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One in Five Americans Include Gluten-Free Foods in Diet

Celiac.com 10/07/2015 - The number of Americans who say they include gluten-free foods in their diet has hit a whopping 20%, while 17% say they avoid gluten-free foods altogether. However, nearly 60% of adults say they don't think about gluten-free foods either way.

Photo: CC--AlphaIn the July, as part of its annual Consumption Habits poll, Gallup asked just over a thousand Americans about foods they include or avoid in their diet.

The was the first year the poll included questions about "Gluten-free foods."

Demographic differences in those who seek out gluten-free foods are fairly minor.

One in three non-white Americans say they actively include gluten-free foods, compared with 17% of whites.

Age seems to influence the purchase of gluten-free foods, with
25% of adults under 50 buying gluten-free, compared with 17% of those aged 50 and older.

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Men and women bought gluten-free food at about the same rates.

Interestingly, more educated and wealthier Americans tend to be less likely to include gluten free-foods in their diet than Americans with no college experience and lower-income Americans, respectively, though the differences were fairly small.

The report's overall bottom line is that the gluten-free food market has grown substantially in the past five years, as has the introduction of more foods that do not contain gluten.

With one in five Americans now seeking to include these products in their diet, the prevalence goes well beyond the roughly 1% of Americans with celiac disease, who have a serious medical reason to avoid gluten.

Many Americans say they eat gluten-free foods as part of an attempt to lose weight, a version of a no-carb diet, while others claim it improves their well-being.

Though it's unclear how healthy a gluten-free diet is for people who do not have celiac disease, the percentage of Americans who say they are attempting to include gluten-free food in their diet shows how widespread the practice is.

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It took me 20 years or more Barry so I wouldn't claim any great insight on this I had a 'eureka' moment, up until then I was walking around with multiple symptoms and not connecting any dots whatsoever. It is very, very difficult to diagnose and that's something that's reflected in so many of the experiences detailed here. A food diary may help in your case. It helped me to connect the gaps between eating and onset. It could help you to track any gluten sources should you go gluten free. It is possible for your reactions to change over time. As to whether its celiac, that's something you could explore with your doctor, stay on gluten if you choose to go that way. best of luck! Matt

I took Zoloft once. Loved it until it triggered microscopic colitis (colonoscopy diagnosed it). Lexapro did the same. However, I have a family member who is fiagnosed celiac and tolerates Celexa well.

Thanks for the update and welcome to the club you never wanted to join! ?

Jmg, I am glad you were able to come to the realisation that the culprit was in fact gluten. For me its not so simple. IBS runs in the family, as do several food intolerances. Its just in the last while that I can finally reach the conclusion that for me its gluten. The fact that it is a delayed effect-several hours after, made it harder. Friday I had some KFC, felt great. Saturday evening felt sleepy, Sunday felt awful and my belly was huge. I think I have gone from mildly sensitive to full blown celiac over the course of five years-if that possible. Thanks for all your help.

I thought I'd take a moment to provide an update, given how much lurking I've done on these forums the last year. It took a long time, but I've since had another gastroenterologist visit, many months of eating tons of bread, and an endoscopy where they took several biopsies. I have to say, the endoscopy was a super quick and efficient experience. During the procedure they let me know that it looked somewhat suspicious, causing them to take many biopsies, and then did comprehensive blood work. About a month later, I received a call telling me that the TTG came back positive a second time, and that the biopsies were a mix of negative (normal) results and some that were positive (showing blunting of the villi). As a result, I've been given a celiac diagnosis. It's been about a month now that I've been eating gluten free. Not sure if I'm really feeling all that different yet. It's a bit twisted to say, but in some way I was hoping for this diagnosis ? thinking how nice it would be to have an explanation, a plan of action, and feeling better. It's certainly no small change to be totally gluten free, but I'm hopeful.