Is Gluten-Free a Fad?

Many people ask me why they are seeing more and more gluten-free options in restaurants and grocery stores. Is the gluten-free diet a fad, like the low-carb craze or the soup diet?

In short, no. Some celebrities have adopted a gluten-free diet for weight loss and nutrition benefits, and there has been some inconclusive research about the benefits of gluten-free diets for autism.

However, for those with Celiac disease, the only treatment is a 100% gluten-free diet for life. (There is hope, however, with a vaccine and medication in the works.)

So why are we seeing more information about gluten-free diets and Celiac disease? Because it is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions out there. According to the National Institute for Health, one in 133 people are currently diagnosed with the disease, but that figure might be as high as one in 22. Celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed because the symptoms can be vague and can mimic many other diseases.

As diagnostic tools get better and more patients receive the correct diagnosis, the demand for gluten-free products increases. Those without celiac disease are learning about the health benefits of a gluten-free diet, and those with the disease have more options than ever. Although medications may become available, those with Celiac disease will likely still have to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet. I think that you’ll see gluten-free food around for a long time to come.

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