Saturday, October 8, 2011

Gluten Awareness

Gluten awareness has increased dramatically in the last few years.  Food manufacturers are producing more gluten-free products, and there are several food companies that only manufacture gluten-free foods.  It’s become trendy to be following a gluten-free diet.  While there are those who have been advised by a doctor to give up gluten, there are many people giving up gluten without a doctor’s diagnosis.  Why?

Celebrities have helped make gluten-free eating popular.  Some claim to have followed a gluten free diet to lose weight, and others are doing it because it makes them feel healthier.  And when a celebrity does something, people pay attention.

With all the delicious gluten-free baked goods on the market, changing out all the wheat containing foods in one’s diet to the gluten-free versions will not result in weight loss.  However, weight loss can result when giving up high fat, high sugar, and highly refined foods in favor of fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein.

Some people believe that a gluten-free diet is healthier.  Personally, I think it’s only healthier for people who are sensitive to gluten.  That doesn’t mean only people with a doctor’s diagnosis should avoid gluten.  Unfortunately, as I experienced, there are many people experiencing the ill effects of Celiec and of gluten sensitivity that have never been tested because it just didn’t occur to their doctors to test them.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 in 133 people have Celiac disease, and 97% of people with this livelong inherited autoimmune condition are undiagnosed.  Hopefully, increased awareness of this disease will result in increased testing and more effective, less invasive means of testing for gluten sensitivity.


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