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Myth: Gluten is toxic and decreases your energy levels.

TRUTH:  If I made the statement ‘I’m not eating gluten’ 10 years ago, you probably would have cocked your head to the side a little and said ‘gluten?! What’s that?’  What propelled gluten into the media spotlight and food-trend bandwagon?  A single scientific study.

This study, published in 2003 found that celiac disease (an allergy to gluten) was much more prevalent than we thought.  That’s all.  Those were the findings.  There have been several studies published subsequently that confirm these findings.  As gluten sensitivity became well established in the medical community, it was hyped up by the media and spun out of control.

Gluten is simply a protein, like any other, that elicits an immune response in some individuals with a genetic abnormality.   But reporters have sensationalized the information to create such headlines as “What you Don’t know Might Kill You” or “The Dangers of Gluten”.  With all the hype, more research was done – research about the effect that gluten has on people who are not gluten-sensitive and who don’t have celiac disease.  The results aren’t that surprising: if the average person goes gluten free, they don’t benefit.

Gluten-free foods are not necessarily healthier; in fact, they may be less healthy because they’re less fortified with certain vitamins and minerals.  Foods that contain gluten (i.e. those made from wheat and some other grains) are great sources of B vitamins, iron, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and fiber so if you choose a gluten-free diet without the supervision of a doctor, you may be at risk for vitamin deficiencies!

BOTTOM LINE:  Gluten free is not for me!  I’m not jumping on the fad diet bandwagon because I’m not gluten sensitive or allergic.  If you have Celiac Disease or you are gluten sensitive, adhering to a gluten-free diet will help you feel more energetic and better overall.  Otherwise, you’ll benefit from a diet rich in a variety of health foods.


  1. WebMD: Going Gluten Free
  2. NY Times: Should we all Go Gluten Free?

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