What is a Gluten-Free Diet and How Will the Increasing Consumer Interests in Gluten-Free Diets Affect Your Job?

Gluten-free diets have become swept into the overall concerns that consumers have with food additives, genetic modifications, preservatives, pesticides, and herbicides.  Whether gluten is unhealthy or not unhealthy, the general evolving thinking is that many consumers had just as soon avoid gluten products.

I first heard of gluten at a food trade show perhaps ten years ago.  Today, many people tend to consider gluten, a protein found in grain products, as simply being unhealthy.  How much of this thinking is based on hype and how much is based on facts is hard to know.  However, this belief is increasing.  For example, an article in Food Business News states that gluten-free consumption will be a $6.2 billion business.

People who have celiac disease become become ill when eating gluten.  “Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting children and adults.”

Some people are simply sensitive to gluten.  The symptoms that these people experience from gluten sensitivity can include fatigue, digestive disorders, bloating, and other broadly based symptoms that can be associated with other health conditions.  Hence consumers have a much broader acceptance of the idea that gluten is simply something to avoid and the increase in the number of consumers who shop for gluten-free products.

The impact of this shift in consumer purchasing behavior will obviously have an impact on employment.  Gluten-free products are gaining in popularity and other products that contain gluten are declining in demand.

Just creating a complicated and perhaps more costly diet to avoid gluten for people who can enjoy diets with gluten is perhaps not the best direction for consumers to take.  Are you gluten intolerant or are you finding that you are simply caught up in the hype?  Keeping track of what you eat and how you feel afterwards is a good place to start.  Sampling foods and writing down what effects foods have on you may be a bit inconvenient in the short term, but completely remaking your diet unnecessarily is definitely not the way to go.


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