Not long ago, following a gluten-free meal plan was only recommended for those with Celiac Disease, an inherited autoimmune disorder that can cause damage of the lining of the small intestine. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, only about 1% of Americans have Celiac Disease. So why has the “gluten-free” weight loss trend become a $6 billion industry, and how can it help you?
Gluten is the gummy, glue-like protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. Most obviously, it is in breads, pastas, pastries, and cereals. It is also used to add flavor, texture, or a “binding” effect in thousands of products from beverages and sauces, to hot dogs and medications. In some people, the immune system sees gluten as the enemy and will unleash weapons to attack it, causing inflammation in the intestines as well as in other organs and tissues. This can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, and a host of related health issues.