June 19 — This past February, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira announced intentions to hit 30 home runs and collect 100 RBIs during the then-upcoming Major League Baseball season. Prior to 2012, these numbers would have been lofty yet attainable goals for a superstar of Teixeira’s stature. But in recent years the two time all-star first baseman appeared snakebitten having missed extensive time due to injuries that tarnished his reputation as one of baseball’s most feared sluggers.
Fast forward four months since his bold declaration, and Teixeira has proven himself to be a pinstriped prophet on pace to obliterate the goals he set with more than half the MLB season left to play. Based on interviews with various major sports media outlets, the secret to Teixeira’s bounce back season may well lie not only in his renewed weightlifting program, but also in significant changes to his diet. Namely, his decision to adopt a gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free lifestyle. The combination of weightlifting and his new “free from” diet have put Teixeira in what many have said is the best shape of his career. He’s packed on more than ten pounds of muscle while shedding body fat.
As great as the results have been for Teixeira, he isn’t the only one discovering the benefits of embracing “free from” foods and beverages. Many other celebrities—including Zooey Deschanel, Drew Brees, Jennifer Lawrence, and perhaps most famously Gwyneth Paltrow, among others—along with non-celebrity consumers are often voluntarily cutting out specific ingredients for the sake of their health. This includes eliminating not only gluten, dairy, and sugar, but also fat, GMOs, sodium, and food processing additives, according to Packaged Facts reports Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid and Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition.
“Food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages. For consumers with allergies and intolerances, avoiding certain food and ingredients is a matter of life and death. But for other consumers avoiding various foods is a matter of choice based on a desire to lose weight or to have an overall healthier life. Hence for the latter group, it’s not about dealing with specific allergies but rather a matter of optimizing health and also about seeking to create a quality of life based on eliminating negatives,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.