We've got a little baffled when it comes to what's best for our bodies and it's easy to. Mis-leading marketing campaigns want us to believe we are doing better for our bodies if we pay triple the price for a product sans gluten. It's no wonder we are confused!
If you have a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, you should definitely go gluten-free. That's a healthy eating fact and I am pretty sure you and your doctor will have that one boxed off, but what about the rest of us? Is it healthier to chose gluten-free options?
NO - Jump off the bandwagon at the next station please.
Many processed gluten-free products can be higher in fat, sugar, additives and calories than their gluten equivalents. This can lead to weight gain if your not careful about reading labels.
Avoiding foods such as whole-grains, that contain gluten can lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients, including iron, calcium, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
Many gluten-free products are also low in fibre. This can be made up from lentils, beans, and so on, but the diet will need careful planning.
If you want to reduce gluten, or just eat foods with a better nutritional profile, try replacing breads and pasta with healthy whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, barley, and bulgur. They contain a plethora of minerals and nutrients, including iron, zinc, and calcium, plus they are minimally processed.
When it comes to gluten-free swaps such as breads, cereals, cakes, biscuits etc - Don't bother. Enjoy a little of what you fancy and save your cash.