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What Is Gluten

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by , 05-20-2014 at 02:13 AM (2509 Views)
Jimmy Kimmel Asks Gluten-Free People What Gluten Is And Hilariously, They Have No Idea

In places like NYC and LA that go nuts for the latest diet crazes, being gluten-free is a growing trend and Jimmy Kimmel has stepped in to poke some fun at all the people jumping on the bandwagon.

The market for gluten-free products grew 44% between 2011 and 2013, and is projected to continue to rise, reaching sales of $15.6 billion by 2016.

There are plenty of people with celiac disease, who are medically required to avoid gluten, and others who have a wheat allergy that necessitates avoiding many of the same products. But the gluten-free market is growing because of everyone else: the people who think gluten irritates their stomach, makes people fat, or is just "bad" for some unspecified reason.

And one recent study found that many of the people calling themselves "gluten-sensitive" don't actually fit the diagnostic criteria for that. As Kimmel says: "A lot of people can't eat gluten for medical reasons, and that I get... But a lot of people here don't eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to."

Not only that, if it's not medically necessary a gluten-free diet can actually be bad for you leaving you severely deficient in several nutrients and fiber, according to Julie M. Jones, a professor of dietetics at St. Catherine's University. It's also terribly expensive.

Do the "just because" gluten-avoiders even know what gluten is? When Kimmel asked a bunch of gluten-free people in LA, he found the answer is often no.

Our favorite response? "I haven't really researched it to the fullest," one woman says. "I have a girlfriend from Russia [who] just got me into it. So. [Pause.] She's reading a book about it."

For the record: Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It gives bread its chewiness and is often used as a meat substitute: If you've ever had "wheat meat," seitan, or mock duck at a Thai restaurant, that's gluten.

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