Gluten is the protein component of various grains (wheat, barley and rye). It is widely believed that avoiding gluten will result in weight loss or improved overall health. However, the only people that must avoid gluten are those with celiac disease.

Celiac disease explained:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can cause severe damage to the small intestine if gluten is ingested. A myriad of health complications can result for those with this disease who do consume gluten. It is therefore critical for them to avoid eating any form of wheat, barley and rye.

Signs and symptoms of celiac include fatigue, bloating, gas, headaches, anemia, joint pain, osteoporosis, and more. Doctors can test for celiac disease. The treatment includes complete avoidance of gluten-containing foods.

If you do not have celiac disease, gluten avoidance is unnecessary. Wheat, barley and rye are nutritious foods that should be part of a balanced diet in those without celiac disease. In fact, a recent study published in British Medical Journal has found that avoiding gluten-containing foods may result in cardiovascular disease due to the low consumption of whole grains.

People with celiac disease have an immune response when they consume gluten. This response attacks and damages the small intestine (villi). This damage makes it difficult for nutrient absorption to occur.

–  Sondra Tunon