Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Tag Archives: gluten

Gluten-sensitive people must avoid MSG

Monosodium glutamate, or MSG, is a popular flavor enhancer that has gotten an essentially undeserved bad rap on the health front (see here). One more twist to this is the truly bizarre idea that MSG is somehow related to gluten, the protein found in wheat and some other grains that causes nasty reactions in celiacs and others with a gluten sensitivity. Nope, the two are completely unrelated. A food may contain both gluten and MSG, of course, but that’s a different matter.

Gluten-free foods are more healthful

We have already dispelled the myth that gluten is somehow bad for your health–aside from the small percentage of people with celiac disease this is simply not true (see here). There’s another gluten-related myth, however: that gluten-free foods are somehow more healthful than their “normal” gluten-containing counterparts. In fact, over 30% of Americans surveyed say they sometimes buy gluten-free because they believe this. But it is not so. In fact, gluten-free foods are very often less healthful because they contain less protein, fiber, and vitamins and more fat! And of course they are more expensive and usually don’t taste as good.

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