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Is eating a gluten-free diet healthy?

A recent study shows 30 percent of people are trying to limit gluten in their diet, or cut it out completely. But is it healthy?
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A recent study shows 30 percent of people are trying to limit gluten in their diet, or cut it out completely. But is it healthy?

It may be inspired by skinny celebrities who eat this way, but dietitians say processed gluten-free food often has more fat. Which is why a Registered Dietitian at Upstate University Hospital, Julie Mellen, says she would not recommend a gluten-free diet for weight loss. Experts say if losing weight is your goal, just stick to naturally gluten-free and healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.

Suffering from celiac disease, Sue Barnes has to be on a gluten-free diet. Barnes and her 12-year-old daughter have an intolerance to gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

“You always have to think about what you eat, where you're going to eat and how you’re going to eat,” Barnes told NewsChannel 9.

Mellen says gluten can affect the immune system and the intestines, which can lead to other problems.

About one percent of the population has celiac disease and a fair share have a sensitivity to gluten. Yet, a third of people say they’re trying to eat less of it.

It's growing in popularity has been good for Barnes because it's provided more options at the grocery store.

“I can actually have gluten-free pizza, pasta, cereal bagels, bread,” Barnes said. “Fifteen years ago there may have been 10 or 15 products, now there are hundreds.”
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