Fueled in part by recent best-selling books that warn of the evils of gluten in our diets, a significant proportion of our population is now either avoiding foods that contain gluten or eliminating gluten entirely from their diets, and these numbers continue to grow. The gluten-free trend - and the accompanying multibillion dollar industry it has created - stems from the spreading belief that eating foods containing wheat or other gluten-laden grains may not only result in weight gain and obesity but can also lead to a laundry list of ailments ranging from depression and anxiety to arthritis and autism. One popular book contends that current recommendations for a high-grain, low-fat diet underlie much of today's chronic health problems and that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat/cholesterol diet is ideal. Every major change in our diet carries with it the possibility of unforeseen risks. Concern about the impact of such popularized dietary recommendations on overall well-being - and on cardiovascular health in particular - warrants discussion in the medical community.
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