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Wiygul: Gluten—Allergy or Fad?

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Wiygul: Gluten—Allergy or Fad?

Alden Wiygul, Staff Writer

People have started a horrible, confusing trend of saying they are allergic to gluten when they are not. Having an actual gluten allergy can ruin lives, and people are making a joke of a serious situation when they lie and refuse to eat gluten when they can.

Every year more trends pop up that are centered around being healthy. Some of these trends, however, can actually be extremely unhealthy. For example, “juice cleanses” are supposed to be good for you, but if people would think beyond what the mainstream media and fitness bloggers say, they would realize that not eating actual food is extremely unhealthy.

Eating a healthy amount of gluten can actually decrease the risk for heart disease and stroke. People do not think of this when they choose to follow this fad though; they only think about how gluten is mainly found in wheat and bread, so it must be unhealthy.

It makes me angry because while this trend has, in a way, increased awareness to how harmful gluten can be to people with an actual allergy, it has also caused an increasing amount of harmful behavior.

Restaurants have started serving gluten free items, which you would think is great, but the truth is, the only people those items are for are the people following this fad. People with real gluten allergies know that most are made in the same area as the items with gluten in them and are therefore not really safe. Papa John’s “gluten free” pizza, for example, is actually exposed to gluten a lot during the preparation process.

My roommate has a gluten allergy called Celiac Disease which causes her immune system to attack any gluten in her system. This is extremely dangerous and every item of food she looks at, she checks to see if it is guaranteed gluten free. Even then she cannot trust some restaurants gluten free menu.

On the other side of it, I know a girl who tells everyone she is allergic to gluten because she really just thinks it makes her fat. This is not a healthy way to think or eat.

Most people do not even know what all gluten is in. They follow the fad and refuse to eat bread or chips, but they do not even know that things like beans or corn, which are very important to a regular person’s diet, have gluten because of exposure.

This sensitivity to gluten is not a joke. People can die from long term exposure to gluten, but some people do not even think of that. The more trend followers that demand to be fed special items, the more restaurants do not take people with actual allergies seriously.

I really think that society needs to stop forming these trends that can be dangerous and stupid. They enforce bad habits and are actually making people unhealthier.

 

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About the Writer
Alden Wiygul, Staff Photographer

Alden Wiygul lives here in Columbus, MS. She is a part of the photography team because she has a passion for art. Besides photography, she likes to draw,...

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