Gluten-Free: “Marketing Mind Trick” or Medical Need?

August 18, 2011

Gluten-Free: “Marketing Mind Trick” or Medical Need?

Article addresses reasons you should or shouldn’t go gluten-free. recently addressed the rising popularity of gluten-free food and the question of gluten-free as “marketing mind trick” vs. medical need.

Four years ago, Karen Higgs was diagnosed with celiac disease. “Every time I would eat something, like toast or bread or a sandwich, it felt like needles were going through my stomach, like someone was taking a knife and chopping me inside,” she told At first, the diagnosis was a struggle, but increasing recognition and acceptance of gluten-free has made it easier, Higgs added.

“Celiac disease is the thing that the gluten-free diet was developed for, or what the treatment is,” explained University of Utah Dietitian Julie Metos. “But it seems it’s a really common thing for people to latch on to if they are not feeling well, or if they want to try the latest diet craze.”

Metos doesn’t recommend the gluten-free diet for everyone, but said it’s a good way to explore other types of grains. She noted that many people who go gluten-free for the fad feel better because they’re eating healthier overall: adding fruits, vegetables and lean protein to their diet.

Although there is no harm in trying the gluten-free diet for yourself, it is always important to check and talk with a nutritionist, dietician, or your doctor, the article advised. Metos suggested another reason to think before you go gluten-free: “…you also don’t want to pay a premium for something you don’t really need or benefit from,” the article noted.

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