Surprise: Gluten-Free Products Aren’t Any Healthier Than Their Gluten-Filled Counterparts

gluten-free cupcakes


We’ve said it before: A gluten-free diet doesn’t necessarily benefit those who do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, and it certainly isn’t a weight-loss diet, despite what many people tend to think. And now, there’s even more scientific evidence to show that opting for a gluten-free product at the grocery store — unless you have celiac disease  or are gluten intolerant — isn’t the healthier choice, no matter how you swing it.

According to Medical Daily, Australian researchers from the George Institute for Global Health compared the nutritional value of 3,200 gluten-free items with their gluten-filled counterparts. They analyzed the level of nutrients like sugar and sodium, and you know they came up with? Nada. There was no difference in nutritional content between the average gluten-free item and its gluten-laden counterpart. As the lead researcher of the study said in a press release, “We found on average that gluten and gluten-free foods are just as healthy, or unhealthy, as each other.”

So aside from lacking the magical powers to cause weight loss, gluten-free foods are no better nutritionally than their gluten-containing counterparts. And oftentimes, products marketed as gluten-free tend to be more expensive, meaning tons of people are filling their shopping carts with gluten-free goods in the name of health and receiving no benefit.

Of course, a gluten-free diet is healthier for someone who cannot tolerate gluten, and it’s wonderful for that population that gluten-free alternatives are so accessible now. But if you are not sensitive to gluten, don’t give in to the hype — gluten-free cookies are still cookies.

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