Unless you’re a massive fan of crackers, eating gluten-free (GF) alternatives to regular foods is a less healthy and far more expensive option, according to a new research.
It has come to light that the expensive version of various food staples - the gluten-free products - are not as healthy for you as it is made to believe.
A new University of Hertfordshire study has revealed that the nutrient content of the gluten-free products is not much different from regular eatables.
Researchers conducting the study compared and assessed the cost and nutritional information of various food products. The premise data was collected from supermarkets and manufacturers.
Eating gluten-free has become a rage among health-freaks and diet-conscious people. While many people rally the benefits of reducing gluten intake, experts advise it is not a wise course of action.
In fact, people with medical conditions such as celiac disease were prescribed gluten-free essentials for their well-being.
However, according to researchers, there was no apparent reason for people with no such health issues to give up gluten.
The study stated, "GF [gluten-free] food is unlikely to offer healthier alternatives to regular foods, except for those who require a GF diet for medically diagnosed conditions, and it is associated with higher costs".
While comparing the nutrient constituents, researchers found that gluten-free food contains more sugar, salt, and saturated fat as compared to regular food items. Also, it was noted that fiber and protein content was also on the lower side in gluten-free foods.
The study also highlighted the difference between costs of regular and gluten-free items. According to The Independent, there was an approximate 159 percent difference between their costs.
Health experts also warned that continuous consumption of gluten-free food when it is not a necessity may increase risks of cardiovascular diseases.
The study is published in Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.
(with ANI inputs)