Gluten-free foods are typically higher in fat: study

Gluten-free breads in particular are shown to have a higher content of saturated fatty acids

Gluten-free products pose an obesity risk to consumers because they typically contain “significantly higher” fat levels than their gluten-containing equivalents, a study has found.

Comparing 654 gluten-free products with gluten-containing counterparts, the study found gluten-free breads in particular to have a higher content of lipids and saturated fatty acids.

It also discovered that many of the gluten-containing products – especially breads, pastas, pizzas and flours – contained up to three times more protein than their gluten-free substitutes.

Significantly lower content of sugar and protein

Gluten-free pasta was picked out for having a significantly lower content of sugar and protein, while gluten-free biscuits had significantly lower protein and a significantly higher content of lipids.

The study was unveiled at the 50th Annual Congress of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition, held in Prague last month.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr Joaquim Calvo Lerma, said foods marketed as substitutes should be reformulated to ensure that they had similar nutritional values.

“This is especially important for children, as a well-balanced diet is essential,” he added.

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