When looking at the nutritional profiles of the majority of products made by gluten-free product companies, you will notice a theme. There is a widespread commitment to using natural ingredients, many of which are organic. Plus, when you have to avoid many of the highly processed foods that contain gluten, you find that your diet naturally gravitates toward more healthy choices. Consequently, a gluten-free diet is considered a healthy diet because of its tendency to steer you in the direction of healthy foods and when it eliminates the key ingredient you must avoid it’s automatically healthier for you!
Naturally, if you buy most of your foods at natural food markets (where the majority of gluten-free products will be found), your choices will be healthier because of what these stores choose not to carry. The stores help you make healthy choices. However, as with any diet, there are red flags to watch for and your gluten-free diet can vary on the healthy scale.
Many foods can be designated as gluten-free, but may not have a healthy nutritional profile. If your diet consists largely of processed canned foods and frozen dinners in addition to foods that are high in sugar, refined ingredients, and unhealthy fats despite being gluten-free, your diet can’t be considered healthy. Also, watch out for regular use of gluten-free baked products and mixes that contain primarily white ingredients, such as white rice flour, tapioca flour, and potato flour, or if sugar is listed as the first ingredient. If your daily carbohydrate intake consists mostly of nutrient-poor gluten-free ingredients, your diet can suffer. So, while a gluten-free diet is considered to be a healthy diet overall, you are still responsible for making good choices to keep it that way.