Posted by: kate | 2019/08/13

Gluten free

Is there a need for more gluten free products in south africa? and are the meals too expensive?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageThe Dietitians
- 2019/08/15

Good day, thank you for your question. 

The gluten free food industry is growing rapidly as more and more consumers are choosing to purchase gluten free options. The global retail market has grown from $1.7 billion in 2011 to $3.5 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow to $4.7 billion by 2020. This is according to Euromonitor, a consumer data group. The data from South Africa is not as available but from observation there appear to be a growing number of gluten free options available to South African shoppers.  Many people feel confused and unsure of whether to completely exclude gluten from their diets. It is important to note that a feeling of bloating, indigestion and tiredness may not be indicative of gluten sensitivity but may be due to the consumption of a poor diet that is too high in protein, refined flours (breads) and consequently lacks adequate fibre. These reported symptoms often disappear when wholegrains, fresh fruit and vegetables are included into the diet. The best advice would be to visit a registered Dietitian who can assess your diet and assist you in removing gluten containing foods from your diet, if it is specifically indicated based on your medical and diet history. Gluten free alternatives are often very expensive because they use less mainstream ingredients that are often expensive and shoppers who are choosing these products without sufficient reason might find their pockets hurting due to the price! These gluten free products can also be processed, very refined and a poor source of fibre and other essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They may also contain a large amount of sugar and are not necessarily a healthier option just because they don’t contain gluten.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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