Look at the person to your left. Now look to the person your right. Chances are that one of the three of you eats a gluten-free diet. But there's an even greater chance that none of you has a real gluten allergy at all.
Although just one percent of people suffers from celiac disease, a serious condition that requires a gluten-free diet, the anti-gluten trend is only getting bigger, according to Bloomberg News. Research group Packaged Facts predicts that sales from gluten-free food will grow from $4.2 billion last year to $6.6 billion in 2017. That's a sign that gluten-free food marketers, ever trying to capitalize on trends, really couldn't care less if your gluten intolerance is real or not.
The gluten-free diet, which eschews wheat and similar grains, turned from a medical necessity for some into a mainstream food fad thanks to a combination of celebrity/athlete endorsements and changing ideas about healthy living in the past few years. Those who have switched, swear by its benefits and a gluten-free diet can, if done right, provide many people with a healthier lifestyle, as Salon's Molly May wrote last year. Other say cutting out foods that do have gluten means sacrificing other nutritional needs.