The Gluten-Free Debate.

bagels

Over the last few years, working at my local co-op, I’ve encountered a lot of different fad diet do-ers, food restrictors and meticulous meal plan monitor-ers. No special dietary disciple, however, has picked up steam quite like the folk who believe going gluten-free will be the answer to all life’s troubles. Now I’m no virtuous eater. You gotta do you and eat what makes you feel good, I get that. I’ve just found it highly interesting to track this trend. I find it fascinating, when analyzing sales, that there are certain gluten-free products (english muffins, cookies, certain crackers, etc) which FAR outsell their gluten-filled counterparts. Now, a new study has presented evidence that non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not even be “a thing.”

From the article:

30% of people want to eat less gluten. Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016. Although experts estimate that only 1% of Americans — about 3 million people — suffer from celiac disease, 18% of adults now buy gluten-free foods.”

The study:

“The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets — even the placebo diet — caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten.” (Read more about the study.)

Could all the self-diagnosed gluten-sensitive sufferers just be one humongous example of the nocebo effect in action? I know this could be a touchy subject for some but, absolutely no judgement, I’d love to have some folks weigh in on this debate!

Here, Michael Pollan weighs in. And I rather agree with him. Some of the highly-processed, gluten-free foods just look like a nightmare to me. Too many ingredients that I can’t pronounce!

In the end, my hypothesis about all the hot diet trends is as follows—

Fad diets often work because they force you to cook and prepare your own food with actual ingredients. So, my advice…MAKE IT YOURSELF. KNOW WHERE YOUR FOOD CAME FROM. THE LESS INGREDIENTS THE BETTER. CUT OUT PROCESSED NONSENSE. …and if you still don’t want gluten soiling all the other stuff then by all means. 🙂

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