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Is it healthier to go GLUTEN FREE?

Fifteen per cent of adults in the UK are now avoiding gluten or wheat, and sales of gluten-free products are soaring. Many are ditching gluten because they believe it’s a healthy option, but most are doing so without a medical diagnosis. So what’s going on here? Is going gluten-free actually good for you – or is it a pointless fad? Sue Quinn talks to the experts


Not so long ago, gluten-free products were only available on prescription for people diagnosed with coeliac disease. Now they command their own section in the ‘free-from’ aisles of supermarkets. A tidal wave of gluten-free food, from bread and pasta to biscuits and sweets, has caught millions of consumers in its wash – and not just people with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity. Growing numbers of shoppers are switching to gluten-free products simply because they believe they’re healthier than standard versions. But is this true?

Much of the food industry would like us to think so, and it’s easy to see why. Gluten-free versions often cost more than the regular items. According to consumer research group Mintel, UK shoppers spent £184 million on gluten or wheat-free products in 2014 – up 15 per cent on the year before, and sales are expected to increase to £275 million by 2019. Mintel says 15 per cent of households were avoiding gluten and wheat, and nearly half were doing so because they believed avoiding gluten was ‘part of a healthy lifestyle’.

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About delicious. Magazine

The March issue has inspirational ideas for the Easter Bank Holiday: gifts, chocolate eggs and the best brunches, lunches and family feasts. Enjoy recipes from Nathan Outlaw, José Pizarro and Vivek Singh – then dive into 16 pages of the best chocolate recipes ever. Plus there’s plenty of light and healthy recipes to help power you through the cold weather and our guide to making scotch eggs and the GBBO bamboozler, sweet flaky kouign ammans.