On Monday night, Jimmy Kimmel set out to find if gluten-free people really know what gluten actually is.
Kimmel sent a camera crew to a popular exercise park in Los Angeles to find people who maintain a gluten-free diet and ask them.
Kimmel found four people, none of whom were able to give an accurate definition of the compound. “It’s pretty sad, because I don’t know,” one man said. Others tried to define it, but didn’t get much farther than “wheat” that’s in “bread.”
“Maybe gluten doesn’t exist,” Kimmel said.
Being gluten-free has become a nationwide dietary trend to avoid gluten and foods that traditionally contain gluten like wheat bread, cookies, and pasta. While some people need to avoid gluten for medical reasons (celiac disease, wheat allergies, etc.), others choose to do so for other health or fitness reasons.
Jimmy Kimmel Pedestrian Question – What is Gluten?
Some people can’t eat gluten for medical reasons, but a lot of people in Los Angeles don’t eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to. Jimmy wondered how many of these people even know what gluten is, so we sent a camera crew out to a popular exercise spot here in LA and asked people who are gluten-free a simple question: “What is gluten?”
So what is gluten? Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in grains that gives dough its elastic texture. It also makes people with celiac disease and gluten allergies sick. Research has found that one of the better-known forms of gluten intolerance, celiac disease, affects 1 in every 141 people in the United States.
Jimmy Kimmel isn’t too far off track to ask, what is gluten. Australian researchers surveyed 147 women who followed a gluten-free diet, and found that 72 percent of them did not meet the criteria for gluten sensitivity, and 44 percent of them started a gluten-free diet without speaking to a doctor.
People have started to diagnose themselves with a gluten sensitivity after unsuccessfully trying to figure out what’s causing their digestive issues – but being sensitive to gluten comes in ways other than just stomach issues.
“We’re talking about skin rash, headaches, foggy minds, joint (pain), anemia and diarrhea – not just irritable bowel syndrome,” Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, told Reuters. “They start to Google their condition, and they come across this idea that they may have this gluten sensitivity.”