"National survey results suggest that the primary motivation for gluten-free purchases may be the belief that such foods are generally healthier than their counterparts... And, yet, gluten-free packaged foods have one important thing in common: The majority of them are absolute junk."
~ Tamara Duker Freuman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.
As a Holistic Nutrition Educator, over and over I hear people say, "It's Gluten-Free" - like that's a GOOD thing! While reducing or avoiding gluten in our diet may be a healthier choice, especially for those with Celiac disease or "wheat intolerance", replacing it with highly refined gluten-free food products isn't a good idea. Just because an item in labeled "gluten-free" does NOT mean it's healthy!
"As gluten-free gains popularity, food companies that are well-aware of a potential marketing opportunity - turn out processed, sugary, junk foods, as "healthy" gluten-free alternatives."
~ Dr. Mark Hyman
Gluten-free products are often made with highly refined grains and are low in nutrients, loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners, food coloring, added gums to help things stick together, salt, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, and are high in calories. These highly refined and processed food products raise blood sugar levels and contribute to inflammation, both of which play a role in nearly every disease there is.
"The problem with gluten-free products is that they're even more refined than their gluten-containing counterparts. I encourage all of my patients to avoid processed foods, because the original food loses a great deal of nutrients during the refining process. In order to process gluten-free flours, manufacturers use other grains and starches such as flours made from rice, potatoes, corn, and tapioca. While these flours are naturally free of gluten, they're still highly refined grains that can cause a spike in blood sugar higher than that of their whole grain counterparts."
~ Dr. Amy Myers
A healthy, gluten-free diet includes nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods such as healthy fats, lean clean proteins, organic produce, and gluten-free whole grains (rice, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, etc.). As always, if you choose to consume cookies, breads, and snack "foods", they should be consumed only as occasional treats - whether they're gluten-free or not.
Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Holistic Nutrition Educator and Master Massage Therapist with a private practice in Graton, CA.
Passionate about helping people transform their health through holistic nutrition, she facilitates the 23 day online Nutritional E-Cleanse Program with coaching, compassion, and humor.