If there’s one thing that bugs me, it’s the “gluten-free” movement, which prescribes everyone to a gluten-free diet, regardless of whether it is medically indicated (as in the case of celiac disease, for example). There is no evidence that a gluten-free diet benefits people who do not have celiac disease or a sensitivity to wheat or gluten. In fact, gluten is found in whole wheat and other related grains, which boast a body of evidence supporting health benefits, including lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. So this particular study that just came out on the risk of diabetes associated with gluten-free eating was of particular interest.

Eating more gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, may be associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to Harvard researchers. Gluten intake of nearly 200,000 participants in long-term health studies was estimated using food-frequency surveys, which were completed every two to four years over 30 years. Most participants consumed less than 12 grams of gluten per day, but those who ate the most gluten had a 13 percent lower diabetes risk than those who at the least (less than 4 grams). Those who ate less gluten ate less cereal fiber, known to protect against type 2 diabetes.

(American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions)

Read the full study here.

Note: Tuscan Asparagus Farro Salad contains a form of wheat called farro. Recipe and image by Sharon Palmer, RDN

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