How To Be Smart About Buying Gluten-Free
Monday, August 3, 2015


Be an informed consumer – consider these five tips when purchasing gluten-free products.

Gluten-free bread

If you’ve noticed an increase in gluten-free foods lining store shelves, you’re not alone. By 2016, reported sales of gluten-free products are expected to reach $15 billion, according to The New York Times.

Due to the increasing demand for certified gluten-free products, the food industry has responded with numerous products that aim to mimic the taste and texture of glutinous breads, pastas and other baked goods. Unfortunately, the aim to replace beloved comfort foods requires various substitutions to compensate for changes in texture, flavor and appearance.

Many people think going gluten-free will help them lose weight. However, replacing glutinous carbohydrates with gluten-free alternatives can sometimes lead to weight gain, as many gluten free products have added salt, sugar, fat and preservatives to make them more palatable.

If you decide to try going gluten-free or to buy gluten-free products, follow these tips to be an informed consumer:

  1. Be wary of health claims on the front of the package.
  2. Read nutrition labels. Be on the lookout for items that contain high amounts of salt, sugar, fat or calories.
  3. Pick products with the least amount of ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it, renounce it!
  4. Choose whole foods that are naturally gluten-free such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, millet, and amaranth.
  5. Look for certifications such as USDA organic, Fair Trade, or Non GMO Project Verified. An organic label means no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, hormones, or antibiotics were used and that animals are fed organic feed, and Non-GMO Project Verified products do not contain genetically modified foods or ingredients.

— By Vanessa Berenstein, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Amy Frasieur, MS, RD, core faculty in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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How To Be Smart About Buying Gluten-Free | Bastyr University