Fred Bodimer, KMOX Health Editor

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A local dietician urges caution to people opting to go on a gluten-free diet, when they might not really need one.

Barnes Jewish registered dietician Mary Ellen Beindorf says gluten-free is mainly for people with celiac disease, which  affects about one percent of the American population.

“What happens is when you eat foods that contain gluten, your stomach doesn’t absorb them or use them right so you can have problems.”

However many Americans are now changing their diet and going gluten-free, avoiding wheat, barley and rye. Domino’s Pizza now offers a gluten-free pizza, for an extra 3 dollars, Frito Lay is offering more than a dozen gluten-free chip products and even AB InBev now offers a Michelob Ultra Light Cider that’s gluten-free.

“I think we do have to be careful it’s kind of a trendy thing, and right now I’m seeing a lot more gluten-free products unfortunately that are made with refined carbs in not the  healthiest foods, things like donuts, cookies pizza,”

Beindorf says those who think they are gluten intolerant should first see their doctor and get tested before making any changes.

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