No popular authors found.

Get's E-Newsletter


No categories found.

Ads by Google:

Questions? Join Our Forum:
~1 Million Posts
& Over 66,000 Members!


Are Gluten-Free Foods Misleading Consumers?

Are gluten-free foods causing confusion for shoppers?

Are consumers being misled by gluten-free foods? Photo: CC--Elaine with Grey Cats 06/13/2017 - Are consumers wrongly assuming gluten-free foods to be nutritionally equivalent to their gluten-containing counterparts? Are they being mislead?

That's the subject of a recent talk presented at the 50th Annual Congress of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN). Among the evidence cited was that gluten-free items have a significantly higher energy content and a different nutritional composition to their gluten-containing counterparts.

The presentation also notes that many gluten-containing products, especially breads, pastas, pizzas and wheat-based flours, contain up to three times more protein than their gluten-free counterparts.

In all, the study assessed 654 gluten-free products, and compared them against 655 gluten-containing products. Among the group's key findings were that gluten-free breads had significantly higher content of lipids and saturated fatty acids; gluten-free pasta had significantly lower content of sugar and protein; and gluten-free biscuits had significantly lower content of protein and significantly higher content of lipids.

These differences can have adverse effects on children's growth, and increase the risk of childhood obesity.

Ads by Google:

The gist of the presentation is that gluten-free products cannot be considered as substitutes for their gluten-containing counterparts, and that numerous gluten-free items should reformulated using healthier ingredients to help promote healthy nutrition in children.

Not only are gluten-free products generally poorer in their nutritional composition, but consumers may not be unaware of the crucial differences, due to poor nutritional labelling. Dr Sandra Martínez -Barona, fellow lead researcher, states that "labelling needs to clearly indicate this so that patients, parents and carers can make informed decisions. Consumers should also be provided with guidance to enhance their understanding of the nutritional compositions of products, in both gluten-free and gluten-containing products, to allow them to make more informed purchases and ensure a healthier diet is followed."

ESPGHAN expert and lead researcher, Dr Joaquim Calvo Lerma, adds that "…it is imperative that foods marketed as substitutes are reformulated to ensure that they truly do have similar nutritional values. This is especially important for children, as a well-balanced diet is essential to healthy growth and development."

Stay tuned to see how the gluten-free food industry responds to efforts by ESPGHAN to improve both gluten-free product formulation, and gluten-free labeling to help people make better nutritional choices.

Source: welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).

Related Articles

4 Responses:

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
19 Jun 2017 5:25:02 PM PST
Decreasing calories, sugar, saturated fat and increasing protein (and fiber) in gluten-free foods would be nice, but as long as the nutritional label accurately reflects the actual nutritional composition, that is not "misleading" consumers. It is up to consumers to actually look at the amount of protein, saturated fat, sugar, calories, etc. on the label and make sensible choices in the context of their overall diet to ensure adequate nutrition in terms of macronutrients, etc.

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
20 Jun 2017 4:25:13 AM PST
It's hard enough to get the gluten free version to taste good and have an acceptable texture/cohesiveness, without worrying about making it nutritionally equivalent to its glutinous counterparts. Pasta, bread, and baked goods are not the healthy part of anyone's diet, I don't care what the damn food pyramid says. Fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses, lean meat, and fish are the healthy parts - grains and rice provide some nutrients but are mainly filler calories. I would guess that parents of Celiac children are much more aware of their children's nutritional needs, are more likely to consult with a dietitian about their children's diet, and are probably feeding their kids more fruit, veg, and pulses to begin with!

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingemptyratingempty Unrated
said this on
20 Jun 2017 6:15:22 AM PST
I could be wrong, but I see most, if not all heavily processed food as junk food. If one wants proper nutrition, we have to eat food from the earth that has not been bastardized by over cooking and adding a bunch of vitamins later, giving it the appearance (labels are deceive) of having nutrition. Many GF foods are made with rice, rice is often full of arsenic. Is that what we want to be putting in our bodies or our children's bodies?

Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
20 Jun 2017 12:50:21 PM PST
"Gluten-free breads had significantly higher content of lipids and saturated" = GOOD! After my Near Death from Gluten experience, I discovered it was necessary to exercise cautious ingredient/label review. Hunger drove me to eat more saturated fat that was previously routinely trimmed away. I fry most foods in liberal amounts cold-pressed olive oil. After 6 months, I returned to the doctor’s office to be told that the total cholesterol had risen but in the correct proportions: good cholesterol much higher and bad cholesterol dropped significantly. The physician asked how I had adjusted my diet. My reply was; "I increased consumption of saturated fats and fry everything in liberal amounts of olive oil." The physicians reply was; "What did you really do?"

Rate this article and leave a comment:
Rating: * Poor Excellent
Your Name *: Email (private) *:

In's Forum Now:

I have had three different flavors of Ricola cough drops this week with no problem other than a possible sugar headache from so many of them. It could just be a sick headache though.

Hi Louie and welcome Sorry you're feeling poorly. Although some do experience it, it's more likely some cross contamination than withdrawal from gluten. You're learning the hard way that the longer you go on the diet the more sensitive your body becomes to even tiny amounts of gluten. ...

Are original or berry ricolas cough drops good to go? I didn't see the bag said anything about gluten-free and there were two ingredients that I was unsure about, the starch syrup and the Carmel flavoring.

You might want to look into relaxation techniques. Holistic Doctor. Read about the microbiome in your gut. No sugar, caffeine, nightshade veggies. Check out mind and body healing. Maybe you are allergic to the banding material? Is the band in your body for a while? If it was, that may be wha...

Do not eat corn. Take a good omega 3- Goat milk, yogurt, keifer is extremely good for you. Bone broth with 100% grass fed beef. Bison is very nutritious and tastes great. Northstar Bison sells 100% grass fed and finished bison. A little spendy, but well worth it. Wishing you all the best