There’s been a lot of talk around the net and blogs etc. about gluten-free diets and the food choices that those on the diet have. Three million Americans have been diagnosed with Celiac disease. The fact is that the gluten-free market is now a $4.2 billion dollar business, with the diet appealing to about 30 percent of adults.
A large number of those people are choosing to limit their intake of gluten for health reasons alone and are not actually diagnosed with the disease. And restaurants are on notice too, according to the NDP, about 200 million restaurant visits included a gluten-free order.
So with so many people on or joining on a gluten-free diet, is it really that healthy after all? The answer is that it depends. While yes you are cutting out breads, pastas, cookies, crackers and such, the truth is that their gluten-free counterparts can be just as fattening because they can contain just as much carbohydrates as the regular versions.
As an example, a slice of gluten-free bread has about 11 grams of carbs (depending on brand), which is about the same as a regular slice of bread. Gluten-free crackers can contain 30 grams of carbs, which is about the same as their regular counterparts.
Also, many people on gluten-free diets eat less than adequate amounts of fiber which can lead to constipation. So it’s important to add into your diet foods such as more apples, beans, artichokes, and broccoli to name a few, all of which contain good amounts of fiber.
So the moral of the story is that you need to check the total carb load for the gluten-free products you get as replacements. You will find them remarkably similar, and this can add on the pounds you thought you would be losing by eating gluten-free.