Gluten avoidance should not be the sole focus of a gluten-free diet, according to a new study. Nutritional balance, including sugar, fiber and mineral intake, should also be monitored.
Published in the August 2010 issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the study compared the nutritional composition of the gluten-free diet to that of a non-gluten-free diet. Researchers found that, compared to a similar non-gluten-free cohort, “females adhering to a GFD had lower intakes of magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium and folate. In male patients, intakes of magnesium and selenium were particularly low.”
Researchers advised clinicians to stress a balanced intake of essential nutrients and complex carbohydrates in dietary recommendations for gluten-free patients.
In an unrelated study published in the Journal of Food Engineering, researchers recently recommended adding chestnut flour to boost the nutritional content of gluten-free goods.