Gluten-free products are more popular than ever with market sales increasing by 44 percent in a matter of two years from 2011 to 2013. It appears though that not all people who have adopted a gluten-free diet know what gluten is all about.
The revelation came after Jimmy Kimmel talked about gluten and his love for pizza on his show "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Monday night. The comedian said that he suspected that some people shun gluten in their diet simply because somebody told them to so he had somebody investigate gluten-free people what gluten is about.
Based on the answers provided by four people interviewed for the show, it is clear some individuals who adopted gluten-free diets do not have a clear idea what gluten is and what's in it that they are avoiding. It also appears that some people merely jump into the gluten-free bandwagon without really understanding the concept behind it.
"It's the wheat in products in like bread or pastas or rice," one woman answered when asked what gluten is. "It makes you fat. I haven't researched it to the fullest. I have a girlfriend from Russia and she got me into it."
In case you've been hearing a lot about the supposed benefits of gluten-free products and pondering on the idea of going gluten-free, here are some facts about gluten that you need to know about:
Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains such as wheat, rye and barley, which makes the dough elastic. People with celiac disease get sick when they ingest food or drinks that contain gluten so they are the ones with medical reasons for going gluten-free.
Mayo Clinic described the purpose of a gluten-free diet as treatment for those with celiac disease. If you're not gluten intolerant and decided to just go gluten-free anyway, you may actually be harming yourself. Julie Jones, a professor of dietetics at St. Catherine's University in Minnesota, said that a gluten free diet can leave you severely deficient in nutrients and fiber.
Some people who have not been properly tested for gluten sensitivity, however, assume that their health problems are caused by gluten.
"They start to Google their condition and they come across this idea that they may have this gluten sensitivity," said Alessio Fasano Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston.