Celiac.com 08/29/2017 - The popularity of gluten-free products has soared, despite little evidence that gluten-free products are beneficial for people who do not have celiac disease.
Recent products tests show that the vast majority of gluten-free snacks tested are far saltier than their non-gluten-free alternatives, say researchers. Just how much saltier? Researchers surveyed a total of 106 products, and found that many gluten-free snacks have up to five times more salt than non-gluten-free counterparts. And only a third of these products have proper warnings on their labels, according to a separate study by health campaigners.
The team also compared salt content for each product in a particular category to the salt content (per 100g) of a randomly chosen gluten-containing equivalent product of that category. Notable differences in salt content include:
- Schar Gluten Free Pretzels (3.0/100g), twice the salt of Sainsbury's Salted Pretzels (1.5g/100g)
- Mrs Crimble's Original Cheese Crackers (3.5/100g), 2.5 times the salt of Ritz Original Crackers (1.38/100g)
- The Snack Organisation Sweet Chilli Rice Crackers (2.6/100g), 3 times as salty as Aldi's The Foodie Market Crunchy Chilli Rice Snacks (0.84/100g)
These revelations invite questions about whether health-conscious shoppers are being misled.
Nutritionists are urging shoppers to look past clever packaging, and to not automatically assume that "gluten-free" foods are healthy.
Full Survey Data: Actiononsalt.org