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Why the Gluten-Free Diet is So Popular

Posted by Nikkolette's Macarons on 19th Jul 2021

At Nikkolette’s Macarons, we use entirely gluten-free ingredients. Many people wonder if cutting out gluten might be right for them. Let’s look at why so many people are choosing to eat a gluten-free diet.

Incredible popularity of gluten-free

To be clear, being gluten-free means eating a diet that does not include wheat, rye, or barley, each of which contains the protein gluten.

Going gluten-free is certainly a trendy choice. Athletes have credited removing gluten with giving them better on-field performance, and celebrities have said it has helped them control their weight. A report from Credence Research projected the gluten-free food market would expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.1 percent from 2018 to 2026. Another report, from Grand View Research, predicted the market would grow at a 9.1% CAGR through 2025. Either way, gluten-free is big and getting bigger.

Some people are likelier to avoid gluten than others. The gluten-free diet is most popular among those in their 20s and 30s. Women are likelier to remove gluten than men. Extremely accomplished athletes are also gravitating toward this diet. When 910 world-class athletes were polled, 2 in 5 (41%) said that they ate gluten-free half the time or more.

Celiac disease

It is important not to eat gluten if you have celiac disease. Almost 2 million people in the United States do, according to recent research.

If you are suffering from celiac disease, you can develop a nutrient-absorption problem when your small intestine becomes damaged by gluten. Pain and bloating are among the common symptoms of this illness.

Gluten sensitivity

If you are having an issue with gluten, it doesn't necessarily mean you have celiac disease. Rather, you may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, otherwise known as simply gluten sensitivity. This condition involves similar symptoms to celiac disease in response to gluten; however, your intestines remain healthy.

Piedmont Cancer Wellness dietician Shayna Komar explained that gluten sensitivity has become more common because people have turned from diets of mainly whole foods to ones of primarily processed foods. "Gluten goes through a lot of processing," she said, "which makes it even less tolerable for those with sensitivities or allergies."

A note of caution

Komar said that gastrointestinal issues will often disappear when gluten is removed. However, she warned that completely avoiding gluten can mean missing out on key vitamins and minerals. Holly Strawbridge of Harvard Health made the same point.

With that in mind, make sure you are replacing any nutrients you might be getting from gluten-containing foods if you are going 100% gluten-free.

Naturally gluten-free French macarons

Are you eating a gluten-free diet? Nikkolette's Macarons are made with the freshest, highest-quality, gluten-free ingredients. See our menu.

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