A Toast to Toast
The Journal of the American Medical Association published results last week revealing that the gluten-free diet has no proven health benefits for those who do not suffer from coeliac disease. This came as no shock to me personally, despite the number of friends and acquaintances who’ve chewed my ears off about the benefits.
This trend seems to be driven primarily by the endorsement of celebrities and influencers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella fame. However this is intertwined closely with emotion, and the perception that “eating clean” is in some way pure. For those reasons, I don’t think the gluten-free trend will be waning any time soon.
But then again, why should it? Whilst I’m personally against the restriction of certain food groups, and try to avoid the multitude of fad diets that come my way, I do think gluten-free diets have a place in society. There’s been an increased demand in gluten-free food, with last year’s sales totalling around £184 million in the UK alone- a 15% increase on 2014. What this means is that those with a genuine medical need now have a wider range of options, both in restaurants and at home- long gone are the days of crumbled, cardboard-tasting sandwiches that coeliacs used to have to contend with.
I have no doubt that the gluten-free fad will stick around for years to come, despite the findings published last week. But here’s the thing; even with an imagined gluten intolerance, you’re not hurting anyone- except perhaps your own wallet. But for me? I’ll remain gluten-full, thank you very much. Pass the baguette!