Gluten-free diets are all the rage right now, but are they actually good for you? There are many people who chose to be gluten-free because they believe them to be “healthier.” But is “gluten-free” synonmyous with “healthy,” as so many people seem to assume? If you have celiac disease or are otherwise gluten intolerant, the answer is clearly “yes.” But if you’re not, it may be best not to exclude an entire food group from your diet.
While public interest in going gluten-free has been on the rise, this popularity has prompted researchers to question whether or not going gluten-free in the absence of a health condition provided any health benefits. Celiac disease is associated with heart disease, but that risk is reduced when patients adhere to a gluten-free diet, but does a gluten-free diet confer the same benefits to people without the condition?
After analyzing diet and health outcome data collected from 110,000 healthcare professionals over 26 years, Dr. Andrew Chan, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard University, and his team seem to have an answer.
As reported, “There was actually no absolute difference in risk of heart disease in individuals according to their gluten intake,” Chan commented during an interview. He went on to say, “In fact, in those individuals that actually had low intakes of gluten, they also tended to have diets that were also low in whole grains and so subsequently because of that also had a somewhat higher risk of developing heart disease.”
So, if you don’t have a medical condition that will benefit from going gluten-free, like Celiac disease, perhaps your better off sticking with gluten–even if it’s not the trendy thing to do right now.