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Gluten free is not necessarily healthy

This is a page in the latest Woolworth's Fresh Magazine. I don't know whether Woolworth's regards the word 'Celebrate!' as an excuse, but honestly, look at the products here. It's all sweet stuff loaded with chocolate and sugar, with the odd bit of fresh or dried fruit. But mostly carbohydrate and sugar loaded. Not exactly healthy.

I know I've spoken about this before, but I just thought this was so brazen. I also know that a gluten free diet is not undertaken for the same reasons as a 'healthy' diet. Well if you are a coeliac anyway.

According to Woolworths, who must have got the figure from somewhere - hopefully a reputable source - 1 in 70 Australians have coeliac disease although four out of five of these 'remain undiagnosed.' Which rather begs the question how do they know therefore that 1 in 70 Australians are coeliac? I mean if they are undiagnosed then presumably nobody knows about them. I certainly do not know anyone with genuine coeliac disease although I do know quite a few who are gluten intolerant - and all of those have been tested for coeliac disease. Mind you there are also those people who sort of jump on the 'gluten free' bandwagon - although why you would when most of the gluten free substitutes for bread, for example, are either really somewhat horrible or amazingly expensive and full of all sorts of weird and questionable additives.

Obviously if you are a coeliac then you need to be very careful, but even so it seems to me that there are still a huge range of things that you can eat. I think bread would be the major problem for me. To be fair to Woolworths too, on the opposite page is the beginning of Jamie Oliver's section in which he also provides gluten free recipes in celebration of coeliac week. But his are rather more healthy than the products in this ad. They are Roasted carrot and grain salad (there are plenty of grains that are gluten free - quinoa, rice and buckwheat for a start), Steamed barramundi and broccolini and Crispy baby potato chicken and red onion skewers with harissa. All of which demonstrate that you don't have to have bread or pastry or cake or flour with every meal and also that it is pretty easy to eat gluten free without buying expensive gluten free products.

Although, of course, you can. Nowadays it is easy to find gluten free pasta for example, which doesn't seem to be quite as exorbitantly priced as gluten free bread, And Jamie has five 'swaps' for gluten containing ingredients which include rice noodles, quinoa, millet, polenta and ground almonds. All perfectly acceptable.

So for me the main problem would be bread - for others it might be breakfast cereal, although there seem to be substitutes here, like the quinoa. Pizza and pasta are also a major problem for some I guess. So a bit difficult, but not nearly as difficult as a fructose intolerance, or going vegan and certainly not meaning that you have to fill up with all those sweet biscuits and cakes.

#advertising #glutenfree


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