While many celebrities have attributed a gluten-free diet to their slim figures and overall healthy lifestyles, eliminating foods containing wheat, barley, and rye could actually be harmful for those without celiac disease. According to Dr. Norelle Reilly of Columbia University Medical Center in New York, gluten-free products often contain higher amounts of fat and sugar and lack proper nutrients like folate, iron, and B vitamins. "There is no evidence that processed gluten-free foods are healthier nor have there been proven health or nutritional benefits of a gluten free diet," Reilly told The Telegraph. "There are no data to support the theory of intrinsically toxic properties of gluten in otherwise healthy adults and children." In fact, unnecesarily relying on a gluten-free diet can up the risk of obesity, diabetes, and resistance against insulin.
The flourishing gluten-free food industry can partially be explained by healthy consumers who believe that gluten is bad for them. They're willing to pay more than necessary for alternatives that could backfire. According to the article, only about 125,000 British people have celiac disease, but a shocking 60 percent of adults have purchased gluten-free items. Those who do believe they are intolerant of gluten should receive a proper diagnosis before adopting what's now become the trendy diet.