A new year start but a bigger belt….

New year, new you….

As the New Year rolls in a lot of folks start their next journey with a new years resolution or 2 and for some that means a new diet or a change to their eating habits.

I know Ive spoken before about food fades and I have to admit, for me, a new years resolution is just another thing people jump onto only to be forgotten about 10 minuets later.

Saying that a change in diet and a new healthier lifestyle can only be a good change, right?

So what if your new years resolution is to be gluten free, is this a good move for your health or is a change to your diet for the worse.

For those of us with gluten intolerance, allergy or coeliac disease a non-gluten free diet isnt an option we have.

But are we at risk being a unhealthier human just because we can’t have gluten?

Everything you read on the web is true, right?….

I’m fully aware that you are currently sat reading this on the internet and hear I am questioning the validity of internet based evidence, however hear me out on this one.

I recently seen a artical on on a webpage that asked:

“Will gluten free foods make you fat?”

From a media perspective you are always lead to believe a GF diet is benefical to your health as it helps you to manage your weight and can enhance performance activity.

However, there are benefits to gluten in your diet as wholegrain wheat, barley and rye contain fiber, vitamin B and iron which are all high in nutrition and import to a healthy diet.

Products where the gluten has been removed contain refined grains and are a lot less nutritious. And for those with no medical reasoning for a GF diet it won’t bring any more health benifits than a “normal” healthy balance diet.

So could there be a change in media portrayal of the GF diet and now the focus is more on the unhealthier side of GF choices.

Mission: Undercover label checker….

The artical speaks of processed foods. GF process food are, as it says, still processed food.

Totally correct.

But there’s a weird mindset that some folks have that although processed, GF food are still better for you.

But why?

I do believe that again (not media bashing, well not to much) the media has a great part to play in this selling GF as this perfect healthy lifestyle, processed food included.

So I went on a mini mission to label check around my local supermarket and compare some non-GF items to their GF cousins.

I did the essential’s bread, cheese and pies!

Bread .v. Bread

On the right we have Warburton’s GF toasty white loaf and on the left Robertsons thick soft white loaf.

Visually the GF loaf is slightly smaller in size, meaning the slices are smaller but Roberts feels a bit denser. Both record their nutrional values are listed by per slice.

Warburtons GF toasty per slice-

Roberts thick soft white per slice-

Looking at their nutrional values there are noticable differences. The sugar content in the Roberts loaf is double the Warburtons GF loaf, however the Warburtons GF loaf’s fat content its double Roberts. Salt and Kcals are also higher in the Roberts loaf.

Cheese .v. Cheese

On the right we have Applewood vegan slices and on the left Sainsbury’s own Edam slices.

Visually they look similar in size and weight.

Nutritional information is only record as per 100g on the Applewood so we will document the same on the Edam slices.

Applewood vegan cheese slice:

Sainsburys Edam slices:

I’m aware that milk based cheese and coconut oil based cheese are two completely different types ingredents and you would think would show differently on paper. However, their nutrional values are very simular which is very interesting. I looked at the cheeses from a vegan perpective and a GF view.

Pie .v. Pie

On the right we have Pie Minsters GF ranger pie and on the left Sainsburys own chicken and gravy shortcrust pie.

Both similar in size and weight. Nurtional values are recorded as per pie as these are 1 serving each.

Pie Minster GF ranger pie:

Sainsburys chicken and gravy shortcrust pie:

Some differences are noticable between the two. The sugar content in the Pie Minster pie is just over double to whats in the Sainsburys pie. As well as saturates and salt just pipping ahead in the Pie Minster pie.

The result…..

I’m aware this isnt the most comprehensive of investigation, me whizzing around Sainsburys snapping pies! And both products in each category contain some different ingredents to the other, but it has shown us some results.

Overall there’s not a huge difference in nutrional values between GF and non-GF products I looked at which was a real nice suprise.

But we must be aware of all the processed food around us. This food group comes with added extras we dont require to survive and increased salt, sugar and fat contents.

It’s not the be all and end all if you have the occasional pie or cheese butty but these foods should not be your main sourse of dietary intake.

I can’t say 100% that a GF diet will make you gain more weight or live a unhealthier lifestyle but what I can say is everything in moderation. If you seek out a unhealthy lifestyle you can find it even on a restricted diet.

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