Gluten Craze Says More About Our Psychology than Physiology

One in three Americans are reportedly considering reducing the amount of gluten in their diet, gluten being an enzyme found in wheat, which has been a staple of the human diet for many thousands of years.

What's the Latest?


One in three Americans are reportedly considering reducing the amount of gluten in their diet, gluten being an enzyme found in wheat, which has been a staple of the human diet for many thousands of years. Several high-profile cases--such as Novak Djokovic crediting much of his late tennis success to eliminating gluten from his diet--have contributed to the popular belief that something so reliable for so long is perhaps the main contributing cause of a nation's struggle against obesity, indigestion, headaches, joint pain, and fatigue. 

What's the Big Idea?

For a small group of people with an autoimmune disorder called coeliac disease, the aversion to gluten is absolutely necessary. Even for them, however, there are trade offs. Coeliac sufferers receive nutrition counseling about how to live healthily on a gluten-free diet, finding alternate sources for fiber and other key nutrients. For better or worse, the gluten-free diet is likely a fad, based on certain false assumptions--like the belief that what is natural is necessarily better--that seem rooted in our psychology. We are also attracted to celebrity endorsements like Djokovic's and are prone to magical thinking (believing that all our woes come from one identifiable source). 

Read more at New Scientist

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists invent method to extract gold from liquid waste

The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.

Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
  • The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
  • This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
Keep reading Show less

5 of the worst inventions in modern history

Be glad your name isn't attached to any of these bad ideas.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • Some inventions can be celebrated during their time, but are proven to be devastating in the long run.
  • The inventions doesn't have to be physical. Complex mathematical creations that create money for Wall Street can do as much damage, in theory, as a gas that destroys the ozone layer.
  • Inventors can even see their creations be used for purposes far different than they had intended.
Keep reading Show less