Looking to protect your heart health? A new study published in the British Medical Journal found that a gluten-free diet is not the answer, assuming you do not have Coeliac Disease.
These days, gluten-free diets have become a popular trend. Although Coeliac Disease rates are not “on the up” (less than 1% of the population has the disease – read our Gluten-Free FAQ – Science Based Nutrition), the number of consumers eating gluten-free foods is continually increasing. However, what are the long-term effects of this trend? A recent study has highlighted that long term consumption of gluten is not associated with risk of heart disease. On the other hand, avoiding gluten in the diet could lower wholegrain intake which, in turn, could increase the risk of heart disease. Researchers concluded that the promotion of gluten-free diets among people who do not have coeliac disease should not be encouraged.
Although many consumers choose gluten-free diets for reasons other than heart health, this study shows that the gluten-free diet may not be the ‘magic bullet’ some proponents make it out to be. Whole grains are part of healthy diet recommendations worldwide. Whole grain versions of gluten-free ancient grains like quinoa, millet, and sorghum are an excellent way to deliver the health benefits of whole grain to those choosing gluten-free diets. By using these types of whole grain ingredients in gluten-free products, food manufacturers can help deliver the health benefits consumers may expect from gluten-free foods.