There are a lot of food items you should avoid. Sugar. Dairy. Boxed products. Most cereals. Commercial juice…

The list goes on and on (oh, let’s not forget cold cut meats!)

But why are you avoiding gluten? Is it because you heard your best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s mother went on a gluten-free diet and it turned her life around? Yes? That’s why?

Okay, well, unless you, personally, have been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity, you can hop of this bandwagon at the next stop.

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The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness states as many as 18 million Americans may have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), but research also shows us a whopping 86 percent of individuals who believed they were gluten sensitive could actually tolerate it.

Avoiding gluten if you’re not gluten sensitive could actually hurt your health; just this month, research from the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle 2017 Scientific Sessions noted a low-gluten diet may have adverse health effects by raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The reason behind the findings? A lot of people cutting out gluten are inadvertently cutting out fiber, and a fiber-rich diet has been linked to diabetes prevention as well as a number of other important aspects of disease prevention.

Honestly, the point of it all is this: stop self-diagnosing yourself. If you think you have a gluten intolerance, go get tested for it. Once confirmed, you can wear your anti-gluten shield with confidence (but you’ll still need to find a way to get that fiber in your diet).