It isn’t hard to see that the volume of people ‘going gluten free’ is on the increase. It’s become a bit of laughing point, with some being accused of jumping on the bandwagon or following the latest health craze. And while for some cutting out gluten might have been a bit of a fad, or trend to follow for a short time, there are undoubtedly many health benefits to cutting it from the diet.
If you make the decision to avoid gluten, whether you’re a coeliac or suffering from intolerance/sensitivity related symptoms, you have two choices. You can either cut out the products that contain gluten, or you can replace those products with the free-from alternatives. Breads, pasta’s, cereals, cakes, biscuits, pastry’s - they all now have a gluten free counterpart. In years gone by, if you had problems with gluten you said goodbye to a lot of the products most eat on a daily basis, and unsurprisingly cutting these out led to other bodily changes such as weight loss, blood sugar stabilisation and digestive improvements. Today, if you just buy the replacement products, not only are you still eating the cakes, biscuits, bread and pasta’s which will undoubtedly be detrimental to your weight, but you might also be doing yourself more harm.
A wheat-based biscuit may well have the same sugar content as a gluten free biscuit, and this alone should be one reason to limit them. But aside from that, if you remove the wheat flour you have to replace it with something else, and in GF products this is often potato starch, rice flour and maize starch, all of which play a huge role in spiking blood sugar with the absence of fibre. Alongside a carbohydrate rich diet, buying these products in excess can lead to weight gain and an increase risk of dietary related conditions such as type 2 diabetes. On top of this many free-from options can be up to double the price of the original counterpart. I saw gluten-free rice last week… it’s happening, and before long there will be free from bananas and eggs on our shelves!
If you want to feel the full benefits of a gluten free diet, avoid or heavily reduce the replacements too. It’ll save you money, trim your waistline and ultimately boost your overall health.
If you’re looking for an analysis on your diet with feedback as to how you could eat gluten free and manage your weight, follow the link below: