For people who don’t have gluten-related medical conditions (celiac disease or gluten sensitivity) seven of seven experts say no. And even people with celiac disease might be better off without gluten-free breads, pizzas and pastas.
William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly Total Health. “They have the highest glycemic indexes (an index of how high blood sugar rises over the 90 minutes after consumption) of all foods. So high, in fact, that, gram for gram, ounce for ounce, such gluten-free foods raise blood sugar substantially higher than table sugar and higher than wheat products.”
Joseph Murray, MD, a celiac disease expert, gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester says that gluten free bread is low in fiber and not fortified with B vitamins.
Some experts also contend that while
David Perlmutter, MD, author of Grain Brain and The Grain Brain Cookbook states that you can take gluten out of a loaf, but you can’t take out the carbs. “Carbs pave the way for metabolic problems like diabetes,” he says “No bread, even if it’s gluten free.” (Fiber isn’t actually “carb” because it cannot be digested in the body.)
Ciaran P. Kelly, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Robert H. Shmerling, MD, is the former clinical chief at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center now practicing in Boston, MA. He has over 37 years of experience in arthritis and autoimmune diseases than other specialists in his area. He graduated from Harvard Medical School medical school in 1983. “The dangers of gluten have probably been overstated – and oversold. Don’t be swayed by an elite athlete or movie star to restrict your diet when there’s no medical reason to do so.”
Thomas M. Campbell, MD, is a medical director of the UR Medicine Weight Management & Lifestyle Center at Highland Hospital and a co-author “The China Study, The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and The Startling Implications for Diet, Weight-Loss, and Long-Term Health” says “If you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac but decide to reduce or eliminate gluten from your diet, I would urge you to replace it with more plant-based foods and items that are not processed rather than foods manufactured to be gluten-free”.
Alan Levinovitz is an assistant professor at James Madison University, author of “The Gluten Lie”. His writing has appeared in Slate, Salon, Wired, The Believer, and The Millions, as well as academic journals. His book is debunking the myths that dominate the American diet and showing readers how to stop feeling guilty and start loving their food again—sure to ignite controversy over our obsession with what it means to eat right. He says that science shows there is no salvation to be found, physically or spiritually, in abstaining from gluten-containing foods. And yet, the fact that gluten-free foodstuff is now a multi-billion dollar industry, suggests that a good many of us can’t help but indulge in a little magical thinking when it comes to our diets.
Here we are, seven solid thumbs down.
So, gluten-free bread or regular bread?
It’s up to you, but if you want to switch to gluten-free breads, before doing so, you have to read this recent scientific report: Laura Roman, Mayara Belorio, and Manuel Gomez (2019) “Gluten-Free Breads: The Gap Between Research and Commercial Reality” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Vol. 18, 2019, 690-702. This research expands the current knowledge on gluten-free breads manufacturing, giving a panoramic outlook on the current situation in the gluten-free bread market
In 2019, a group of scientists examined the ingredients in 228 commercially available gluten-free breads from 12 countries. See what they found:
The ingredient list of commercial enriched whole grain gluten-free bread
- brown rice flour
- tapioca starch
- corn starch, flax seeds
- sunflower seeds
- buckwheat flour
- thiamine (vitamin b1)
- riboflavin (vitamin b2)
- dried egg-white
- citric acid
- soybean and/or canola oil
- chicory root inulin
- xanthan gum
- vegetable monoglycerides
- calcium propionate
- modified cellusose
- sorbic acid
- calcium carbonate
- calcium pantothenate
- calcium sulphate
- pyridoxine hydrochloride
- tricalcium phosphate
- may contain sesame seeds and soy
Now that you have the breakdown on what makes up your gluten-free loaf from the supermarket, it’s pretty apparent that gluten free bread is vastly different from regular loaves.
We’ve provided you with this information in hope that it’ll help you make informed food choices.