Goodbye to the Gluten-Free Fad Diet


Mark it on your calendar folks. The day: February 23, 2012. The time: 6:14am.

This is the first day of the beginning of the end of the gluten-free craze.

The ship has sailed. Elvis has left the building.

Ok…you get the point.

Yes, we have a long ways to go still. Don’t kid yourself.

There will still be people spewing that going gluten-free has saved them from the depths of despair.

There will still be pseudo-celebrities saying it allowed them to bring their A-game to their latest Reality TV show.

But the pendulum is beginning to swing and this makes the Dude very, very happy.

“How do I know this?” you ask. “Where’s the proof?”

I’m a news junkie. So I am pretty up to speed on what the current hot topics are. And I also get Google Alerts for both “celiac” and “gluten“.

Let’s go back a few months and recap some of the headlines:

  • New Authors Believe Eliminating Gluten Improves Well Being (August 5, 2011)
  • Kate Gosselin Won’t Date Gluten-Free Men (August 8, 2011) (Dude note: This makes me so happy I’m both married AND gluten-free.)
  • South Beach Diet Doctor: Go Gluten-Free (October 10, 2011)
  • Should We All Go Gluten-Free? (November 25, 2011)
  • Get Healthy With the 30-Day Gluten-Free Diet Challenge (January 26)

Now, let’s take a look at some headlines from just this past week:

  • Gluten Sensitivity: Fad or Fact?
  • Questions Raised About Gluten Sensitivity
  • Is Going Gluten-Free Really Good for You?
  • All Hype: Gluten Free Diets May Not Help Many
  • Report: Gluten-Free Diets Not Always a Good Idea

So what happened? Why the shift?

I’ve got a few theories (and who am I to keep them to myself?):

  1. The nature of the media is to build things up and then rip them down. And then move on to the next craze. That’s how they develop an audience. That’s how they make their money. They’ve spent months building up the gluten-free diet. Now it’s time to change their tune. (Let this be a warning shot to Jeremy Lin. They will turn on you eventually.)
  2. The medical community has raised their voice and said “Enough!”. Some of the biggest celiac specialists have gone public with their distaste of the gluten-free craze. Many of them realize that a lot of the talk out there is just bunk and it’s hurting the cause of the people who truly NEED to be gluten-free.

So it’s a start. Like I said, we’ve got a ways to go.

And the craze has not been all bad. If nothing else, it has brought some awareness to our plight and has given us celiacs more dining options. And for that I am grateful.

But the negatives far outweigh the positives and it has hurt our cause more than helped us.

So goodbye gluten-free craze. Thanks for visiting. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

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20 thoughts on “Goodbye to the Gluten-Free Fad Diet”

  1. Finalllllly ! It’s great news the fad could be going away . I have checked a few article’s and people are arguing the celiac experts are wrong :S

    I’m interested what will happen with the athletes who went from average to a top player in there sport .

    I don’t think there has been 1 positive thing for me , my local supermarkets / restaurants haven’t got products or choice .

    Now some celiac researchers have spoken up I hope some more can explain that celiac disease and gluten intolerant is not the same !

    But it seems like finally this gluten free craze could be over and celiac disease can be known as it’s meant to be known an auto immune disease and not a diet to make yourself look cool :S lol

    1. It’s a good sign. There are indeed a lot more studies that need to be done about gluten and its inherent affect on the human body. But as long as the craze dies down, I’m a happy guy.

  2. that’s good to hear. But do you think it might just be a coincidence that several articles happened to come out against the gluten-free fad suddenly? I mean, I guess only time will tell. If we keep getting articles with this new attitude, than that’s good. But isn’t it a bit early to tell yet if things have really changed? Plus, it may take awhile for the general public to catch up on the fact that this is not, indeed, just a fad diet. They will need to start reading, which they don’t do enough of these days…

  3. Wow! Finally free of all who think it would be great to ‘try’. I am gluten sensitive, and eating gluten free has taught me to eat more from the produce dept. More fruit and lots more vegetables.

    Darn! They might be right! I am healthier on a gluten free diet.

    Happy to be among the minions! Will remain gluten free despite what “they”say. My dr. agrees with me!

    1. Hi Sue. Thanks for the comment.

      Just to be clear, my issue is NOT with people who eat gluten free who don’t have to. I do indeed believe there is something about gluten that a lot of people cannot tolerate. And if going without makes them feel better, more power to them.

      My issue is more with the public personalities and the media who have taken what is a dangerous condition for a small percentage of people and turned it into a “fad diet”.

      It’s a fine line I walk..

  4. The problem for me with the fad is the obession with gluten is bad for everyone single person. If that’s true how come top athletes eat pasta before a big game ๐Ÿ˜›

    I just hate how some people who goes gluten free think that automatically makes them a celiac WTF ?

    Just earlier I was reading gluten damages everyone’s Villi ffs , if it damaged everyone’s Villi everyone would dianosed CD .

    The articles last week suggested gluten frre helps no one but Celiac’s …

    1. The Gluten Dude

      I do think there are many with a gluten intolerance and I’m not in the camp that it’s celiac or nothing. It’s just that is has gone WAY overboard as of late and we need to bring it back to reality.

  5. I agree it’s Way overboard . I just don’t buy gluten free diet is a amazing miracle cure , since I had to go GF 9 years ago I have had a ton of extra health problems , maybe if I hadn’t been diagnosed with CD I would have still had the problems . But I doubt it as the vitamin deficiencies and the problems that go with it are connected to CD.

    I read articles about how gluten free diet can cause depression , we can eat a variety of foods but we are still not getting a lot of important nutrients in gluten . Like I checked non GF breakfast cereal it has like 9 vitamins / minerals in it . Also the malabsorption , it’s taking me 8 years to get my Vitamin D levels up no way as good as a non celiac but much better than it was.

    Maybe the real reason I’m pissed off with it is because people are having a ton of health benefits overnight or very quickly and i’m still getting problems 9 years in .

      1. i think the author is a bit ignorant and is afraid of the reality, that everyone can benefit from gluten free eating

        1. The Gluten Dude

          Are you referring to me as the author?? If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll see that I feel the same way and that most may indeed be better off without gluten. What I rail against is that it has become a total fad diet (like Atkins) that has made it much more difficult for celiacs to be taken seriously.

  6. Gluten dude the fad is out of control ๐Ÿ™ Certain CD sites are supporting celebs who are going 50 % GF for fashion . This is very bad times the gluten free fad has completely taken over CD ๐Ÿ™ It’s shocking .

  7. Being a celiac isn’t some secret society, Gluten Dude. I think this attitude is incredibly selfish and insular. Imagine – your perspective is like someone saying in the 1950s that decreasing smoking is good for weight loss, and you having a problem with that because cutting back on smoking really makes your lungs healthier, and railing that ONLY a total cessation of smoking will save someone from lung cancer.

    Truth is, for someone who is gluten sensitive, cutting back half of their gluten consumption IS an improvement – and might cause them to decide to go all the way. I would certainly hope that the clearer message of total avoidance gets out there more, but less gluten is better, that’s a fact. In addition, ANY bad press for gluten is good news for us!!

    I think that your perspective is somewhat jaded by the fact that you are a celiac with flattened intestinal villi. I have dermititis herpetiformis, and myriad GI problems that happen when glutened, as well as neurological and sinus symptoms, BUT intestinal biopsies show I don’t have full celiac damage. When I went gluten free, my sinus cleared up, my skin problems abated, neurological and metabolic issues improved, but I am not ” a celiac” in the classic sense of the word ( although the DH skin condition has been recognized since the 60s as a form of celiac disease and new classification of gluten related disorders into wheat allergy, gluten sensitive and celiac include DH in the celiac column. ) but honestly I identify way more with the majority of gluten impacted people who are NOT celiac – and for them, most are not diagnosed and don’t have the benefit of automatic vomiting , diarhea, or massive skin lesions when exposed to gluten – they have all kinds of other more subtle reactions , that nonetheless are just as devastating to their long term health.

    There is reasonable belief now that gluten sensivity falls along a spectrum – not just in what part of your system it attacks, but the level of sensitivity. This makes absolute sense. Think flu – immune system – some flus make some people sniffle and achy, other kill them. Immune systems are highly individual and operate on a continuum.

    So my point – you DON’T KNOW that for some people, simply decreasing gluten intake may benefit their health, and some people might need total avoidance, don’t be so quick to judge.

    My personal opinion – while perhaps missing the mark, gluten “fad diets” , Atkins, sugar busters, paleo all share one thing – DITCH THE WHEAT AND SIMILAR GRAINS. I hope all of these versions of diets continue in popularity – it will only drive down the influence of Big Wheat ( , and lead to an awful lot of gluten sensitives eating a lot less gluten, which is only a good thing.

    Hope you don’t mind my pushbacks – I don’t completely dismiss your point and trust me, I roll my eyes about as much as you in all liklihood at the silly things celebs say. But think of worse – imagine if all of those folks were PUSHING WHEAT – that would be a serious pain in the ass.

    PS – in the past , despite the noise, celebs and elite athletes are usually on the forefront of more healthful practices before the est of the population – because they make money looking good and performing physically. I take an optimistic view that more go gluten free and understand the condition of gluten related disorders and our diseased food supply , their message will get sharper. So maybe the answer is to fan the flames of the fad – lets help the Kim K.s become Jenny McCarthy’s in the sharpness and impact of the message they send! pps – google Team Garmin going gluten free, cool stuff I think, even though their implementation of GF wouldn’t work for a celiac.

    1. The Gluten Dude

      I don’t mind your pushbacks JP. I’m all for an open debate. But I just don’t see how going gluten free becoming trendy remotely helps our cause.

  8. I have horrible sinus pain and congestion and swelling everyday of my life, my digestion a mess, and my poors clogged, and i dont drink soda, smoke, drink alcohol or eat red meat alteady for years, and ive read thousands of testimonials about people with serious sinus issues likes myself, who have tried everything, including sugery, with no relief, and they went gluten free and most felt relief in as little as 2 days, so starting tomorrow i am gluten free! I think the word fad is not accurate, its not a fad if it stays around and people have been going gluten free for a decade or longer. My brother has chrones and he feels 100x better without gluten, so its not a fad. 50 years ago people ate food with less preservatives, from farms with less chemicals and crap like they put in our food today, these days we are eating so much more crap we are not aware of, and its messing with our body’s chemistry, its awful. Not to mention the cruelty that goes on with manufacfuring meat products, but thats another hugr topic.
    It takes extra effort, time and organization to eat well these days.
    That part alone is why most Americans dont eat right, too much in a rush, but they dont realize in the long run they are likely losing more time in their life not feeling well or even dying sooner.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didnโ€™t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, Iโ€™ve done my job.

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