My email inbox exploded this week. Okay, not really, but I got so many google alerts about Miley Cyrus’ new gluten free diet that it almost did. In case you don’t like getting daily updates about Celiac Disease and the gluten free diet, or don’t skip straight past the headlines on MSN to read the celebrity gossip (not saying that I do, but … yeah, I totally do) Miley announced on Twitter last weekend that she’s allergic to gluten and lactose.
She could very well have intolerances for both and feel much better not eating them – in which case, that’s great for her. I hope that she’ll use it as an opportunity to actually educate her fans about what gluten is and how to avoid it. But given that she’s tweeting about how crappy gluten is and using incorrect terminology (which you know, because we’ve already established that allergies are reactions to proteins – which lactose is not), I have my doubts.
What’s interesting and a little strange to me is that every single article said that the gluten-free diet is a really good diet … for those of us who have Celiac, but discouraged others from trying it. Personally, I have mixed feelings about people trying GF – I roll my eyes at the ones who try it as a diet to lose weight, but I know a few people who have other autoimmune disorders and have found that avoiding gluten eases their symptoms, or who’ve gone gluten free as an experiment to see if it would help ease their chronic rashes or migraines and those are definitely good reasons for trying the diet.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, what makes the gluten-free diet healthy is not the absence of gluten, but the level of attention it requires. Reading ingredient labels and carefully researching restaurants to make sure they have something appropriate and learning to cook. But just swapping gluten-free bread for sandwiches and gluten-free cookies for dessert isn’t going to have much of an impact.
All right, now that I’ve shared my two cents, here are a few recent articles that caught my attention.
“Cereal Offender” about Celiac research in Australia. What caught my eye was this quote: “we need more research to find out whether those who don’t have the disease [celiac] actually benefit from food that does not contain gluten.”
“Should Doctors Ignore Body Mass Index To Better Diagnose Celiac?” discusses how as more people are diagnosed, the symptoms have become more wide and varied, especially weight.
“Gluten Free Does Not Have Long Term Legs” I agree with the “trend expert” that within a few years, the world will move on to the next weight loss fad. But just like there are still people who do Atkins or Weight Watchers, there will always be people who do gluten-free. Some of us might stick with it a little longer than others, though.