Gluten-Free diet trend

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    Avatar of Hannah J Hendricks
    Hannah J Hendricks

    Over the last years the gluten-free diet trend has gained a lot of attention for many who are not celiac. What do you think the cause for this trend is? Has their been any actual proven benefits for eating gluten-free for those who are not sensitive to it? Is there a loss of nutrients for those who are participating in this diet trend?

    Avatar of Heidi M.
    Heidi M.

    The gluten free diet trend has increased rapidly over the past decade up by 28% from 2008 to 2012 (1). This growing trend could be caused by a number of factors such as: the belief that eating a gluten-free diet is healthier, self-diagnosed gluten sensitivity, and that reducing or eliminating gluten will decrease gastrointestinal stress and cause weight loss (1).

    Going gluten free when you don’t have a sensitivity can prove to actually harm your health. According to Tufts University health and nutrition letter, a gluten free diet may lead to a loss of important nutrients in your diet. Gluten free diets are often higher in fat and lower in vitamins B-12, zinc, iron, folate, and fiber. Additionally, eliminating gluten causes you to miss out on many popular whole grain foods whose intake is associated with lower risk of obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and cancer (1).
    According to a recent double blind trial conducted in 2011 by Biesiekierski JR. et al on patients with gastrointestinal symptoms without Celiac’s disease, found that when put on a gluten-free diet there was no difference between end point gastrointestinal markers. This suggests that a gluten free diet isn’t necessary for those without Celiac’s disease (2).
    Additionally, gluten-free products are expensive. According to a research paper on the economic burden of gluten-free products, found that the cost of a gluten-free bread versus a wheat based bread were 240% higher on average (3). These products aren’t necessarily healthier and more low nutrient dense convenience foods are being made available that are gluten-free.


    (1)Time for a Reality Check on Going Gluten-Free. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter [serial online]. October 2013;31(8):4-5. Available from: Academic Search Premier, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 16, 2015.

    (2)Biesiekierski, Jessica R., et al. Gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without celiac disease: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial. The American journal of gastroenterology 106.3 (2011): 508-514.

    (3) Lee A, Ng D, Zivin J, Green P. Economic burden of a gluten-free diet. Journal Of Human Nutrition & Dietetics [serial online]. October 2007;20(5):423-430. Available from: SPORTDiscus with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 16, 2015

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