It seems like a lot of my friends are on gluten free diets these days. They don’t necessarily need to, but some say that they feel better without gluten. I have a problem with the gluten free diet.

It’s a personal problem.

I love toast. Like love toast. Now, I don’t eat white bread, although I won’t turn down a piece of toasted sourdough with butter. I am human, c’mon. But I try to eat whole grains, so I buy Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 bread. I love it toasted with a little bit of almond butter on top, or peanut butter with honey.

So, simply because of my love of toast, I do not know that I could go gluten free unless I knew it was negatively affecting my health.

My mom, for example, has a gluten sensitivity. Unfortunately, doctors didn’t discover it until she had some pretty serious symptoms. And I have a friend who was diagnosed with Celiac disease back when nobody knew what it was. Her body is so sensitive to gluten that a trace of it will make her sick.

Did you read the recent New York Times article, “Gluten Free, Whether You Need it or Not”? Some doctors say in the article that if you do not need to go gluten free, you shouldn’t. Unfortunately, there’s no real way to know if you have a gluten sensitivity or not as Kenneth Chang wrote in the article:

“Now medical experts largely agree that there is a condition related to gluten other than celiac. In 2011 a panel of celiac experts convened in Oslo and settled on a medical term for this malady: non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

What they still do not know: how many people have gluten sensitivity, what its long-term effects are, or even how to reliably identify it.”

Experts worry people will adopt a gluten free diet in order to lose weight. Most of us know that cutting out foods is not the way to a healthier body (but that doesn’t stop some people). Besides, as the articles points out, many of the foods labeled gluten free still have the same amount of sugar and fat (or more) as the gluten-containing products.

Experts in the article also worry that people who cut out gluten without seeing a doctor first will cause problems for themselves if they want or need to be tested for Celiac disease later. If you think you may have a gluten sensitivity, see your doctor or an allergy doctor first to eliminate Celiac disease.

Are you gluten free? Why did you go gluten free?