Tuesday, 7 October 2014


Gluten-free recipes and products has flood the food market. Has the number of gluten intolerant and sensitive people increased in such a big scale recently?
There are people among my friends too who swear - although they are not gluten intolerant or sensitive - their digestion has improved since they went gluten-free.
What's going on?

Gluten-free diet is basically the only solution for people with Coeliac disease. About 1 % of the population is suffering from this disease and further 4-5 % are advised to be careful with gluten. This would not be the reason such huge interest for gluten-free diet as it can be observed recently.

After the paleo madness, here it is the new attack against the recent enemy, carbohydrates. Their are some myths about gluten free diets, and the food market does not have any interest to clarify these.

Gluten-free label does not mean necessary a healthier product as gluten-free products contain less fibre and the same amount or more fat and sugar. Manufacturers have to find substitute ingredients for wheat - very often these substitutes does not provide the same taste and texture. So more fat and sugar is added to the gluten free products.

Gluten-free diet is not a weight loss diet. The substitutes for gluten containing flour - like rice, corn, soy or potato - contains the same amount of calorie. Just an example the comparison of the whole wheat four and - the very often used substitute in cakes, - almond flour per 100g: whole wheat flour - 339 cal (fat:1.87g, carbs: 72,57g, protein: 13,7) while almond flour 571 cal (fat: 50g, carbs: 21,4g, protein: 21,4g).

 If you haven't been diagnosed with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity and you start a gluten free diet the result can be a poor intake of fibre and certain essential nutrients.

It is not always gluten what causes the problem. Choose food with real food ingredients, no artificial additives or preservatives. So many people complain about digestion problems after eating bread. I know this feeling as I am not able to digest the "normal" bread from supermarkets. But since we have baked our own bread at home, I have no problem at all. Of course our bread does not contain anything else than good quality bread flour, salt, sour-dough starter, water- and seeds. If you have the potential signs of coeliac disease, turn to your doctor and consult a dietitian.

Gluten-free label does not mean that you can eat as much as you want. Gluten free or not, you have to watch your serving sizes.

Excluding gluten from your diet - without being diagnose as gluten intolerant or sensitive - does not have any health benefit. This just makes your life more complicated.

My personal opinion is that the Gluten-free labels are just a new marketing catch of the food business. Do not take me wrong, the food market has to offer alternatives those who really need to be avoid gluten. but hanging on gluten free label on naturally gluten free products (like for example salt) shows how big money is behind this label. 

Again, if you think that you have the symptoms of gluten intolerance, see your GP and request screening for coeliac disease. 

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