“Dr. Hyman, I’ve recently gone gluten-free, and I’ve seen tons of replacements for traditionally gluten-laden foods,” a writer recently emailed me. “I’m a little suspicious, but are any of these choices healthy?” We are all aware that “gluten-free” has become a major buzz term. Restaurants proudly offer options like gluten-free bread, and even mainstream supermarkets have whole aisles dedicated to the trend. Nearly everyone has jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon. I don’t recommend this to everyone – not at least until you understand a few facts … and here’s why. As a doctor who treats sick patients, I find that gluten often is a major cause of digestive, autoimmune, weight, mood and neurologic problems. While one would think that I would be 100% pro gluten-free, I want to be clear that there are some downsides to this trend. The biggest problem with demonizing a food substance is caused by the food industry. In a nutshell, this industry manipulates basic foods items and turns them into “Frankenfoods.” It does this by removing naturally derived ingredients and adding in other bad stuff to make up for loss of taste, consistency, etc. Witness the past popularities of, say, low-carb or fat-free diets and the so-called healthy fake foodstuffs that manufacturers invented to replace the foods containing the maligned ingredients. Go gluten-free, but do it correctly.