Is Gluten-Free Just a Food Fad?

   By SheSpeaksTeam  Aug 15, 2012

It seems everyone these days is going gluten-free though it’s unclear whether the majority of those warding off the gluten are doing it merely to keep up with the latest food fad or their digestive systems genuinely benefit from restricting wheat. Everywhere we turn from restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores we are usually given a gluten-free option and food companies have definitely taken note of the benefits of marking their products “gluten-free”.

A recent Washington Post report poses the question of whether the majority of those purchasing gluten-free products are actually sensitive to gluten or just going along with the fad.

Of course there are a percentage of people who have allergies to gluten and some who suffer from celiac disease (an illness triggered by gluten in foods that can cause symptoms of severe bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea). But with consumers spending $7 billion on foods labeled gluten-free this year, according to the research firm Mintel, one can only assume more consumers are simply following the fad endorsed by celebrities live The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck who has been very vocal about her experiences with Celiac disease.

On the other hand, it is very possible that more of us suffer gluten sensitivity to some degree. According to Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Joseph Murray, the changes made to wheat in the 1950’s when scientists used cross-breading to make heartier plants may have caused more of us to be sensitive to the gluten that exists in many food products today.

What do you think of the new shift in food products going gluten-free? Do you look for gluten-free products while grocery shopping or eating at a restaurant?

Do you think the majority of people who purchase gluten-free products are actually sensitive to gluten or just following along with a food fad?


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cadart by cadart | STILWELL, OK
Oct 11, 2012

I think for the majority of the Nation it is just a fad. At our house Gluten-Free is a necessity. My Mother has Celiac disease and my Daughter is allergic to wheat. Neither one is simply gluten intolerant, these all full fledged diseases. It is eciting to see more GF products on the shelves. Some of the products can be hard to find. Sometimes it's upsetting when you hear people talking about being on a GF diet, like it's just like any other diet. In our home it is life-saving.

drgnfly2010 by drgnfly2010 | machesney Park, IL
Aug 21, 2012

I don't feel that gluten free should be considered just a fad,. This is a not a fad it can cause cancer and many other serious health issues if you do not adhere to the gluten free life style. And gluten free foods are very expensive on top of everything else that people with Celiac disease have to deal with, just because a food product is listed as not having wheat in it doesn't mean that it is gluten free, it still may contain barley. Gluten free means being free of wheat, barley, rye and oats, so people that have to be on a gluten free diet have to read ingredients on all products that they eat, medicines and products that they put on or it their body. Anything can contain gluten. Shampoos, make-up, its very complicated, so no it's not just a fad!!!! ITS A LIFE CHANGING EVENT!!

Britnev by Britnev | Clearwater, FL
Aug 18, 2012

I had been feeling bad for years and no doctor could tell me what was causing my symptons. Then after a coworker was telling me they had Celiac disease (which I had never heard of) and explaining their symptoms it all sounded so familiar. So I decided to cut out as much gluten as I could for 2 weeks. By the beginning of the 2nd week I knew I had the same disease. It was almost like a miracle how much better I felt. I went back to my Dr and requested he test me, which he did. It came back positive. He then told me that most people have some form of this disease due to the over indulgence of our junk food and many have the full disease and never get diagnosed or treated. He also said it doesn't hurt to cut back on gluten. We were not meant to eat so much of it and the normal body was not made to digest the amount of gluten we consume. If it is a fad and people are trying it just for that reason - no harm done. In fact, they might be better of for it.

chinbangwah by chinbangwah | Glastonbury, CT
Aug 16, 2012

I can't have gluten, wheat, dairy, tomatoes, peppers and nuts. Why anyone would choose to be on a gluten free diet all the time if they didn't have to is beyond me. Not only do most of the foods not taste as good (and that is being kind) they are outrageously expensive. I believe some of it is a fad but I also believe a good portion of us are gluten intolerant from all that is put into our foods. I can say my sister stopped eating gluten and no longer has bone, muscle and arthritis pain.

meclark92 by meclark92 | Baltimore, MD
Aug 16, 2012

While it is necessary for people with celiac disease to avoid gluten, gluten-free has become a fad for the public. People don't really know what gluten is, just that people are avoiding it to be healthy/lose weight, and for most people it is not necessary. And actually, most of the gluten-free versions of things have more calories.

itsmissjess by itsmissjess | MADISON, WI
Aug 16, 2012

Not a fad. I am gluten intolerant. It took me 10 years to figure out why I had such stomache pain and digestive problems. Once I eliminated gluten from my diet the problems stopped. If I eat it, they come back. It might be a trend for some people.... the type who will try anthing "new" to loose weight. I personally did not loose any weight. BUT overall I feel much better.

cocoabella by cocoabella | EL PASO, TX
Aug 16, 2012

no , it is a necessary diet for those who suffer from digestive problems. They HAVE to eat a gluten free diet. So this is a diet we won't see going away anytime soon.

TailFeather by TailFeather | Ranson, WV
Aug 15, 2012

I have spoken to a few friends that went gluten free as well as people I don't know and the one thing I found they had in common was they all agreed they had never felt healthier in their lives since starting and a few medical conditions they had major concerns on were not even in the forefront anymore. I'm not personally gluten free, but it is definitely an option I'm not excluding.

kikibird by kikibird | Maplewood, NJ
Aug 15, 2012

I think looking at the gluten in your diet is important and hope that its not a passing fad. I also watch preservatives. Foods that are high in preservatives (and plenty in this country are) sap my energy. I ty to stay away from them.

didama by didama | MAPLEWOOD, NJ
Aug 15, 2012

I have heard from a number of people who suffer from Celiac disease that eliminating gluten from their diets has changed their life. I'm definitely curious.