Gluten free eating linked to increased diabetes risk

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 10th March 2017

American scientists have found evidence that unnecessarily following a gluten-free diet could place you at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In a study conducted by the American Heart Association over the span of 30 years, researchers found that out of those eating 12 grams or less of gluten per day, those who ate the most gluten had a lower Type 2 diabetes risk.

Participants in the highest 20 percent of gluten consumption had a 13 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those who ate the lowest daily amount — less than 4 grams.

Those who ate less gluten also tended to eat less cereal fibre which helps prevent Type 2 diabetes.

The real cost of gluten-free eating

Researcher, Geng Zong from Harvard University, said although gluten-free diets have become popular, there is little evidence they have long-term health benefits unless you have a medical condition such as Celiac disease.

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients (such as vitamins and minerals), making them less nutritious, and they also tend to cost more,” Zong said.

“People without celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes,” he stated.

During the study, which included 4.24 million person-years of follow-up from 1984-1990 to 2010-2013, researchers found 15,947 cases of Type 2 diabetes.


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