To “Gluten-Free” or Not To “Gluten-Free”?

So lately everyone has been adopting the gluten-free diet (and I mean everyone without health/allerygy reasons).
There’s gluten-free bread, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free cakes, and gluten-free everything else.

A gluten-free diet is a diet that consists of, well, no gluten.
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – with negative effects on those who suffer gluten-related health challenges and wheat allergy. But aside from those treating their health issues, the gluten-free diet has often been posed as “the better option” when it comes to shopping for wheat-based products.

Now after a little curiosity, I too wanted to try some of these gluten-free foods to see if they tasted any better – as this is what a lot of people seem to do; “going healthy” to see if something is a worthwhile venture to explore before completely transforming our diets. Especially if we’re all made to believe gluten-free is naturally healthier, right?

Not always.
On a recent television show I watched, a comparison was made from the fat and sugar content between regular items and their gluten free alternative. The results highlighted a huge difference and pointed out a few facts some people were not (definitely I wasn’t) aware of. For example, in a lot of gluten-free bread or cake options, the natural gluten is replaced with other fats and sugars which are less natural and effectively unhealthier for you. The programme, if anything, made me more open to reading nutrition information on packaging before jumping to conclusions that “gluten-free” was an automatic “healthier” stamp on the food I was purchasing.

And if you want to know more about the food you’re eating (or should be eating), the prime time channel show I referred to is Food Unwrapped – definitely try to catch up on it!

Happy eating 🙂

By Aryana Vashisht
Edited by Jo

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