Is Gluten-Free Worth the Hype?

There is a huge hype in favor of gluten-free eating. Every second product in grocery stores states “gluten free”. It also comes with a price tag of course – some gluten free products can sell for up to double the price compared to their gluten-containing alternatives. Is gluten-free worth the hype?

Let’s look into this and see if the hype is worth your money.

So what is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye products. A very small percentage of people (1% to be accurate) are allergic to gluten – they suffer from celiac disease, where their immune system sees the gluten protein as a foreign object.

Those who suffer from this disease definitely know it, as the intake of gluten can result in serious symptoms, which can destroy their quality of life and can even be life threatening.

Gluten intolerance (note that allergy and intolerance are totally different) on the other hand is more prevalent in society, and individuals would typically suffer from abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, foggy head, lethargy, and fatigue post gluten-intake.

Research shows that there is only a small percentage of people that are actually sensitive to gluten. But why are so many people spending extra money on gluten-free products? Why the hype?

My take is that it’s possibly due to the myth that “Gluten-free” products are healthier, lower in calories, sugar, and fat.

So, I did some research and compared gluten-free products with their gluten-containing alternatives. Let’s have a look.

Is gluten-free worth the hype?

The picture says it all. Cookies are still cookies, gluten-free or not. Bread still contains carbs, gluten-free or not. It also doesn’t contain a miracle weight-loss ingredient.

Instead, some of these products actually have added sugar, fat, and preservatives to make it taste better.


If you have no intolerance to gluten, read the label before you spend all that extra money on gluten-free products. Thus, it’s not worth the hype.

If you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, obviously spend money on alternative products that you like. Don’t forget about the classic “naturally gluten-free” carbohydrates like potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut, lentils, beans, rice cakes, fruits and vegetables – and even oats, rice, and quinoa from reputable producers.

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