Buyer Beware: Gluten-Free Does Not Necessarily Mean Healthy

While no one was talking about gluten ten years ago, studies show that today as much as a third of the population is trying to go gluten-free and for a good reason.

Gluten is an element found in wheat, barley and rye. The problem is that in some people it can trigger an autoimmune response that can have damaging effects on their intestines. This is called Celiac Disease and affects about 1% of the population.

In addition, it is clear that even people who do not have full-blown Celiac are still affected by gluten. This is sometimes referred to as Subclinical Celiac Disease and affects way more than 1% of us.

Food producers are always looking for new markets and new ways to present their products. The gluten-free craze has become a marketing tool that gives food manufacturers a way of pushing products as ‘healthy’ when, in fact, many are not.

Whole sections in food stores are now devoted to gluten-free products. They are often found next to the organic and vegetarian goods which can cause us to make a mental connection between ‘gluten-free’ and ‘healthy’. There’s gluten-free bread, pasta, muffins, bagels, cookies, cereal, chips, pretzels, crackers… and the list goes on.

But according to the nutrition food labels many of the gluten-free foods contain fewer vitamins, less fiber, and more sugar. Food manufacturers don’t dispute this. They claim that they are just filling a consumer demand.

Let’s look at a few of the gluten-free products found in grocery stores today:

Amy’s Rice Macaroni with Dairy Free Cheese Gluten-Free – this snack is all refined carbohydrates – a total of 72 grams per serving. By far not a pinnacle of a healthy meal.

Udi’s Gluten-Free Bagels Plan – Gluten-free or not, this is a bagel and it is all carbs – 41 grams per serving.

Glutino Sandwich Cookies Chocolate Vanilla Crème Gluten-Free – this one is a prime example of a gluten-free, so called “healthy”, junk food. It has 20 grams of carbohydrate and a whooping 11 gram of sugar.

All of the mentioned examples are highly processed, refined carbohydrates coupled with too much sugar. They cause a spike in our insulin levels and represent poor food choices. Many of these gluten-free products can make you gain weight and should be avoided by anyone concerned about their weight and health.

A gluten-free junk food is still junk food. Do not be fooled by marketing hype. Steer clear of junk food, gluten-free or not.

Categories: Weight Loss

About Author

Alex Founier

Alex Founier is a DailyHealthDigital contributor with an interest in natural health for sports enthusiasts and all audiences seeking holistic remedies. He is an avid reader and a mountain climber. Alex is currently working on a book detailing his journey through the American wilderness.