The rising modern malady-Nutrichondria! What it is?
There has been a rising demand for free-from foods in Britain. These include foods that have one or more ingredients missing from them. Examples of these include gluten-free, dairy-free, and the like.
Last year, the sales of such foods soared in the UK by more than £230m (€263m) compared to the year 2016.
25% of the Britons state that they or some of their family member is now avoiding certain ingredient in their daily food in pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. It so happens that none of these disorders is diagnosed by a medical practitioner.
There is an increased propensity to self-diagnose food allergies or intolerances based on assumptions and suppositions leading to avoidance of those food items in the daily diet. Certain aspects of the diet are assumed to be negative and avoided and this is Nutrichondria.
It has been reported that a mere 15% have gone on to confirm their suspected food tolerances.
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The DNAFit survey
DNAFit surveyed 4000 people and found that more than a quarter said that they avoided gluten but none of them had tested themselves for it. They avoid the item stating that it used to cause them lethargy and poor sleep.
Many just read the internet or books of celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and self-diagnose themselves to be suffering from gluten intolerance and start avoiding it. Gwyneth’s blog and book further aided this rising breed of people who think that gluten is the culprit in their diet and needs to be eliminated from one’s food.
Non-benefits of the gluten-free diet
Wallbank, 57 tried the gluten-free diet based on Gwyneth’s book and soon realized that it had no benefits. She said:
“I was obsessed, and went down a very strict road. I lived on beans and gluten-free pasta, which was disgusting, but Gwyneth was a role model – her life seemed bright and wonderful, while I was sluggish and unmotivated.” Having cut out the foods suggested, Wallbank could scarcely feel the effects, let alone benefits, of her new ultra-strict lifestyle. But “it was like waiting for a bus that never came,”
“Even though I wasn’t getting where I wanted right then, I kept thinking that I’d feel better next week or month.”
Wallbank got isolated from the new strict diet regime, her friends stopped inviting her for meals, and she was obsessive and ate unhealthily. She consulted a doctor who told her to restart the gluten especially since she was in the menopause age group.
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Role of the celebrities
Celebrities should avoid using their influence and social media platforms to spread wrong and unproven notions about food. Victoria Beckham and David Cameron urged people to stop dairy products. 20% believed that they were allergic to it though studies have revealed that only 5% suffer from intolerance or allergy to such products.
Miley Cyrus has also claimed that she is healthy and good due to the avoidance of dairy, meat, and gluten from her diet. Event Manager, Hannah Caldwell got carried away by her advice and felt that she was better after the exclusion of these substances in her diet. But specific tests did not prove her thinking and feelings to be right.
Do not eliminate ingredients in your diet based on what celebrities or Facebook or such social media posts tell you to. It is always better to seek a proper medical opinion before you jump into this type of free-from food.