Gluten-Free Food May Not Be as Healthy as You Think

Gluten-Free Food May Not Be as Healthy as You Think
Health and fitness enthusiasts might be disappointed to know that gluten-free food might not be as healthy as it is reported to be. Find out why here.

Oftentimes, food labels on the shelves of our favorite convenience stores and supermarkets can influence our perception of how we look at and select products. Terms like “natural,” “wholegrain,” “antioxidant,” and “gluten-free” have led customers into thinking they are choosing healthier food because they have an implied health benefit.

While it is great that a good number of consumers have become more aware of the need to consider healthier options, a recently published study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has reported that people who prefer to eat gluten-free foods, are missing out on the daily nutrients needed, all to achieve unsupported claims of healthier skin and weight loss.

The notion that eating gluten-free foods leads to some health benefits is not just based on research alone. The internet has a pivotal role to play in terms of shaping consumers’ food decisions, with the vastness of articles and websites providing an array of claims.

Any person who wants to shed some pounds and starts to look on the internet for a way to become thinner and chances upon a site that promotes the gluten-free diet may start avoiding foods that contain the essential nutrients needed by the body to perform well. This includes cereal grains that are fortified with folic acid.

In the United States, people with celiac disease need to adhere to a gluten-free diet because their bodies are sensitive to wheat, and it is the only treatment option for their particular condition. Gluten inflames the small intestines of these poor patients, so steering clear of gluten helps them control the symptoms, and prevent further complications. The only problem is that gluten-free diets do not have enough nutrients that a person needs on a daily basis, so taking multivitamin supplements are required.

Right now, the $10.5 billion gluten-free industry continues to enjoy the constant rise in profits. The gluten-free food and beverage industry has grown to a stunning 44 percent between the years 2011 and 2013, which is what market research company Mintel has reported. It is estimated that sales will even reach a whopping $15 billion by 2016.

The sad part about this whole thing is that food companies are taking advantage of consumers’ desires to be healthy by labeling their products as nutritious, when they are not.

So Why is Gluten-Free Such a Big Deal to Dieters?

Perhaps one of the main reasons eating gluten-free believed to promote weight loss is because the diet reduces a person’s carbohydrate intake. Dieters who make it a habit to eat fruits, vegetables, and more lean protein can achieve weight loss in the beginning. It is important to remind people, however, that weight loss can be achieved by reducing the amount of calories you consume and not just by avoiding gluten.

Which Foods have Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in grains such as:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye
  • triticale (wheat/rye)

While the protein gluten is not found in gluten-free products, what they have in exchange are additional sugar and fat. These two extras make them tastier, so if throw extra salt to the mix, anyone would understand the appeal of gluten. If you examine nutritional labels in food products, you would realize that these foods contain less vitamins and fiber. Many health experts have yet to find proven health benefits of eating gluten-free products. Visit to learn more about eating and living healthy today.