Going Gluten Free If You Don’t Need To Could Be Bad For Your Health

If you're planning to go gluten free, read this first

Why Going Gluten Free Might Be A Bad Idea

by Pierangelly Del Rio |
Published on

Not long ago, the term 'gluten-free' was introduced to our lives. As a result, most of us have considered ditching gluten completely at some point -after all, it's bad for you, right? Wrong. According to experts, far from being good for our health, removing gluten from your diet completely can be quite dangerous if you don't actually have a gluten allergy.

First of all, it has to be noted that gluten isn't actually bad for most people. If anyone googles 'Is gluten bad?' after a long explanation which involves the term 'coeliac disease,' you’ll find the answer is no. Gluten is only dangerous for those who have an allergy to gluten or suffer of the already mentioned coeliac disease; a genetically linked autoimmune illness in which the small bowel becomes inflamed and leaky by gluten, resulting in anaemia, weight loss, diarrhoea and osteoporosis. About 1 in 10 people are diagnosed with coeliac disease, and for them, gluten is like insulin for diabetics. But for the majority of people, it should be fine.

Despite this, sales of gluten-free products roared up to 50 per cent in a space of two years, rising to £300 million. Celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Victoria Beckham and Zoey Deschanel were among the ones to declare themselves free of gluten, and celebrity food gurus of the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow to Novak Djokovic advised the public to cut out gluten from their menus,

And this is where it gets bad. A recent study led by scientists from Harvard medical school, gluten-free diets can be dangerous from non-coeliac sufferers as they deny the body the heart perks of wholegrains. Barley and wheat are among those unrefined grains that regulate calorie intake, blood sugar and serve to promoting healthy gut bacteria, protecting our hearts.

The leader of this long-term study, Andrew Chan commented: 'For [those with] coeliac disease, gluten is harmful. As a result, there’s been an increasing trend that gluten is something that’s bad. But there’s really been no evidence to support that.'

The study, carried out collecting data from more than 100,000 participants during 26 years, found out slightly more heart problems in the fifth that ate least gluten compared with those who ate most.

Dr Chan also added: 'Gluten-free seems to be equated with a healthy diet and that’s not always the case — the diet may actually in some cases be less healthy.'

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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