Recently, a popular TV personality wrote a book about the gluten-free diet. She is advocating
it's use for losing weight for people who don't need to follow the diet because of celiac disease and also
recognizes that people with celiac disease must follow the diet.
This book has caused some discomfort with some RDs who want to make sure the
message is that the diet is the only treatment for people with celiac disease.
It's not a fad or a trend.
What is gluten? It's the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Recently, it was found that 1:133 people in the U.S cannot tolerate gluten. However, for every person who knows this, 89 don't. Many people have unexplained symptoms such as stomach discomfort, gas, and bloating. Yet some people have other symptoms such as infertility, anemia, or neurological issues.
That said, as an RD who works in a gluten-free store, I interact daily with people
who have celiac disease and with other people who are trying a gluten-free diet because
they believe they feel better without gluten in their diet. People who don't need to follow the diet for medical reaons will consume gluten at times when they eat out, or attend a reception.
Bottom line, the "wanna be gluten free by choice" people may be making healthier food choices than prior to being gluten-free. Following a gluten-free diet for weight loss is not the magic weight loss solution that many people long to find.Many people who follow the gluten free diet struggle with gaining weight because there are so many gluten free products available in the marketplace.