Thursday, March 8, 2012

Gluten-Free Diets Analyzed – The Good News and The Bad News

I came across an article in Food Navigator-USA titled Gluten-free diets may be unnecessary for many, suggest researchers, that got my antlers spinning. The research referred to is a commentary published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which suggests that many Americans may be limiting their diets unnecessarily, as there is no accepted definition of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It’s a similar argument to the one we’ve been hearing about food allergies being over-diagnosed because there is a difference between food allergy and food intolerance.

Are you ready? Here goes my rant:

I understand why some medical professionals want to be able to clearly define a diagnosis. I understand that in their world, it matters whether it’s celiac disease, or a food allergy, or intolerance, or something else. These conditions differ in terms of how they affect the body.

But if you are the person (or the parent of a child) who doesn’t feel well after eating a food, and you know that by choosing not to eat it you will feel better, then the answer is simple – eat something else. As a consumer, a food allergy parent, and someone who is gluten-intolerant, the solution to the problem is that same.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again – if a food makes you sick, you shouldn’t eat it.

But I promised you there was good news, and there is! According to the article, the market for gluten-free products has grown 30% from 2006 to 2010, and is expected to grow even more. The article states that the market research organization Packaged Facts estimates the market to be more than $2.6 billion in 2010, and predicts that it could be as much as $5.5 billion in 2015.

Why is this good news? It means that people with food sensitivities (of all kinds) are speaking with their dollars and their food choices. It means that the food manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to address the need. It means that we will have more choices, and more foods on the grocery store shelves that we can eat. And that makes me happy! What about you?


tammie said...

Conpletely agree!

laura west kong said...

It doesn't matter how many medical professionals say a gluten-free diet is unnecessary, for me the simple observation of 10-15 days of migraines per month on gluten and 1 or 2 off gluten is more than enough for me. Some do question my other suspected food intolerances, but they are all amazed at what a gluten-free diet has done for me.

Colette said...

Laura, it's great that you feel better!!! That's a huge motivator.

Tammie, it's a good thing some of us are sensible:-)