Gluten Free Diets: Fad vs Fact

Amber Waves of Grain. Courtesy of thenibble.com

You know a food fad has really made it mainstream when the local mom and pop Italian restaurant here in the heart of rural Pennsylvania starts serving gluten free pasta.  I asked the server what was the deal with the new type of pasta, and she told me it was something  that was supposed to be better for you.  Of course, it costs more than the regular stuff.

Medical science has established that gluten free diets are a godsend for persons with celiac disease (CD), also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy (GSE).  Certain other conditions such as a wheat allergy, gluten sensitive idiopathic neuropathy and gluten ataxia have been shown to benefit from gluten free diets as well.

As many as 1 in 100 people in the US meet the diagnostic criteria for CD.  There is a strong genetic component to the condition.  Relatives of those with CD are at greater risk of getting the condition themselves.  More than 90% of people proven to have celiac disease carry one or both of two white blood cell protein patterns, or human leukocyte antigen (HLA) patterns HLA DQ2 and/or DQ8. However, so do 35-45% of the general U.S. population, especially those of Northern European ancestry.

Most celiac experts agree upon and feel comfortable advising people who meet the strict criteria for the diagnosis of celiac disease:  they need to follow a life-long gluten free diet. Controversy and confusion arises when the strict diagnostic criteria are not met, yet either patient and/or doctor believe that gluten is the cause of their symptoms and illness.

Celiac disease is characterized by a huge variety of clinical forms ranging from classical ones to silent forms, and to an increased number of cases of gluten-sensitivity. The latter is an abnormal non-allergic sensitivity to gluten. Clinical manifestations can be very different from CD and this condition seems to benefit from a gluten free diet. Researchers into cases of gluten-sensitivity  search for histological markers with elevated specificity, which are able to identify slight and early gluten dependent enteropathy, especially in at risk patients for celiac disease even before classical autoantibodies appear.  There are studies that are investigating transglutaminase isoenzymes that can be identified in patients with gluten dependent symptoms without classical autoantibodies.

Forms of gluten allergy have a different pathogenesis from celiac disease and are represented by “backer’s asthma” or by classical allergy to wheat proteins. Clinical manifestations can vary from anaphylactic reactions to dermatological, respiratory and intestinal symptoms. Also, in these cases, the therapeutic approach is based on a gluten free diet.

My main concern in writing today is not to discuss the necessity of a gluten free diet in cases of CD or related conditions, but rather the necessity of maintaining a gluten free lifestyle as a matter of general wellness.  Undertaking a gluten free diet is no small feat.  What is gluten?  Gluten is the general name for one of the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is the substance in flour that forms the structure of dough, the “glue” that holds the product together.  When these proteins are present in the diet of someone with CD, they become toxic and cause damage to the intestine. This damage leads to decreased absorption of essential nutrients and, if left untreated, can lead to nutrient deficiency and subsequent disease (i.e. iron deficiency anemia, decreased bone density, unintentional weight loss, folate and vitamin B12 deficiency).

A couple months ago I posted a question on Robb Wolf’s site asking if everyone would benefit from a gluten free diet.  For those of you who do not know of Mr. Wolf’s work, he is the Paleo Diet guy who says his diet will make you “Lose fat. Look younger. Feel great. Avoid cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimers”.  Here are the replies I received:

“Given that gluten (well, grains) strip your gut and do all manner of other nasty things to you, I think everyone does benefit from a gluten-free diet.  Cutting out things that damage you can only be beneficial.”

“The answer is YES! Read Healthier Without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen. It’s amazing all the problems that can be linked back to gluten. Robb’s book is also a must read as he has some great information on what gluten does to the body.”

I wasn’t trying to trick anybody, and I didn’t ask a leading question.  I just wanted to get a general consensus.

Just how prevalent are the various forms of gluten intolerance?  Alessio Fasano, M.D., director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, estimates some 6% of Americans have some degree of sensitivity to gluten.  That is approximately 18 million people in the US alone.

According to marketing firm NPD’s Dieting Monitor, nearly a quarter of American adults are working towards reducing or cutting gluten from their diets. The gluten-free diet has become a sign of enlightened eating.  Some see it as a science backed diet supported by a slew of studies and a passionate cadre of celebrity supporters. Jenny McCarthy professes gluten contributed to her son’s autism.

What other signs do we see that gluten free is becoming big business?  For one, Amazon.com has added a whopping 178 new gluten-related titles since January of this year, including several children’s books.  An additional 25 titles are already on pre-order for coming months.  According to CNBC and EuroMonitor, gluten free foods racked up $2.5 billion in global sales in 2010 and are predicted to continue to grow as high as $3.4 billion by 2015. General Mills currently has 300 gluten free products on shelves.   That’s big business, my friends.

Some of us might be tempted to say, “Where’s the harm in all of this?  So what if a bunch of people try gluten free dieting for a while?  Diets always come and go.” On the surface this might be true, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find more.

According to a slew of pro-ana (or Pro Anorexia) sites online, a gluten free diet is an ideal cover for “restrictive eating.”  A commenter with the handle Ima_Be_Thin on Pro Ana Angels puts it as bluntly as possible in a thread called “best diet trick ever:”  Stacey Rosenfeld, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders, is in the camp of those who believe that using medical or pseudo-medical reasons for restrictive diets is often a cover-up for disordered eating.  “Nobody wants to be called out on an eating disorder or obsessive eating,” she says, “so anything they can do to hide it, they will.”  The gluten free lifestyle, while life-saving for the minority of Americans who suffer real consequences from grains, can be a slippery slope (or simply a means of denial) for some.

Fears of gluten, in addition to spawning a booming industry of mediocre gluten free breads, pasta, cakes and cookies, has spurred interest in another option:  enzyme supplements that supposedly break down gluten into harmless byproducts before it has a chance to do any damage.

For $30 US one can buy 60 tablets of GlutenEase from a company called Enzymedica, Inc.  The pill is supposed to include a blend of enzymes – including amylase, glucoamylase and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DDP-IV) – that are intended to digest both casein (a protein found in milk) and gluten.  To be fair, the web site does state “GlutenEase is not formulated to prevent celiac symptoms”.   It is designed to “support people suffering with gluten or casein intolerance”. “Support”, to me, is one of those weasel words that doesn’t really say anything but the reader often interprets it as being important.  Users of GlutenEase are instructed to take one pill with each meal that contains casein or gluten.  It can be found in many health food stores as well as online.

Gluten Defense,  made by Enzymatic Therapy Inc., contains a similar blend of enzymes that includes DDP-IV, lactase and amylase.  Their website says the pills are supposed to “defend against hidden gluten”.  The site goes on to say that “the right digestive enzymes can make a difference when trying to support a gluten free and casein free lifestyle”.  There is that word “support” again.  In fine print at the bottom of the page is the standard FDA statement that says statements on the page have not been evaluated by that organization.  Users are instructed to “take two capsules with each meal or as directed by your healthcare practitioner.”  A bottle of 120 capsules, available online and at many health food stores, costs about $30.

“Over-the-counter enzymes may be able to break down a few molecules of gluten here and there, but it would be downright dangerous for anyone with celiac disease to think that a supplement would make it possible for them to eat gluten again”, says Dr. Stefano Guandalini, a professor of pediatrics and director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. “The amount of gluten that these would be able to digest is ridiculously low,” he says. “For people with celiac disease, these are something to completely avoid.”

Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City, agrees that current enzyme supplements would digest only a small percentage of gluten molecules. But, he adds, “The basic concept isn’t completely far-fetched”. Pharmaceutical companies are currently spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop an enzyme-based drug that could allow people with celiac disease to eat gluten. However, he adds,” if over-the-counter products already did the job, companies wouldn’t be investing such big bucks to reinvent the wheel”.

According to Dr. Guandalini, “some people without CD seem to be more likely to suffer from headaches, indigestion or other problems after eating gluten”.  Even for them, he adds,” an enzyme supplement wouldn’t break down enough gluten to do any good”.  Dr. Green is baffled that so many people want to avoid gluten in the first place.  ” If a person doesn’t have celiac disease”, he explains, “there’s no evidence that the protein can do any lasting harm”.  “A gluten-free diet isn’t necessarily a healthy diet,” he adds. He points out that gluten-free products made with rice flour or potato flour tend to be relatively low in iron, B vitamins, folic acid and other nutrients often found in fortified grains.

“For the vast majority of Americans”, says Dr. Guandalini (who you’ll recall is the director of The Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago) “there’s no reason to avoid gluten.  A lot of people are on gluten free diets that don’t need to be.”

And that is my point precisely.  Lots of people out there, some of them who probably cannot afford to do so, are wasting money on gluten free goods when there is no scientifically proven reason to do so.  Someone has to be available to act as their advocate so that they may choose more wisely how to make use of their resources.  If I’ve made just one well person rethink their need to try a gluten free diet, then I’ve achieved my goal.

About Guy McCardle

Guy McCardle is an American science writer and skeptic. He is a certified Infection Prevention Specialist and served proudly as a Captain in the Army Medical Corps during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A devoted father and husband, he offers his unique viewpoints regarding science and the public interest.
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57 Responses to Gluten Free Diets: Fad vs Fact

  1. dsfadsfgafgf says:

    I’m on a (Wheat) Gluten free diet. Not by choice though. Wheat just isn’t being nice to me all of a sudden.
    I found I can eat Spelt. So now I make my own Bread and its delicious.
    Having a Wheat intolerance has really worked out well for me. Although I do miss Bear.
    I think its helped me expand my food horizons beyond stuff covered in “Secret recipes”.

  2. Guy McCardle says:

    Hello. Thanks for reading the blog. I’ve never tried bread made from spelt. I’ll have to see if I can’t find some. Maybe someone should start working on a gluten free beer. I bet they’d make a killing.

    –Guy

    • John says:

      There are a number of gluten free beers. A quick google would have shown that.

      • Guy McCardle says:

        Damn, there goes my million dollar idea. :)

      • Luke says:

        Unfortunately I’ve had a few- while surprisingly good, considering they are missing a key component, I would not be a happy boozehound if I had to restrict myself to them. So, Guy, if you can make something better than Bud that’s Gluten Free, the million dollar idea could rise agin. (Of course, considering how impossible that sounds, it might be Randi’s million that you got…)

        • Guy McCardle says:

          I’m off to my basement laboratory to brew up my own batch of better than Bud-style GF beer. Wouldn’t that just be too ironic if I went on to make money selling something like that?

          • Chris Peters says:

            Yes hello, Cannabis Sativa var. Sativa, Beer. Why use wheat OR corn, when bonjour! we have cannabis, I know why its not in everything like it should be, political reasons. But its also a very nutritious substitute for wheat, corn, well most anything that is a staple crop has a hard time holding a candle to cannabis.

  3. >>Maybe someone should start working on a gluten free beer. I bet they’d make a killing.>>

    Hi Guy. A number of companies are already doing just that — the problem is, 99% of it taste like, well, I probably shouldn’t say it here…but I’m sure you get the idea.

    For people with CD, (e.g., my partner) decent gluten free beer is nearly impossible to find. Anheuser Busch makes one called “Red Bridge” that I’ve heard is decent. I’ve had to resort to making my own here in Australia so Kat can drink beer with me. Even though the commercial stuff tastes terrible, it still costs about $35/ sixpack! Surprisingly the beer we make tastes better than most commercial (non-GF) beers but it’s still expensive to make (made from sweet sorghum syrup imported from the USA). We’ve put it alongside other premium English ales in blind taste tests and it ranks right up near the top in overall crowd preferences. It comes from a company here in NSW called The Country Brewer. http://tinyurl.com/3fjoomc

    Your article is spot on with the facts — well researched and as usual, cuts through the mountain of nonsense being perpetrated on the naive masses, who are happy to believe most anything they read.

    Nice work.

    • Guy McCardle says:

      Hello Robert,

      Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you and your partner have found a good brew that you can enjoy together. I checked out the link you sent, and it looks like they have some good products. I’ve love to try my hand at coffee roasting and jerky making.

      Let me know if there are any topics you think people might be interested in reading about. I’m always looking for new ideas.

      –Guy

  4. Ian Sorbello says:

    I have CD – and I can attest to the fact that keeping 100% gluten free is really very hard. If I didn’t have to avoid gluten, then I’d eat it in spades!

    One comment though from my perspective – and this is really a selfish one – is that the ‘fad’ of gluten-free is now starting to really expand my eating options. My supermarket now has an *entire section* of gluten-free products to choose from. Fast-food stores have gluten-free options (even if it’s a couple of items), but better than it used to be.

    So that’s great for me… I benefit from this diet fad. The more people that come to think that gluten is not good for them, the bigger the demand.

    People – gluten-free food is generally pretty awful. If you don’t have to go gluten-free, then just eat the normal stuff. Your taste buds will thank you for it :)

  5. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the comments. I never thought about it from the perspective of someone who has CD. It’s good to see that those who really need it are benefiting from the fad. You probably find it a little odd that people choose to eat gluten free if they don’t have to.

    –Guy

  6. Scifinut says:

    Unfortunately you are negating all the health benefits for those of us who do require a gluten-free diet. Some of us have gone for years wondering why we had odd symptoms that didn’t fall under any one category or mental illness that was resistant to treatment. Not everything is “black and white” in the area of gluten sensitivity.

    Example 1: My best friend has JRA. She tried “gluten-free” years ago but didn’t really understand it and only got rid of the obvious sources of gluten. About 2 years ago she developed a severe rash that was resisting treatment. She saw specialists, but got nowhere. In July we were talking about my adventures with gluten-free and how it had really helped some issues I was having. She decided to give it another try and got rid of all sources. Her rash cleared up in 3 weeks. Since then she has found other foods that she is sensitive to and has been slowly getting her health, and weight, back on track.

    Example 2: My daughter has Bipolar Disorder and complex Learning Differences. Fall and Winter are always her most difficult times of year. This year is dramatically different. (She never had symptoms that were connected to gluten intolerance nor CD.) In June she started a gluten-free diet and has been making remarkable improvement. By the beginning of September she was able to cut her medication in HALF. After a month of this dosage she is doing fabulous and has not needed to add an antidepressant, which we’ve had to do the last several years. Not only has she reduced her medication but she has lost weight (that she needed to) and her severe acne is getting better.

    Example 3: I suffered from “sugar crashes” for years. This required me to eat every 2 hours or so. Very disruptive when one works in schools. It also caused problems with my health. Since doing a healthy gluten-free diet I no longer suffer from these crashes, can tolerate more hours between meals and have been able to maintain a healthy weight. Again, I had NO symptoms of gluten intolerance nor CD. No family history of it, either.

    I think it’s a very large misconception that gluten-free is full of foods that are awful. Truly going gluten-free in a healthy way is a great experience. You don’t have to buy all the processed “crap” that is out there. Stick with lean proteins, lots of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds, which are all naturally gluten-free. Dairy, for those who tolerate it, is also naturally gluten-free. For treats and breads, there are wonderful recipes using coconut flour or nut flours.

    Don’t stigmatize those of us who truly benefit from gluten or grain free diets.

  7. Guy McCardle says:

    Hello,

    Thanks for your comments. I certainly didn’t mean to negate all of the health benefits for those of you who require gluten free diets. I thought I made my point pretty clear when I wrote:

    “Medical science has established that gluten free diets are a godsend for persons with celiac disease (CD), also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy (GSE). Certain other conditions such as a wheat allergy, gluten sensitive idiopathic neuropathy and gluten ataxia have been shown to benefit from gluten free diets as well.”

    My list obviously wasn’t all inclusive. I’m glad that you, your daughter and your friend all seem to benefit from gluten free eating. Is it possible though that this isn’t a causal relationship? That is, the lack of gluten may not necessarily be what is making you feel better. Maybe eating lower glycemic index foods helped to level out your blood glucose levels. I’m just going with what the research has to say thus far. I’m certainly not trying to diagnose you in a blog and I’m not giving medical advice.

    To be honest, eating lots of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and dairy sounds pretty good to me. I was on a very low carb eating program for years and felt great on it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that since I was eating less gluten that is what was making me feel better. Right now the research shows that removing gluten from the diet just isn’t medically necessary for the vast majority of people.

  8. James says:

    I see the same trend, Guy. Generally, going gluten-free ends up inadvertently giving up a lot of processed foods. Fast food is out, no burgers, no onion rings, etc. Anything fried in the same grease as breaded products are out. So good bye to any bar food that isn’t a salad. Even the relatively healthy fast-food (Subway, etc.) is out.

    So a person who changes their lifestyle to cook from scratch all the time, who reads the ingredient list every time … perhaps they’re changing more in their diet than just gluten? As someone who gave up gluten a few years ago to treat CD I know that you don’t just stop eating gluten, you end up changing a lot about how and what you eat.

    On top of all that a person is suddenly self-empowered when it comes to diet, which by itself can potentially provide psychological benefits that translate into non-specific therapeutic benefits (i.e. the expectation of treatment aspect of the placebo effect).

    Anyway.. on the subject of beer. The best gluten-free beer I’ve come across isn’t actually gluten-free, it contains roughly 6 ppm of gluten and actually tastes something like real beer. Estrella Damm is the name and it’s from Spain.

    I’ve also had a Canadian sorghum beer called La Messagère (they have a blonde and a red version), I’ve had a US brand called Bard’s and a few different types of a Belgian brand called Green’s. They are beer-like but if you’re used to beer then they definitely taste different.. I guess that beer is an acquired taste to begin with so it’s more a matter of acquiring a different set of tastes but that’s difficult after a decade+ of ‘normal’ beer.

  9. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your comments. Glad to hear you have your CD under control. For some reason I can really go for a beer now. :)

    I can see what you mean by cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients, reading product labels all the time and avoiding fast food altogether. Sounds like a pretty healthy way to eat in general.

    Thanks for your beer review. I’m sure our readers in your situation will find it helpful. I wonder if there are any gluten free stouts out there. Maybe I’ll google that.

    –Guy

  10. Stu Ward says:

    Guy, great article and I responded to your question on Robb Wolfe`s site, and I`ll repeat what I said here:`

    Your article focuses on `gluten free`grain substitutes, which are still grain based. In my opinion, you`re right, that this has reached a `fad`point in that people are implementing artificial variations without really thinking about it. The best way to remove glutens is to remove grains completely. Of course this limits the abilities of restaurants to sell pasta, since all pasta would be eliminated. `Gluten free`grains are highly processed and therefore have no place in a paleo diet. Simply removing the gluten from grains does not provide the full benefit of removing all grains and processed foods completely from the diet. The science is not all in yet but employing a reductionist approach of removing a specific toxin has never worked before. Eat whole foods. There is no safe way of eating grains whole, so it`s best to avoid them altogether.

    By the way, grain free eating, or paleo in general, is not restrictive eating, although most people initially lose weight eating this way. You will see a lot of people here talking about starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes. Along with meat and animal fats, this lifestyle is far from restrictive.

  11. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Stu,

    Thanks for your comments. Big Pasta may label you as public enemy number one for suggesting the removal of all foods made from grains. :)

    I’m currently reading “The New Evolution Diet” by Arthur De Vany, PhD. It’s teaching me a little bit more about the paleo perspective. I try to learn as much as I possibly can about a given topic and try to keep an open mind about things.

    –Guy

  12. Henk v says:

    Hang on…spelt glutenises. It may not glutenise as much as modern wheats but I am sure it glutenises. It has the same chemistry. Ive used it often enough and would not give it the tick for the only coeliacs disease sufferer I sometimes cook for.

    As to beer, the malt extracted off your bed is essentially malt and inherent proteins. These are generally denatured and precipitate out in hot and cold breaks. Ie, they are physically removed. Any residual proteins would be “residual” by definition and exhibited intolerance at these levels would indicate that some has a major problem with the food.

    This level of residual protein is far smaller than in any of the grasses used for breads or noodles.

    As to gluten free beers and beer kits, I am surprised the price for these are so high. The malt sources for these are as cheap as current malt sources. I think the wheat intolerance that so many people get is fashionable and degrades the status of those who are truly ill with coeliacs. Mind you, there is a lot more product available for the sufferers of this disease (and related) because of the transient sufferers of intolerances.

    The rule being, if your medico has finally come to the conclusion that you have a disease, you have to do something about it or continue to suffer the disease.

    If an alt practitioner has guessed a disease for you, its likely that you should see a medico to find out what the problem is or if you have one at all.

    If you have guessed a disease for yourself, please continue to by products that may support your unsupported approximations. It makes those self same products much cheaper for the real sufferers. Personally, see a medico.

    Now as to diets.. If a diet has a name and its exalted by zealots, its a fad diet by definition. It certainly helps keep the price of the produce related to such diets down.

  13. Donna H says:

    THANK YOU for this excellent article! I have been scratching my head over this gluten business and I suspect it is a fad. To be sure, going gluten-free is beneficial for some, but I don’t believe it is necessary for most people – or even helpful.

    I have arthritis – quite painful. My sister, a few years older, is a physician who has had a lifetime struggle with severe asthma and allergies. She is now seeing a g.i. specialist who has convinced her that her asthma is due to gluten intolerance. She has been on a very strict gluten-free diet for three years now. Since that time, she has:

    – gained about 100 pounds
    – been hospitalized once a year for two weeks at a time with asthma – as she has for many years
    – had to be on very high doses of medication for her lungs that is taxing her liver and kidneys

    Before the gluten-free diet, she was MUCH healthier. But – she keeps making excuses. Now, every time she is hospitalized, she says it must be because she went to a conference and had some fruit form a table that had bread on it and someone must have accidentally dropped a roll on the fruit, “poisoning” her with gluten. She’s not mentally ill – but she’s driving the rest of us crazy.

    Then she had me see her g.i. doctor. Mind you, he’s one of those highly respected fellows in the prestigious Houston Medical Center. He told me I should try a gluten-free diet for my arthritis. I did it. I did it for SIX LONG MONTHS. Not only did it not help – I felt worse. I saw him three more times during that period – he kept telling me I needed to go gluten-free and I kept telling him it wasn’t helping one bit and I actually felt worse – something I attributed to coincidence. After six months, I resumed gluten. I was a LOT happier and my arthritis improved! Again, I believe that was coincidence – but eliminating gluten absolutely DID NOT help.

    Finally, the third time I saw him – for a regular, screening colonoscopy. I’m at that age. ONCE AGAIN, he said I needed to go gluten-free for my arthritis. I was ticked off by then. I said, “I am NOT my sister. I DID it. I felt like CRAP. I feel MUCH better now that I’m eating gluten.” He never said it to me again.

    I’m just one person – but our family – and our family internist – all believe my sister is convinced by a fad that her loopy g.i. doctor believes in like a fundamentalist religion.

  14. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks for reading the blog and thanks for sharing your story. Like you said, I’m sure that going gluten free really is a help for some people with very specific conditions. For the rest of us, it really isn’t going to help any and may make you feel worse.

    I’ve met several people like the GI specialist that you speak of. Because he is a well respected physician, many people will take his advice and give gluten free diets a try. Some may even feel better on them for a while due to the placebo effect. As you and your sister found out the hard way, it is hit or miss. I’m glad that you were able to stand up to him when his idea didn’t work. Some people are too timid or trusting to do that.

    I hope that you and your sister find the medical help that you need and that both of you find your way back on the track to wellness.

    –Guy
    The Inconvenient Truth

    • Donna H says:

      Thanks, Guy. I gave up on my sister. She and her g.i. worship at the altar of gluten-free. I do the stuff that is actually medically documented to help with my arthritis – daily exercise, healthy diet with lots of veggies, adequate sleep (unless I’m on call!), managing my weight, and meds as needed.

      It’s easy for me to stand up to a physician. I’m a doctor, myself. But I was THUNDERSTRUCK that he seemed to continue to forget that I told him – on the gluten-free diet I felt worse. I don’t believe it was due to the diet – arthritis symptoms wax and wane by themselves. But he is such a believer he has completely abandoned all credible science – and my sister has, too. Sadly, I expect her to be in an early grave. This gluten-free diet has taken her from a very fit and strong 140 pounds to almost 300. No kidding – I don’t know how she doesn’t see that, but when I’m with her, she consumes a breathtaking amount of calories. She was a hell of a lot better off when she would just have a sandwich for lunch. Makes me quite sad.

      Great blog. I had been searching for anything on gluten-free being a fad, as patients are asking me at least once daily if they should try it. I’ll tell you one thing – I won’t refer them to my sister’s g.i. even for a colonoscopy.

      Keep up the great blogging! We need more skeptics!

  15. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Donna,

    Sorry to hear that you had to give up on your sister. We all have to pick and choose our battles where we have the greatest chance of doing some actual good. Have you listened to my podcast on this topic yet? I’ve recorded this piece to help get the word out to a wider audience. Feel free to recommend it to anyone you wish. http://theinconvenienttruth.org/archives/771#more-771 It’s also available on iTunes if you’d like to subscribe to my weekly podcast.

    Take Care,

    –Guy
    The Inconvenient Truth

  16. Norman says:

    Three years ago I decided to go gluten free after googling about gastro-intestinal issues and thinking that there was a link. Of course it was an interesting learning experience to avoid buying/eating anything with wheat, but not wasted learning. I also would not worry about any Celiac type medical issues from eating gluten, I know I won’t get any allergic reaction.

    But I have noticed that my knees hurt less. I’ve always been triathlon training, I am running tremendously more miles than ever before (49 y.o.), and my lungs and breathing are clearer than before.

    One habit of GF diets I find strange is trying to re-create all those breads, cookies, cakes, and pies with GF materials. Sorry, but in most cases it’s impossible! Rice bread? yeah right. Find something else to eat like ice cream, or GF brownies (the general non-structure allows GF to work) or skip dessert. I may not need to go GF, but by doing so, it carves out donuts, cookies, cake, and other useless (yet so easily available!) foods so I have to think about getting rice, potatoes, oatmeal, vegetables, and other really nutritious items prepared. (i’m wondering what Donna H’s sister is eating to gain weight.) It restricts what I order at the restaurant, but it is my choice now. Did you know the proportion of gluten in wheat grown in the U.S. today is significantly higher than a few decades ago? It’s part of our great agricultural revolution, but it raises questions in my mind about whether that is appropriate for us to eat. It’s one form of genetic engineering I choose to avoid.

    I guess I would not classify myself as Gluten Free, but rather as avoiding wheat-based products. The GF label is just easier for people to understand due to the growing fad. What annoys me is when people look at me with sad eyes: “Oh, you can’t have any cake?” and I’m like, “No problem, I choose not to have some, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Don’t worry about me!”

  17. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Norman,

    Thanks for sharing your story. Far be it from me to advise you to stop doing something if it makes you feel better. It seems that you have the placed the whole matter in perspective. I hadn’t heard that the proportion of gluten in wheat grown in the U.S. today is significantly higher than a few decades ago.

    I still don’t believe that the vast majority of people benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets, but if it works for you, more power to you.

    –Guy
    The Inconvenient Truth

  18. Henk says:

    depends on the flour…there are grades.. for different purposes.

    Its as simple as that

  19. Henk says:

    quote \ “Given that gluten (well, grains) strip your gut and do all manner of other nasty things to you, I think everyone does benefit from a gluten-free diet. Cutting out things that damage you can only be beneficial.”

    “The answer is YES! Read Healthier Without Wheat by Dr. Stephen Wangen. It’s amazing all the problems that can be linked back to gluten. Robb’s book is also a must read as he has some great information on what gluten does to the body.”
    / end quote

    is the greatest amount of piffle I have heard since Noah’s arke was found this year.

    When you read something like this…take it with a grain of salt…

    He now is arguing against meal, not flour (by the definition in the statement) This is screaming with Vitamins B.

    I tend to have extended arguments with twats like that.

  20. Nicole says:

    Thank you Thank you for echoing my thoughts on the whole GF (what I call FAD) and have been reamed for saying so. Funny as that I am a person with Celiac Disease and all those articles of stars and well known athletes claiming that going gluten free for awhile made their performance better, etc but then said they can’t wait to eat bread again.

    Well, eating gluten free is not that easy and NOT healthy. A majority of foods you buy in grocery stores such as cereal, waffles, pasta and bread are incredibly high in sodium and or fat. The healthiest way to live your life is to cook and try not to buy pre-made GF foods. Obviously most of us don’t have time to make home made GF bread but so many other items including pizza you can make at home sans the excessive calories and sodium.

    Thanks again for your well informed post.

    Nicole

  21. Guy McCardle says:

    Hello Nicole,

    I’m glad you liked the post, and kudos to you on a very well done website of your own.

    You must have mixed feeling about those who choose to follow GF diets as a fad when you have to do so out of medical necessity. It must be a lot of extra work to prepare nutritionally balanced, good tasting GF foods. The dishes on your site look very appealing, especially the salmon.

    Thanks for your comments.

    –Guy
    The Inconvenient Truth

  22. THANK YOU for addressing this really, REALLY annoying fad. I began baking my own bread about a year and a half ago, and my absolute favorite recipe calls for a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten. So when I run out, I traipse down to my local little supermarket to get some. Nothing. I try Trader Joe’s. Nothing. In desperation, I try Whole Foods. The clerk is glad to show me their wide array of VERY LARGELY LABELED gluten-free flours, but there is no vital wheat gluten. I found ONE Whole Foods near my mother-in-law’s house, a half-hour from where I live, which did carry VWG. And then I moved. To San Francisco. I despair finding another place that carries my VWG. Luckily, I can get it online, but that’s not going to help much when I forget I ran out and have the ingredients all prepped.

    I know gluten sensitivity is real, but it’s also REALLY ANNOYING. I swear, the Whole Foods people must have run down the aisles, cackling with glee as they taped up “gluten free” tags to every product they could. I have two friends in a writing group, and I occasionally want to bring them baked goods, but one is a major hypochondriac, and she latched onto the gluten hysteria. So, now, what do I do? Shell out a bunch to get gluten-free ingredients to satisfy her issues, not bake, or not give her anything and double up the cookies for my rational friend? I sometimes really consider the last option.

    Thank you for the wonderful podcast. I’m supposed to be working through a huge backlog of audiobooks, but I’ve been blasting through your entire collection, instead. I’ve already spent my entertainment money for this month, but I think I’ll be signing up for some sort of payment in March. This is a podcast I definitely want to keep going!

  23. Guy McCardle says:

    Hi Dione,

    Thanks for your story. It almost makes you feel like some kind of criminal by having the gall to seek out wheat gluten, doesn’t it? I suppose I could liken it to shopping for MSG.

    I usually don’t play the role of dear Abby, but here is what I would do concerning your hypochondriac friend; I’d make a “special” batch of baked goods with maybe a pinch or so less gluten than your recipe calls for. Tell her that you made these special “low gluten” or “reduced gluten” baked goods just for her. It just might work.

    Thanks for the kind words about the podcast, but are you sure you aren’t thinking of Brian Dunning? He is one with 300 podcasts. I have 11 of them on my own site. I’ve made the “Gluten Free” piece into a podcast in case you want to share it with others. Please feel free to check it out.

    Regards,

    –Guy McCardle
    The Inconvenient Truth

  24. Adam says:

    Thanks for your post on this, Guy.

    I’ve largely ignored fad diets for years, but all the recent hate on wheat and gluten finally made me wonder. I chow down on whole wheat bread, cereal, and Lean Pockets ALL the time. Have for years.

    About half a year ago, I performed an intervention on myself — a combination of a lot of nutrition advice I’ve heard. I cut fast food almost entirely. I’m far more mindful of my sodium intake (it’s still probably too much, but more like “a little too much” and not “how are you not dead yet?”). I willfully and gladly eat a bowl of fruit nearly every day, and love eating baked potatoes with well-selected toppings (calorie-negligible spices and non-dairy milk). I stopped drinking sugared soda almost entirely.

    Since that time, I’ve lost about 20 pounds (that’s good — I was slightly overweight six months ago). I feel more energetic on average, and my knees don’t ache as often. Yet I’ve never deliberately curbed my carbohydrate intake at all. I COULD probably do even better, but I’m pretty pleased with my balance of eating things I LIKE while maintaining a reasonable weight.

    My brother has a corn allergy. He hasn’t been able to eat that other nutritional boogeyman, high fructose corn syrup, for years. But he mocks raw vegetables and green salads as “rabbit food” and is heavier and always more lethargic than I am. After some discussion with other family members regarding food and diet, I learned that he simply doesn’t pay much attention to what and how much he eats.

    It’s terrible that some people have to live with Celiac Disease or other gluten intolerance, and don’t get to eat things they might otherwise like. But I think the takeaway for the other 94% who don’t, is that a good, honest look at the entire diet is important. I used to be in denial about how bad fast food really is for you. Just making good choices goes a long way. There’s no magic bullet. Barring medical conditions, the diet game is about satisfying hunger efficiently. Gram for gram, a bowl of mashed potatoes flavored with onion, garlic and milk is stomach-filling, yet far fewer calories than a greasy McDonald’s cheeseburger.

    There’s one last thing I’ve noticed. The people who preach the loudest about diet and the evils of certain foods seem to ALWAYS want to sell you something. Crazy thought, but it’s ALMOST like they want to profit off of your fear.

  25. Guy McCardle says:

    Adam,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the article. It sounds as if you have adopted some healthy eating patterns. Congratulations.

    You’ve hit the nail right on the head with your assertion that the loudest diet advocates usually have something they want to sell you. If you dig deep enough at most topics, money more often than not helps foster a certain point of view.

    Take care,

    –Guy
    The Inconvenient Truth

  26. Mike says:

    My wife has MS, and there is a little (VERY little) evidence that a gluten-free diet helps with some of the symptoms of MS. My wife asked her neuro (one of the top people at UCLA) about going gluten-free, and was told “there’s no real proof it does any good for MS, and it will probably drive you crazy.” So she didn’t. She’s doing great, eats a well-balanced diet, does what her doctors tell her, and enjoys gluten with no guilt at all.

    Great piece, Guy.

  27. news says:

    The look for the blog is a little bit off in Epiphany. Even So I like your site. I may have to install a normal web browser just to enjoy it.

  28. beth says:

    I have asperger’s syndrome, bipolar not otherwise specified, fibromyalgia, ADHD, and the list goes on.

    I can attest to gluten free being pretty useless as far as helping any of those conditions, but those who worship saint anti-gluten just tend to say there was something wrong with specifically how I was gluten free or some other nonsense rather than even acknowledging that it does no good for some, which is why I think they’re usually deluded about this magical diet of theirs.

    What really bothers me is that someone with a mental illness can be taking a huge risk by trying to fix things through their diet, and parents of autistic children can easily be mislead or given false hope that their child can be cured of a neurological condition(there is no cure for autism, it’s sick to make anyone promises otherwise) which is already present.

  29. Nicole says:

    You are my hero and you express so much more eloquently what I have been trying to get across to those who are making money off people like me who have Celiacs and do not have a choice. but they make money of the sheep who follow the fad.

    Have you seen all the ridiculous websites and twitter people who are feeding off this very lucrative and expensive industry?

    Bravo! Please keep talking, being gluten free is not a great way to go, it is not cheap and not necessarily healthy unless you choose fresh veggies, fruits, and make your own pasta and bread.

    Thank you for speaking up.

    Nicole AKA Gluten Free Girl In DC

  30. Susan says:

    My son has celiac, and before he was diagnosed – by the age of 4 or so, he was pale and not gaining enough weight. He was smart, and curious and active – but just seeming malnourished. Then our doctor had an idea and did celiac tests, sure enough that was what was found: pulled him off of gluten, and he is now a thriving very fit kid.

    Now though, everybody else in the family, extended family included, has decided they too can’t have gluten. And it has spread to friends of family. It must be an amazing case of celiac, because it is seeming to spread! :-) Though when pinned down, they’ll say “I don’t have celiac, I have gluten intolerance”. And its blamed for mood changes, headaches, upset stomachs . . . pretty much anything. “Oh, I am tired, I must have accidentally gotten some gluten!”.

    Now, I could care less normally. And in fact it means I know my son is really safe when with any of them. But what is hard, is that to me it belittles the scare we had over my kiddo before he was diagnosed. We thought he might have leukemia or something else horrible, he was shrinking away. And so when everybody else says “oh I can’t have it either” – I want to yell “yeah? Show me some pictures of yourself when you were 6 years old . . . huh, you look *healthy*! I thought my kid might F’ing die!”

    Anyways, I cannot confirm or deny that somebody I know did some very unethical experiments, where some food that folks had some gluten in it, but they didn’t know it . . . and they were fine. And some where there was no gluten, but after eating there was an “oops, that sauce had some gluten in it!”. And huh . . . wouldn’t you know . . . suddenly all manner of symptoms happened!

    Whats that word? Uh . . . hmmmm, its coming to me . . . oh yeah – *Placebo*.

    :-)

    This whole thing is following *exactly* the trajectory the MSG stuff did 20 years ago.

    • Guy McCardle says:

      Thanks for sharing your story Susan. I have seen this phenomenon of “contagious gluten intolerance” happen many times. My own family suffers from “contagious vitamin deficiencies” which I don’t even argue about any more. I’m glad you hear that your son is getting the medical attention that he needs.

      Regards,

      –Guy

  31. Anonymous says:

    As a nurse practitioner, I am naturally skeptical of many fads and supposed “cures” I read about. That said, over the past 3 years I have become a convert to a modified paleo/primal type diet I refer to as archevore or paleo 2.0 (do a google search for Dr. Kurt Harris or archevore…he writes a blog for Psychology Today, and his advice and insights are free). First, “gluten free” is a poor choice of words because you can still replace gluten with other not-so-good-for-you options. Grain free is the better choice. I eat no breads, wheat, or corn. I rarely have rice, quinoa, potatoes or peanuts. I run so I sometimes carb up on sweet potatoes, but usually stick to berries and fruits for my carbs. My diet consists mostly of meats and vegetables. I have lost 121# and am in the best physical shape of my life. The 50 year old (current) version of me handily beats the 18 year old overweight version (who loved breads and grains). My diet is not restrictive. I eat out with my wife all the time. Pizza? I eat the toppings, skip the crust. Unlike some paleo folks, I do have dairy. I mostly stick to restaurants with buffets or meat-intensive menus (think Barbeque or steak houses), as many restaurants stuff you on their cheap breads while skimping on the meats and veggies. Do you have sensitivity to grains and wheats? Ignore the “popular” advice. If you are of a normal weight and can eat whatever you want without gaining much, your body has adapted well to eating grains. If you are overweight and have tried most diets but failed, wheat is likely making you fat. Humans have been around for a long time, but only started eating grains in any significant amounts in our very recent history. Would you encourage rabbits, who have always eaten greens, to suddenly eat meat? Then why change what humans naturally eat? Try primal eating, see the difference for yourself. If you don’t like my advice, feel free to ignore it.

    • No, because rabbits are herbivores, humans are omnivores.

      I think you’d be surprised to find out how much of your diet consists of foods that have been modified by mankind. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

      • Mud says:

        Brian, they are coprophagic as well. I think they still resent us over the recent fur hat and pregnancy testing misunderstanding.

        Why would I say something that bizarrely and flippant?

        As a human being, I have noticed people get fat. They do so because they dont burn the calories they consume.

        There are a number of factors why we over eat and some of us are more or less sedentary and some more or less active.

        Anonymous as a nurse practitioner knows as much about diet as she does physiology and Guy should know better than to add anecdote to the fire..

        Had he maintained his cross country 20km per week, He would be in spanking form today grains or no.

        Just dont listen to the folk who lick the liverwurst off their sandwiches and throw the bread away..

        Guy, you have homework in cellular chemistry! Hint Biochem 101, lipid recycling.

        Folks, training is FREE after you have bought the cheapest of accroutrements. My surfboards are 20+ years old and sadly, so are my speedos. Pho is happy for me to work in the garden. I am happy to stay there regularly and get exercise and cook what I damn well want.

        Dont wait till you are in the custard house to say “I wish I could have walked 10 km to see that beautiful view and eaten what I damn well pleased.”….

        Oh wow…custard!! I wonder if it has some yummy aspartame in it..

        Fad diet?

  32. Guy McCardle says:

    Hello Anonymous,

    My wife is a Nurse Practitioner and I have a great respect for your profession. If this is my buddy that I ran Cross Country with in High School, reveal yourself to me on FB.

    At any rate thanks for reading my article and thanks for writing. Believe it or not I actually do like your advice. Many years ago I decided to remove most of the carbohydrates from my diet. This was initially very hard to do as carbs are truly addictive. I ate no breads or baked goods for years. I loaded up on all kinds of meats and cheeses. When I first started eating this way I was honestly afraid my cholesterol would go sky high. As it turned out, my cholesterol was at the lowest point ever in my life. I rapidly lost weight up to a total of 60 pounds over 10 months and was able to easily keep it off. I felt better than I had in years and had lots more energy. This was before the days of Paleo I suppose (2004, not exactly ancient history) and I guess my eating closely mirrored the Atkins plan.

    Anyway, a couple years ago I was in a bad car accident and I started to resume my bad eating habits again. Consequently, I gained all of my weight back. OK, what was my point? Oh, if you find what kind of fuel your body runs on most efficiently that is great. Stick with it and maximize your health.

    If any of you readers would like to follow my day to day exploits on Facebook, just follow this URL: http://www.facebook.com/guy.mccardle.3

    –Guy

  33. Mud says:

    Enjoy…

    Dear Madam/Sir,

    I purchased your “Sea Salt Fine” product yesterday. I purchased it on the basis of your ingresients statement “Salt”. I use non iodised salts for my cheese making.

    I just read the back of the packet and found that your mission statement is deceptive for the product.

    Salt is always natural (I have yet to see a supernatural product) and the terms “gluten free”, “low fat” and “organic” have never applied to any sort of salt (natural, supernatural or otherwise). Apart from the fact that “organic” under the correctly maligned current standard (it makes statements of magic) can no longer exist in any form in this technological age, it can never apply to a product that only has salt in its ingredients list.

    Could you discuss with your chemists how your next order for packaging could better reflect the contents under the adopted standards since 1991?

    Regards

    Henk

    PS, Gluten is a prized product amongst vegans and counter culture nutrition bods. Do you really want to put them all offside? Should you not actually have a chemist and need contract science support feel free to email me.

  34. Erin says:

    Hi Guy

    Could you comment on the “connection” gluten has with hashimotos disease and polycystic ovarian syndrome?

    I have hashimotos and symptoms of PCOS, never diagnosed, but do have similar symptoms as my sister who does have PCOS. I have read off an on, over the years, of people who have gone gluten free or paleo, and have “cured” themselves. One person was able to stop taking synthroid, and other women have resumed normal menstruation patterns when going wheat free or extremely low carb or paleo.

    I briefly jumped on the gluten free bandwagon last year, but only lasted about a week. Caving in miserably to the pizza my husband made for himself and the kids. (Damn it was good.) I have a small grocery budget and have to cook for my family which includes 2 gluttonous boys who are eating me out of house and home.

    Still, I wonder if going gluten free would be beneficial for me. Is there any evidence out there that links gluten with hashimotos? PCOS? Or is it just a fad? It’s obvious to me that cutting calories would possibly be a side effect of going gluten free, as well as increasing fruits and veggies which in turn, would help weight loss, which in turn, may help women with PCOS.

    What isn’t so clear is how someone could go off of their thyroid medication, unless going gluten free actually eliminated circulating thyroid antibodies. There is a link between CD and Hashimotos, many patients have both disorders, so perhaps it isn’t as far fetched as I think.

    Erin.

  35. Marilyn says:

    I’ve been a registered nurse for 34 years and I’ve seen all the damage that too many calories and not enough exercise can do. Going wheat free will help anyone who eats junk food and processed food because there is a ton of wheat in most of that and you will simply avoid it. I recently decided to go wheat free in an effort to shed a few pounds and reduce the sugar ups and downs I was having by perpetually reaching for high-carb snack foods. It has been great for me so far. I have lost 13 pounds in seven weeks and avoiding wheat has caused me to incorporate more vegetables and lean meats in my diet. I have way less muscle pain and sleep better. I say it is worth a try and it certainly cannot hurt to lose weight and decrease carbs. If dangerous belly fat goes away and you feel better as a result of avoiding wheat then it is a good thing. All nutrients can be supplied outside of wheat as a source!

  36. Laura says:

    This is a pretty good article, much better than the short “In Fact” presentation on YouTube. Two of my three children are seriously gluten intolerant, as am I. My husband and one child aren’t, and I wouldn’t try to stop them eating wheat. I live in a small town in Canada and have not personally encountered the “fad” aspect of gluten-free diets. All the people I know who don’t eat gluten have established through elimination diets or medical testing that they have a major problem with it. As far as I know, there truly are significant numbers of people discovering that they are healthier without grains (we still eat some rice at my house, but that’s our only well-tolerated grain). I don’t know who the “fad” people are. I didn’t want to give up gluten but it saved my life.

  37. Laura says:

    I’d also like to say that based on anecdotal evidence, I think it’s probably a good idea for most people, especially those of northern European ancestry, to try cutting wheat out of their diet for a good solid week or two. If it makes no discernable difference, lucky you: go have some pizza. But some people will find a lot of mysterious health problems – including some they may not even be aware of – have cleared up, and they will be so glad they tried it. (example of a health problem someone might not be aware of: before I stopped eating wheat I had a headache ALL THE TIME. I didn’t realize I had a headache because it was always there. You can imagine how fantastic I felt when I suddenly didn’t have one anymore.
    Dairy is another food most of us should probably try this with, as well. I cut dairy out of my diet for a month, didn’t feel different, then reintroduced it and still felt fine. So I continue to enjoy dairy products.

  38. Robert says:

    Just picking up this thread now and thought I’d chime in and share a book I’ve read on eating gluten-free eating as well as a few other ingredients like industrial seed oils and sugar/high fructose corn syrup: The Perfect health diet by Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet. The authors appear to have done their homework. I have found that simply minimizing wheat and packaged foods (loaded with soy been oil, safflower oil, etc. for shelf llife) has simply led to more healthy eating.

  39. gerry says:

    I am a chef and have been dealing with food issues for the last 30 yrs. I first heard of celiac disease in 1975 when taking a basic nutrition course. Strangely after cooking hundred of thousands of meals for 30 years and never, not once, did I cook for someone who told me they couldn’t consume gluten, I find myself dealing with the issue everyday. From my perspective this is a food fad to the enth degree. I believe people read articles or hear the latest nutritional updates and subsequently self diagnose,,,,,,I am sorry to sound harsh about this for those who do suffer from this protein intolerance,,,,so here is my apology,,, in a bowl put one cup of masa(corn flour)1/4 cup sugar,2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder,pinch of salt,,,,,in another bowl put 2 eggs, 3/4 cup yogurt,1/4 cup oil and 1 cup of pureed over cooked rice and lentils,add the dry bowl the the wet bowl and stir until you have a thick batter,,,put in 1 pound loaf pan and bake covered with tin foil for 20 minutes ,,remove tin foil and bake for 10 minutes at 350

  40. Jason Kushner says:

    I’m all for healthy dieting, and everything in moderation, but I think a lot of people claim that they need to switch to gluten free because it’s a badge to wear. It’s a way to identify yourself from the crowd. Unless you really suffer from celiac disease, this route is more or less just unbalancing your diet as the article below illustrates:

    http://www.nutralegacy.com/blog/general-healthcare/fda-regulates-labeling-of-gluten-free-products/

    • Laura says:

      Do you actually know anyone who is following a strict gluten free diet just to stick out from the crowd? I don’t.

      • Chris Kortjohn says:

        That is what a trend is, and why they change overnight. People are ALL doing it to stick out. Otherwise they wouldnt talk about it or be so smug whenever they say “no thanks, I dont eat foods with gluten!”

  41. Dani says:

    Dione,

    If you are looking for vital wheat gluten, check the gluten-free section of the store. It’s absolutely nuts, but I almost always see bags of it next to the Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill GF mixes.

    Good luck!

  42. Dani says:

    Susan, I’m so glad you got your son diagnosed! Hopefully he can have a very healthy childhood, now that you know.

    However, I feel the need to criticize those *very* unethical experiments, in case anyone gets the idea from your post. I don’t doubt that a lot of GF dieters are faking, or hypochondriac, or confused. But as a very sensitive Celiac, I’ve been ‘glutened’ multiple times by supposedly gluten-free food. When I’ve been accidentally glutened by friends, I’ve been too embarrassed to tell them. Believe me, I suffered with mental, neurological, and digestive symptoms for weeks. Now I simply don’t eat anything that hasn’t been prepared by a fellow Celiac friend (with the exception of two local bistros that serve salads).

    The moral of the story: NEVER sneak gluten into food, whether you believe a person’s health history or not!

  43. Chris Kortjohn says:

    Oh thank you for this article. I hate hype and whats even worse is how marketing is always right on the heels of any diet craze. Gluten free diets are the new black and Im glad this article exists and so many people have read it. When is the scientific method going to be the new black?

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