There's a lot of hype surrounding the gluten-free trend, and many wheat-based foods containing this misunderstood protein are getting the cold shoulder for no good reason.
While there's a large number of people who can't eat gluten for a variety of health reasons, there's also a growing number who are voluntarily giving it up, or have been fooled into thinking gluten is a dirty word. But, avoiding it completely could actually be doing you more harm than good...
THE ACTUAL TRUTH:
Unless you are celiac or suffer from a gluten sensitivity or allergy, there's no conclusive scientific evidence to suggest that gluten is bad for the average person's health. Nor is there proof that avoiding gluten can aid in weight loss efforts, improve overall wellbeing, or prevent disease.
When it comes to nutrition, many gluten-free substitutes are not better for you at all - in fact, they're often highly processed and contain less fiber and more calories than their wheat versions, due to manufacturers adding more fat and sugar in an effort to make up for the taste and textural changes that occur when gluten is removed!
While wheat pasta is often accused of causing digestive issues, the flipside can actually be more true for some: Since a lot of gluten-free food products use highly-refined starches and grains, this can cause an imbalance in intestinal microflora which, ironically, results in bloating and gas.
According to a 2017 study, participants following a gluten-free diet showed a lower intake of fiber, B vitamins, protein, iron, folate, and calcium, whilst consuming more simple carbs and fats. Several other studies have linked a trend toward weight gain and obesity among those on gluten-free diets, plus an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
The bottom line is, in a time of increased gluten awareness where more foods are becoming available for those who truly need to avoid gluten, there's no need to restrict our diets unless there's a medical reason to do so. To experience the healthiest wheat pasta out there, give Three Farm Daughters a go!