Gluten-Free Doesn't Mean a Healthy
July 16, 2014 - Tom Joseph
HARRISBURG- As more food choices labeled
'gluten-free' show up on store shelves across the state, some people are
warning that it's not automatically a healthy choice.
Mary Waldner, founder of Mary's Gone Crackers, welcomed more options for those
who have celiac disease, like herself. But, she said the label can blur the
line for consumers when it comes to nutrition. Many gluten-free foods are
loaded with sugar and fat to improve their taste.
"I think so many gluten-free companies, they don't care what's in the
food," said Waldner. "I see it as an opportunity to look at our food
and see what's in it, and not replace it with gluten-free junk."
The gluten-free industry is now said to be worth more than $23 billion
annually. Sales are up more than 16 percent over the last year, according to
Gluten-free is often characterized as a diet trend, but according to Waldner,
it's here to stay, whether or not food choices are made because of a doctor's
note. She added that because of the new gluten awareness, the public is
learning that decades of eating processed foods come at a cost.
"Our guts are in bad shape," said Waldner. "We're eating such
highly-refined foods. We've been doing damage to our digestive system, and I
think wheat is a very hard thing to digest."