I’ve had a lot of readers ask about different diet fads and trends, and one of the most popular is some form of gluten-free eating. I’ve combed through thousands of pages of research to provide you with the absolute best information about gluten-free diets, demographics, and health outcomes.
Please note, this article doesn’t cover low-carb, Atkins, or Keto diets. We’re looking specifically at gluten-free diets, which in many cases still contain quite high levels of carbohydrates.
Many data we can obtain for lifestyle choices have to come from surveys. Because so many reasons exist for people to choose gluten-free diets, it’s helpful to find out some general profile information about them before jumping to medical considerations. According to a sampling of people from an online survey: 
People often self-diagnose health conditions and attempt to change their diet and lifestyle to mitigate those health issues, like swearing off gluten. Other people have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder requiring them to cut out grains. Whatever the reason, here are the top reasons people have chosen to go gluten-free:
But is a gluten-free diet helping? It mostly breaks down along the reasons listed above. For people who are diagnosed with a condition, 100% say that a gluten-free diet has eliminated their symptoms. Among the rest, only 33% feel better, and 3% say they don’t feel any better at all.
Another source says that nearly a third of all Americans are trying to avoid gluten for health reasons outside of Celiac Disease. Among them:
As we’ll see later, however, many of these benefits simply do not materialize.
Among the reasons to go gluten-free is Celiac disease, a developed disease where the gluten molecule causes pain and damage to the gastro-intestinal tract. A staggering 60% of children and 40% of adults with Celiac Disease have no symptoms. 
Because Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease, there is a high chance that it can develop alongside other diseases. Diagnosing Celiac early can prevent other conditions, and significant Celiac sufferers also have other diseases.
In addition to autoimmune diseases, gluten-intolerance/allergy also has a high rate of other self-reported allergies: 
Given the preceding numbers, it’s no surprise that there have been other medical outcomes related to Celiac and gluten-intolerance.
Outside of diagnosable medical outcomes, there is also something to be said for the quality of life effects that people with Celiac face. For instance:
Making a lifestyle change is bound to create some problems. Going back to a previous survey I mentioned above, here is some feedback from active gluten-free people:
For specifics about foods that gluten-free people eat or can’t find, over 80% say they haven’t been able to find everything they want to eat. It’s more difficult given that 60% say they don’t have any close relationships who are also gluten-free.
The effects of going gluten-free will also likely cost you more money. In fact, all gluten-free products in a study were more expensive, on average $1.10 more expensive per unit.  In another study, cereals were 205% more expensive, and baked products were 267% more expensive. 
As we can see above, for people with Celiac Disease or any other gluten intolerance, there are dozens of reasons to go gluten-free in their diet. But for the rest of us, the evidence doesn’t support cutting out all gluten.
For instance, in most people it won’t help with any inflammation, and the other loss of nutrients might not be worth whatever other benefits you may see.  Also, the additives used to replace the taste/texture of gluten proteins can have harmful effects.
Whatever the reasons people have for making the switch to cut out gluten, it’s having some sizeable effects on retail markets, partly due to the higher cost of these products, as noted above.
Outside of straightforward retail, the restaurant industry is also taking note of gluten-free trends.
Odd & Ends
Many people who have Celiac or who are gluten intolerant want to know about alcohol. It turns out that there are a number of options for gluten-free imbibing.
All wines are gluten-free.
Gluten-free beers are increasingly becoming available, as well.
While there are a number of benefits to lowering our carbohydrate intake, removing all gluten from our diets can be difficult and costly. For people with Celiac or some other intolerance, there simply isn’t a choice.
For the rest of us, however, like with all diets and supplement routines, it’s probably best to take a modest approach with reducing gluten. Definitely consult a physician before making major changes, and monitor your health as you go.