New research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggests that avoiding gluten, a protein found in many grains, could actually increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.

A 30-year observational analysis of nearly 200,000 people found that people who eat gluten develop type 2 diabetes less often than occasional consumers –as intake does not exceed 12 grams per day.

The research also shows gluten-phobes tend to eat less cereal fiber, a type of fiber found in bran, barley, and other whole grains that’s known to guard against type 2 diabetes.

While those with Celiac disease or diagnosed gluten sensitivity should continue to abstain, Harvard’s Geng Zong says those who eat gluten-free foods as a lifestyle choice may want to reconsider.

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrients, making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more,” Zong says. “People without Celiac disease may reconsider limiting their gluten intake for chronic disease prevention, especially for diabetes.”

Consult your healthcare provider for what is best for you.