There are two kinds of people in this world: The 1% who are gluten-intolerant and those who are not. While the first group have very valid reasons for adopting a gluten-free diet, the latter seem to be doing the same for the sake of being part of the health-conscious trend.
Whether you're already part of the fad or not, there's a new development scientists need you to know about before you jump on the gluten-free bandwagon.
Prior to turning into a trend, gluten-free diets were primarily used to treat celiac disease which affects roughly 1% of the population. Individuals with the disease experience inflammation in the small intestine upon consuming food with the gluten protein, so eliminating it from their diet helps manage the symptoms and avoid complications.
Since gluten is mostly found in grains, food that contain wheat, barley and rye are excluded from the diet. However, by entirely skipping certain food categories, the body may be deprived of essential nutrients that it needs to function well.
A recent study by Harvard University is warning health-conscious consumers about the risk of unnecessarily adopting a gluten-free diet.
Click on the next page to find out what the alarming risks researchers uncovered.
The study looked at 30 years worth of medical data and found that those who were eating the most gluten, about 12g per day, exhibited a 13% lower risk of developing a very common chronic disease that affects over 29 million Americans.
According to the researchers, reducing or eliminating gluten from your diet can increase your risk of diabetes by 13 per cent.
"People without celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes" says Geng Zong, the study's co-author and Harvard research fellow."
He adds, "Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fibre and other micronutrients [such as vitamins and minerals], making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more."
If you've been following a Gluten-free diet for some time, it may be a good idea to see a doctor and get tested for diabetes. The symptoms can go undetected for long periods of time and cause serious damage to your body.
Unless you suffer from Celiac disease, you might want to think twice before giving up gluten from now on.
Will this new information change how you eat? Let us know in the comments!
[Source: National Post]