Alimentary Tract| Volume 50, ISSUE 12, P1305-1308, December 2018

Nutritional composition of gluten-free food versus regular food sold in the Italian market



      Some concerns have been raised about the nutritional composition of gluten-free (GF) food.


      To compare the nutritional composition of GF food with regular foods.


      This study examined in total 235 GF products and 349 regular products purchased in Italy, from seven categories: biscuits, rusks, snacks, bread, pasta, bread substitutes and wheat flour. The following nutritional facts, have been considered: energy, proteins, total and saturated fats, carbohydrates, simple sugars, fibers and salt. The mean nutrient composition for products of the two groups was compared by independent samples t-test.


      The protein content of GF food is lower in all the categories (P < 0.001). s. Total energy was lower for GF bread (P < 0.001) and higher for GF pasta (P = 0.05). GF biscuits and pasta had higher saturated fats content (P < 0.001 and P = 0.003). No difference was seen for total fat. Sugar content was lower for GF pasta (P < 0.001). Fiber content was lower in GF biscuits, bread substitutes (P < 0.001) and pasta (P = 0.02), higher in bread (P = 0.03). Salt content was higher in GF pasta (P < 0.001) and rusks (P = 0.04), lower in biscuits (P < 0.001).


      There are some differences in the nutritional composition of GF food and regular food. These differences should be taken into account when planning a balanced GF diet.


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