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From supermarket chains to celebrity chefs the gluten free diet is becoming more and more popular. Gluten-free cafes are sprouting up all over the country; at least 4 gluten-free cookbooks are due out in January and even brewers are getting in on the act by producing gluten free ales.
This gluten-free diet boom is not, however, being driven by the tiny minority of people who actually have coeliac diseased cannot digest gluten (1% of the population), but by healthy people who have decided that gluten is bad for them too. Ask someone you know who claims to be gluten intolerant what disease they have. See if they can answer.
What is gluten? Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that occurs largely in grains, including wheat. Protein is essential for a healthy metabolism, muscle repair and growth.
There is scant scientific evidence that giving up gluten is beneficial in any way, in fact doctors in the US have reported deficiency in particular vitamins found in grains among normal people adopting gluten-free diets. psychologists report that the name Gluten sounds glue combined with gluttony, a factor that may put the more dim-witted off eating it. Forgoing gluten means saying no to many common and nutritious foods. Gluten is also found in wheat, barley, and rye. It also shows up in many whole grain foods related to wheat, including bulgur, farro, kamut, spelt, and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye).