Our position is that going gluten free can help a significant portion of the population. However, simply substituting gluten free versions of foods that are common in the Western diet may not be very nutritious.
We recommend that people eat more vegetables and concentrate on whole foods, rather than processed foods. The gluten free diet is extremely important for the ~1% with celiac disease and the much larger percentage with non-celiac immune system reactions to gluten.
Excerpt from USAToday.com:
Almost a third of adults (29%) in the USA say they want to cut down on the gluten they eat or consume a gluten-free diet, according to new data from the NPD Group, a market research firm. The latest finding is based on interviews with 1,000 adults during the last week of January. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
That’s the highest percentage since the company began asking the question in 2009.
Some people want to go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight because they’ve heard that’s what celebrities are doing, says Andrea Levario, executive director for the American Celiac Disease Alliance. “What people don’t realize is that many gluten-free products are higher in fat than other products, and people may not lose weight but actually gain weight eating them.”
She says about 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, which triggers an immune system reaction that causes inflammation in the small intestine when a person eats food containing gluten. Common signs and symptoms of the disease may include diarrhea, iron-deficiency anemia, lactose intolerance, fatigue, joint pain, abdominal pain, migraines, depression, short stature and osteoporosis, Levario says.