Gluten-free foods exploded in popularity after numerous celebrities, including Miley Cyrus and Victoria Beckham, began advocating for a gluten-free diet. The new trend in the food world has seen many people undertake a gluten-free diet even when they were not told to do so by a doctor or health expert--and it might not be a good thing.
In fact, before gluten-free foods and diets were trending in America, these types of foods were only eaten when a doctor prescribed you to do so. Of course, people with coeliac disease or a gluten sensitivity have been fine, but a new study out of Harvard University has discovered a connection between gluten-free diets and an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Gluten is actually a protein that is commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. It helps provide a bit of stretchiness to dough, giving it a certain texture and shape. Bread is the most obvious source of gluten, but it’s also found in beer and even salad dressings.
What the study found
The new Harvard study reports an inverse relationship between the amount of gluten in a diet and risk for type 2 diabetes, meaning the less gluten a diet has in it, the more susceptible an individual is to developing diabetes.
The study is actually an amalgamation of three bigger studies that focused on close to 200,000 people, collectively. After analyzing the data, they found that folks who consumed the most gluten were 80 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes when compared to folks who had the least amount of gluten in their diet.
While people with coeliac disease may need to avoid gluten because their condition causes symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating and fatigue, people who avoid gluten simply because they believe it is healthier may actually be doing more harm than good.
What do you think? Has a gluten-free diet helped you in any way? Conversely, has it had any negative effects on your health?
h/t Science Alert