Nutritional Differences Between a Gluten-free Diet and a Diet Containing Equivalent Products with Gluten.

Miranda, Lasa, Bustamante, Churruca, Simon

The gluten-free (GF) products market represents one of the most prosperous markets in the field of food and beverages in the immediate future. Historically, counselling for celiac disease has focused on the absence of gluten in foods, however the nutritional quality of GF foodstuffs is an important aspect to consider. The aim of the present work was to compare the nutritional composition of the 206 GF rendered products most consumed in Spain, against the composition of 289 equivalent foods with gluten, and to make a comparison between the diet including GF products and the same diet with equivalent products with gluten in a 58 adult celiac population.

The results of the present collaborative study pointed out differences in calorie, macronutrient, fiber, sodium, salt and cholesterol content between GF rendered and gluten-containing foodstuffs. Thus, calorie and nutrient intake in a GF diet is different when compared to its equivalent diet with gluten. Following a diet based on GF products could suppose a nutritional imbalance for celiac patients as well as for non-celiacs who follow a diet that includes many GF rendered foodstuffs.

The authors concluded that there are nutritional concerns about a gluten-free diet for celiacs and for non-celiacs who think a gluten-free diet maybe healthier and/or help them lose weight. More research is needed.