After further research and long-term studies (see article links below), the very scientists who originally provided the key evidence for supposed “gluten sensitivity” have since proven that it simply doesn't exist, except of course in the case of people who actually suffer from celiac disease, where gluten can cause extreme discomfort and medical complications. “Gluten sensitivity” is simply turning out to be a mild case of, or early-onset celiacs disease.
Now before you email me that you or a loved one has a “sensitivity” to gluten (with no diagnosis of celiacs disease), take a look at the increasing number of scientists weighing in on the subject:
It stands to reason that certain food manufacturers/suppliers and even some restaurants don't want you to know about this new evidence – after all, sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 BILLION (yes, that's BILLION) by 2016 [Business Insider, 5/15/14].
But, as I have maintained in my FAQ section for over 2 years, all this hullabaloo about gluten-free this and gluten-free that is just a lot of baloney (which is not gluten free) – EXCEPT OF COURSE IN THE CASE OF ACTUAL CELIAC SUFFERERS. So enjoy a nice piece of REAL bread every so often and don't fall for the BS marketing scam. People love to jump on bandwagons, and falling for this ridiculous craze is like finding out that 1 in 100,000 kids has a peanut sensitivity and deciding to not eat peanuts because of that. Remember: There's $15 BILLION riding on your NOT knowing these facts. Additionally, according to Highmark (below), don't think that eating gluten-free will help you lose weight. You will certainly lose weight if you cut down on carbohydrates and calories in general, but that has nothing to do with gluten.
The Celiac Disease Foundation (http://celiac.org) states: “Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently. There are about 300 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms at all. However, all people with celiac disease are still at risk for long-term complications, whether or not they display any symptoms.”
A young woman I know, and more than a few angry emailers in response to this article, self-righteously defend their “gluten sensitivity” with almost religious fervor. I asked her (and the emailers who responded to me) what the symptoms were, and the people who actually experienced symptoms (VERY few actually experienced symptoms, in fact) reported those exactly as described on celiac.org and many other websites for mild celiac disease sufferers. Her clearly definable abdominal discomfort when she eats gluten isn't some magical “sensitivity.” She suffers from one of the many manifestations of celiac disease and should consult a doctor. And yes, she should stay away from gluten.
I will quote a chef whom I greatly respect: “Of course I offer gluten-free items on my menu. I am a business and I have to pay the rent. About once a month I actually get a celiac-sufferer in the restaurant who thoroughly appreciates my efforts to provide some tasty gluten-free options. The rest of the time it's just poseurs and people who want to appear picky in front of their friends. But the expense I incur by having to use separate prep areas and separate equipment has caused me, and other restaurants, to raise prices to compensate. But I do not, and will not, try to convince people that my restaurant is superior because I offer gluten-free food. That's just a smokescreen for inferior restaurants who are playing on the gullibility of those poseurs in order to survive.”