Going ‘Gluten Free’ for reasons other than having diagnosed Coeliac Disease or wheat allergy has become one of the fastest growing diet trends in the last few years and the food industry is quickly Catching Up and Cashing In, in response to our desire for gluten free products.
According to the consumer analyst group Datamonitor the Australian Gluten Free industry is set to skyrocket to about $105 million by 2015 with more and more Australians turning to gluten free products as a perceived healthier option.
Some Food manufacturers riding on the wave of this gluten free craze are producing products that are no more than refined gluten free “junk foods” that are low in fibre, high in fats and sugar with more additives, fillers and gums than their gluten containing counterparts. Unless you have coeliac disease or a wheat allergy these products may contribute more to your digestive issues, energy levels and weight gain rather than improve them.
I am an advocate of low gluten/ low wheat diets and have achieved impressive results with clients who suffer from Irritable Bowel related symptoms such as gas, wind, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and or diarrhea. The removal or reduction of gluten in the diet usually only a part of the overall treatment and the focus on restoring good gut health with probiotics and fibre can usually result in the reintroduction of gluten over time without symptoms.
If you are avoiding gluten then my advice is to steer clear of highly processed gluten free foods and stick to naturally occurring gluten free products such as rice, rice noodles, buckwheat, quinoa, legumes, chickpeas, lentils, potato sweet potato pumpkin. Read and compare the labels on gluten free products for ingredients and energy content and most importantly bake your own gluten free cakes, biscuits, muffins so that you know exactly what is going into them.