Is Gluten Free a Fad?
It seems everywhere you look these days, you see product labels proclaiming the gluten free status. Even items that are naturally gluten free now say “gluten free” on the label. It’s a good marketing ploy because of the popularity of the diet. But, does this mean that gluten free is a fad diet?
The Truth about Gluten
According to WebMD.com, approximately 5 percent of the population is thought to suffer from Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease is a condition where the body is unable to process gluten, a type of protein found in wheat. This condition can manifest in many ways such as bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, body pain, and even certain types of intestinal cancers. It can cause very serious problems in the sufferer. In order to get relief, those suffering from Celiac Disease need to remove gluten from their diet.
In addition, another five percent of the population is thought to be gluten intolerant. This means that gluten causes some symptoms or problems such as skin rashes and stomach issues but is not life threatening. For these gluten sensitive people, lowering the amount of or eliminating gluten from the diet can help with the symptoms and greatly improve quality of life.
Giving up gluten has many benefits and can cause no harm. Therefore, even those who have no intolerance or disease can go gluten free. As long as they replace the potential vitamins that might be missed by eliminating gluten such as some B vitamins, they will most likely feel better.
If It’s a Fad, is this Bad?
Unfortunately, companies are going to use “gluten free” in their marketing endeavors to hoodwink the trusting public into buying “gluten free” products. It’s important to read labels so you, the consumer, are aware of what is being substituted for the gluten containing flour. Companies are always on the lookout to see where and how to jump on the newest bandwagon sweeping the nation.
Truly giving up gluten can help improve the quality of life for many people. As time moves forward, more and more gluten free alternatives will most likely appear on store shelves. The trick is to try to only use ingredients that are as close to nature as possible. Avoid getting caught up in using too many fake processed foods.
Benefits of Giving up Gluten
Some people who give up gluten do not experience any difference in their lives at all, but some might argue that the reason is because they didn’t give it enough time. Unlike some allergies, it can take a long time for the gut to heal from the damage caused by the gluten. This is especially true for those living with Celiac Disease.
To really experience the benefits of giving up gluten, make it a goal to give up gluten for at least a full year to see what the long term effects are. Many people report clearer skin, improved digestion, weight loss, improved mood and other benefits of going gluten free. It’s important to remember that gluten free baked goods are still often high in carbohydrates, fat and calories and portions should be limited.
Make Major Improvements in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC