At times, going gluten-free can seem like a fad. Countless articles have been written about the negative effect of gluten on our body and how cutting back on these proteins can help us feel more energised and less bloated. 

Of course, there are individuals who have been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, meaning that consuming products containing gluten can result in some rather unpleasant side effects. But for the rest of us, is choosing to buy gluten free pasta and other similar products actually healthier? Read on to find out!

What is gluten?

The term gluten refers to a series of proteins found in grain-based food. Wheat, rye, spelt, and barley all contain gluten, which acts like a glue that holds ingredients together. Gluten is what gives foods like dough an elastic quality.

Foods that contain gluten

When people are told they have a gluten intolerance, their mind usually first goes to bread and pasta. The good news is that there are plenty of gluten free varieties of these foods, so you don’t necessarily have to give up your morning toast or evening bowl of spaghetti.

The unfortunate news is that there are plenty of other foods that also contain gluten. Those diagnosed with coeliac disease are advised to steer clear of:

  • Grains: Including whole wheat, wheat bran, barley, rye, farro, semolina, durum.
  • Processed grain-based products: bread, crackers, breadcrumbs, pasta, noodles, pastries.
  • Drinks: Beer, certain types of wine and liquor.
  • Condiments: Certain types of salad dressings, soy sauce.

As you can see, fresh fruit and vegetables are in the clear. Most dairy products are safe as well, so long as they don’t have added artificial colouring, flavouring, and preservatives. In this day and age, you should be able to buy gluten-free substitutes for most of these products.

Nutritional content of gluten free foods

So, assuming you have not been diagnosed with coeliac disease, does opting to enjoy gluten free pasta offer any particular health benefits?

It really will depend on the actual product you purchase. Not all gluten free pastas are the same. In fact, not all are made from the same base ingredient. There’s quinoa pasta, brown rice pasta, even chickpea pasta. Pasta made from quinoa, for example, is an excellent source of protein. The same might not be said of another product.

You should also consider whether the manufacturer has fortified the product with additional vitamins and minerals. 

The main benefit of gluten free pasta is that it allows those with a gluten intolerance to still enjoy their favourite meals. 

Cooking with gluten free pasta

If you’ve never cooked with gluten free pasta before, there are a few key points to keep in mind.

Be aware that gluten free pasta is very starchy and tends to stick together. You’ll need to stir the pot constantly to prevent this from happening. Adding a little extra olive oil can also help in this regard. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions for how long you should cook your gluten free pasta. It may or may not be the same as regular pasta. 

If you’ve never tried gluten free pasta before, now’s the time! There are so many great tasting products out there to explore. 

Author's Bio: 

Hi, I am Aria. I am a passionate blogger. Blogging is my profession. I love to write articles on several topics. Keep up the good work and Have a great day!