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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” hit the L.A. streets to find out which gluten-avoiders know what gluten actually is.
I live in Los Angeles. I work in Santa Monica, and I write for a nutritional/healthy-ingredients magazine. So, you might say that I am very familiar with health aficionados eager to tackle the latest and greatest health food trend. These days, no trend is bigger than gluten-free. But do self-professed gluten-haters even know what gluten is?
To be fair, I know several people-including a best friend-who must avoid gluten out of medical necessity. For these individuals, gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease makes avoiding gluten mandatory. According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, 1 in 133 Americans are diagnosed with celiac disease. And up to 16 million may have gluten sensitivities. So, yes, there are real reasons to go gluten-free. (For the record, wheat bread, my friend says that she does miss eating you.)
To those who don’t necessarily need to go gluten-free but who believe that avoiding this protein (found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye) simply makes them feel better, I say have at it-as long as you aren’t missing out on essential nutrients as a result.
It's more amusing to me when those committed to avoiding gluten don't really know what it is they are avoiding, or why. In fact, the latest Mintel report says that up to 27% of consumers avoid gluten because they believe it will help them lose weight.
“It’s really interesting to see that consumers think gluten-free foods are healthier and can help them lose weight, because there’s been no research affirming these beliefs,” said Mintel food analyst Amanda Topper.
Cue this amusing video in which “Jimmy Kimmel Live” hit the L.A. streets to find out which gluten-avoiders know what gluten actually is.
Other gluten-free reading:
Nutritional Outlook magazine