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The term “gluten-free” is no longer a fleeting dietary fad, but a common practice in many Americans’ everyday eating habits, according to a recent nationwide survey by Vitacost.com.
Vitacost.com, a Las Vegas-based online retailer of health-and-wellness products, found that close to half of the 1,484 survey recipients said they eat gluten-free products exclusively, while 38 percent said they incorporate “some” gluten-free items into their diets. For the individuals who don’t purchase gluten-free foods at all, the reason given was that they’re too expensive.
Of those surveyed who avoid gluten all together, 40 percent said they do so because gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – upsets their stomachs, while 31 percent prefer gluten-free items because they perceive them as a healthier alternative. Only 13 percent said they’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, a genetic condition also known as gluten intolerance.
“At Vitacost.com, we have seen increased interest in our gluten-free products, and conducted this survey to better understand consumer needs and concerns around this specialty diet,” said David Zucker, the company's CMO.
For consumers who view gluten-free items as healthy but not affordable, Vitacost.com offers discount prices on foods ranging from pancake mix to lasagna noodles to toothpaste.