Should We All Be Gluten-Free?

woman at home eating salad

You’ve probably come across gluten-free cupcakes or freshly baked bread at some point in time. The food phrase is fast-approaching the frequency of “organic,” “natural,” and “green,” labels, but what does it really mean, and is this very restrictive diet something you should be following too?

  • In 2008, manufacturers in the United States sold more than $2 billion worth of products with “gluten-free” claims.
  • Grains that are naturally gluten-free—such as quinoa and millet—are now becoming increasingly popular.
  • Books and websites claim that a gluten-free diet can help with weight loss, autism and dozens of other conditions.
  • During a 21-day cleanse, Oprah Winfrey avoided gluten in her summer diet.

So, Should We All Be Avoiding Gluten?

Well, for most people, a gluten-free diet offers no benefits; in fact, it may even bring unwanted results, such as weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. Experts concur that gluten-free eating performs wonders for one group of people: those who have celiac disease.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a general name given to the storage proteins (prolamins) that is commonly found in most types of cereals like rye, wheat, and barley and in many form of bread. However all foods from the grain family doesn’t contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds.