Does gluten-free food make you fat?

February 22, 2018 7:14 am Published by 3 Comments

It’s an unusual accusation! After all, people who eat gluten-free do so because they believe it to be much better for their health. Some people (coeliacs) suffer from a digestive condition that means they can’t tolerate gluten at all. Other people find that they experience fewer digestive problems when they eat gluten-free. Still others suffer no particular ill-effects from gluten, but want to extend their diet beyond the same-old wheat-based snacks and meals. All of these groups tend to have done their health research pretty thoroughly. So why do some people think that gluten-free food could make you fat?

We find out why eating gluten-free could be making you fat.

Is your gluten-free diet really healthy?

It’s all in the processing…

The answer lies in the wealth of pre-prepared gluten-free food that’s out there now, mostly in supermarkets. The major supermarkets have expanded their ranges of gluten-free food enormously, but with a real concentration on convenience and ‘treat’ foods. It’s not hard to find gluten-free ready meals or a variety of gluten-free cakes and biscuits on their shelves. But just as with their gluten-containing counterparts, these are never going to be the healthiest of options. They’re OK every now and again, but their ‘gluten-free’ labels don’t mean that they’re not bad for you in all kinds of other ways!

In addition, some food producers try to make up for the lack of gluten in their products by adding in extra ‘naughty’ bits. They want you to love their gluten-free treats – and what better way to achieve this than to stuff them full of extra sugar and fat? Other producers simply struggle to make gluten-free food that passes muster at all. Their bread crumbles, their cakes and biscuits go stale easily. But if they put enough salt, sugar and fat in them, people will buy them.

Healthy and gluten-free?

But it is perfectly possible to eat healthily on a gluten-free diet. You just have to check every product you’re eating for all the other stuff (salt, sugar, fat and so on), as well as for gluten. And, just like everyone else, you have to make a lot of what you’re eating from scratch.

NGF can supply you with all you need for successful gluten-free baking.

There are millions of good gluten-free recipes out there.

At first, that might sound daunting. After all, none of us grew up with products like psyllium husk or guar gum in our kitchen cupboards, and trying to work out just how to combine brown rice flour and teff flour (for instance) isn’t second-nature. Fortunately, there are a million recipes out there online and in cookery books, showing you just how to do it. We’d especially recommend Naomi Devlin’s River Cottage gluten free (and not just because she recommends us as one of her suppliers)!

Once you’ve got the right recipe, you need the right ingredients, – and that’s where we come in. We stock all the dry ingredients the gluten-free cook might need, such as:

And for the days when only a mix, or a ‘ready meal’ will do, make your choice from our full selection here. We only use brands that put a real emphasis on overall health, as well as being proudly gluten-free.

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This post was written by Yzanne


  • Mark says:

    I put on weight rapidly when I went gluten free partly because my body was then processing the food correctly , instead of reacting with an immune response to pass it through as fast as possible.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Mark. Yes, you’re absolutely right – that’s how it happens for a number of people. It’s a point we’ll take on board and try to make in a subsequent blog.

      Best wishes,

      Yzanne Mackay
      Editor and writer
      Naturally Good Food

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