In recent months there has been a lot of mention of gluten free dieting. Gluten free living is certainly becoming more heard of but for what reasons and at what price for those of us who actually have to stick to a 100% gluten free diet because we suffer from celiac disease??
Celebrities, models and various other semi famous people are constantly on new and bizarre diets in an attempt to lose weight that most of them never had to lose in the first place and recently the gluten free diet seems to be one of these such diets. This article, published recently, states that ‘93% of gluten-free interested dieters have never been diagnosed with celiac, according to research by the Hartman Group, a consumer research group’. Can this really be true and if so, why? We must consider that this 93% covers those who are gluten intolerant as well as those who have other ailments/diseases helped by keeping away from gluten but this still leaves a large percentage of dieters who are going gluten free in attempts to lose weight or simply because it’s the new in thing to do! Sticking to a gluten free diet is extremely challenging and often stressful when it’s a necessity so why deal with this if you don’t have to?
I’ve been struggling to decide whether I think gluten free fad dieting is going to benefit celiacs or not. I decided I would make a list covering both sides of the gluten free dieting as a fad coin in terms of how this could both improve or hinder life for celiacs and others who are forced to live free of gluten.
How gluten free fad diets could benefit celiacs…
Higher Awareness: Gluten free fad dieting means magazine/newspaper articles and other media attention which in turn means more information out there on gluten free living.
More Products: With more people looking to buy gluten free products (for whatever reason) comes more of a market. We don’t care why there are more gluten free products available, just that they are there! They may even get cheaper with higher levels of sales.
Why gluten free fad diets may hinder celiacs…
Not taken seriously: Having a large percentage of people on gluten free fad diets could result in those of us who are required to stick to a gluten free diet not being taken as seriously. We don’t want to hear the words “oh you’re trying the new gluten free thing too” when we ask our server about gluten free options.
Gluten Free-ish: Celiacs can’t eat ‘gluten free-ish’ and gluten free fad dieters could result in restaurants selling gluten free-ish meals rather that meals suitable for celiacs. Contamination is an issue for celiacs and restaurants must cater for those of us on 100% gluten free diets.
Perhaps these fad diets should be renamed as ‘low gluten’ diets because as any celiac will tell you, a real 100% gluten free diet means being cautious about every single thing that you eat. Celiacs must consider not only what is in the food they are eating but also where it was manufactured, prepared, cooked and whether any gluten containing products could have come into contact with it. I doubt anyone on a gluten free fad diet is even remotely as careful as this so they are likely to be eating various amounts of hidden gluten. Eliminating bread and pasta doesn’t mean you are on a gluten free diet. It’s a serious diet for some of us and I hope gluten free fad dieters help rather than hinder us!