements even toothpaste.

Takeaways

‘Going gluten free’, despite it being seen as somewhat of a trend, is to some people, a way of living that puts their health first. Consuming gluten would mean living in discomfort or doing great harm to their internal organs. 

Not all people who can’t eat gluten are necessarily celiac, however they may have mild sensitivities.

So, when it comes to hosting events, make sure to ask for dietary requirements.

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