February 25, 2015 at 9:44 pm #3300
Hannah J HendricksParticipant
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?March 16, 2015 at 11:40 am #3546
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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