Is gluten-free eating healthier, even if you’re not intolerant? Researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, set out to find out. Sixty healthy Danish adults were put on high-gluten, then low-gluten diets. While number of calories and quality of nutrients were the same, the low-gluten diet contained less fibre from wheat, rye and barley sources (primary sources of gluten). The results? The low-gluten diet changed the participants’ gut microbiome, reduced their gastrointestinal discomfort and resulted in a small weight loss.
Sounds good. However, the results may be due to the type of fibre in the diet, not just the lack of gluten, say the researchers, as the low-gluten diet had higher-quality fibre in it. Let’s get behind their call for more fresh or minimally processed, fibre-enriched, nutritionally high-quality, gluten-free food.
THE GLUTEN DEBATE Photo Gallery
‘I cook a lot. You know how much salt, sugar and all of that kind of stuff you’re putting in your body. I like to keep it really balanced to give my body energy and be healthy.’
Actress & model Emily Ratajkowski
3 HEALTHIER SAVOURY SNACKS
Hippeas Chickpea HIPPEAS Puffs Sweet & Smokin’
£2 for a 78g bag from Sainsbury’s
These organic puffs made with chickpeas, quinoa and tapioca are higher in fibre and protein and lower in fat than a puffy snack such as Wotsits, so are more filling. 90 calories per 22g serving.
Emily Veg Crisps French Beans, Sugar Snap Peas, Edamame £2.60 for 80g bag from Waitrose
Unusual but yummy, this super-crunchy selection of dried peas and beans has just the tiniest dust of salt, so you don’t need to worry about the effect on your blood pressure. A 23g serving provides 85 calories.
Bepps Black-eyed Pea Puffed snacks £1.79 for 79g from Tesco
Another puffy snack that’s made from a pulse, these = also have higher amounts of filling protein and fibre than most. They’re organic and free from artificial flavours.
Can’t do without your morning latte? It’s amazing any of us like coffee because, by evolutionary logic, the bitter taste of the brew should make us want to spit it out! Bitterness was a sign to our ancestors that a food may be poisonous, but surprising new research shows people who have a genetic sensitivity to coffee’s bitter taste drink more of the brew, not less. Scientists at Northwestern Medicine and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia, tested participants’ sensitivity to the taste of caffeine, then looked at their coffee intake. It seems bitter-sensitive people drink more coffee, as they learn to associate feelings of alertness with it.
KEEP CRAVINGS AT BAY
US Diet guru Joy Bauer suggests waiting until a craving strikes to give your nails a coat of polish. Once they’re perfectly painted, you won’t want to smudge wet nails by reaching into a bag of crisps or opening a chocolate wrapper. And by the time the polish has dried, the chances are, your craving will have subsided. Clever!
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