When gluten-free foods became a health fad - primarily after the New York Times manufactured the craze by creating best-sellers of scientifically suspect books about the perils of wheat - people with celiac disease, whose bodies biologically treat gluten like poison, benefited. What was once plain-tasting options in mail-order catalogs rocketed to being a $5 billion business on store shelves.
Celebrities even believed it was a weight-loss plan to hilarious effect. They didn't realize gluten-free foods meant higher calories. A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics reaffirms what nutritionists not out to create bestselling books, or at least selling conspiracy theories about the food industry like organic advocates Marion Nestle or Naomi Oreskes. have known all along - it is a burden. The new paper is a 2015 survey of 1,500 US adults without celiac disease who chose to adopt a gluten-free lifestyle and it shows a gluten-free diet will be less nutritious and could lead to deficiencies in B vitamins, folate, and iron. That means that people on the diet must take supplements, as celiac patients have known for decades.
There remains no scientific evidence that a gluten-free diet is healthier when compared to regular products containing gluten - unless someone has celiac disease and not some vague spectrum of gluten intolerance, where they just felt better by going on a diet. Not only is it not healthier, it may be bad for health. “It’s even possible the opposite is true, and the avoidance of dietary whole grains resulting in a low fiber intake may be detrimental,” says co-author Dr. Suzanne Mahady, a senior lecturer at Monash University.