With the exception of those who suffer from celiac disease, researcher say don’t skip the gluten
Whether you’re preparing your body for summer sunbathing, training for that next bike for a cause event, or just trying to lose a few pounds to improve your overall health, you might be tempted to go gluten free. However, new research shows that going against the grain might actually be harmful to your health.
According to a study published in the BMJ, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School concluded that cutting out gluten is harmful because whole grains actually have fantastic cardiovascular health benefits – and the data suggests they’re on to something.
In the study, data was gathered from 64,714 women and 45,303 men who worked in the health industry and showed no signs of or history of coronary heart disease. They would then fill out detailed food questionnaires every four years from 1986 to 2010. As it turns out, the researchers saw no significant association between gluten intake and heart disease, however people who limited or eliminated gluten from their diets “may actually be associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes.”
Of course, those who suffer from celiac disease – which according to celiac.org is about one percent of Americans or approximately three million people – should continue to avoid gluten and rightfully so.
But to compare that figure, the CDC reports that approximately three million people suffer from chronic Hepatitis C, and approximately three million people suffer from epilepsy. Heart disease however affects approximately 28.4 million Americans, and more than 29 million suffer from diabetes.
Yet the gluten free trend seems to be increasing in popularity. As of 2014, the number of people going gluten free has tripled while celiac disease rates remain stable. Perhaps clever marketing, Coachella-diet blogs, Paleo praising cross-fitters, or the popularization of gluten-free-for-weight-loss-notions promoted by well meaning yoga teachers are contributing factors. As for your doctor? They’ll probably tell you that the secret is still regular exercise with a balanced diet and a dash of moderation.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below!