Do you choose to eliminate gluten from your diet even though you've never been diagnosed with coeliac disease? You probably shouldn't.

New research has found that choosing a gluten free diet can lead to unhealthy weight loss behaviour.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people aged 25 to 36 who regularly eat gluten-free foods were more likely to have an unhealthy attitude about their weight.

The study analysed the eating habits of 1819 adults, 13 per cent of whom "valued" gluten-free food.


It found that those who chosen gluten-free food would also often have weight goals and unhealthy behaviour such as smoking and purging.

"Eating gluten-free may be viewed as a 'socially acceptable way' to restrict intake that may not be beneficial for overall health," lead investigator Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota, said in a press release.

Some good news, though: the gluten-free mindful group was found to shop more consciously and eat more nutritious meals.

The lead researcher urges people to only follow a gluten-free diet if they have been medically advised to do so.

"Otherwise, a dietary pattern that includes a variety of foods, with a large emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains, is recommended for optimal health."