Now that many of us are trying to avoid gluten like the plague, a slew of gluten-free products have started appearing in our stores. Unfortunately, many of these foods are advertised or understood as healthy alternatives, which is often far from the truth.
Before we get into this, it needs to be pointed out that gluten is a health concern. Many people with celiac disease or a diagnosed gluten sensitivity have to avoid gluten to prevent damage to their small intestines and to reduce inflammation. Even people who aren't immediately sensitive to gluten — a protein found in wheat and grain-based foods — should probably avoid it; as Alessio Fasano from the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research points out, no one can properly digest gluten — a known anti-nutrient (foods which interfere with the absorption of nutrients).