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Top 3 gluten-free myths, debunked

If you’re looking to start a gluten-free diet, or to simply experiment with gluten-free eating for the new year, make sure you aren’t distracted or discouraged by the common myths surrounding GF lifestyles. These myths can be deterrents to better health and make you question your commitment.

The top three myths are easily debunked because they don’t take the reality of naturally gluten-free foods that everyone already eats and enjoys into consideration. With so many people already eating gluten-free and experiencing thriving health, don’t let a few misconceptions stand in your way.

1. Gluten-free food is tasteless and unsatisfying

Though gluten definitely is pervasive in our modern food culture, in reality, it is only ONE ingredient that you’ll be removing from your diet when following a gluten-free eating plan. Because it is only ONE ingredient to remove, this means a whole world of other satisfying, delicious, and convenient food choices are opened up to you. To call a gluten-free lifestyle boring, tasteless, or unsatisfying is a fallacy because it is overlooking the many other naturally gluten-free foods that people like and enjoy on a regular basis already:

animal protein (chicken, beef, pork, fish, seafood, eggs),
animal products (yogurt, butter, cheese),
vegetables (non-starchy, root, greens, fermented veggies),
nuts and seeds (roasted, nut butters, nut flours),
fruits (fresh, dried, jams/jellies),
grains and grain products (quinoa, white/brown rice, wild rice, rice pasta, grits/polenta, corn chips/tortillas, millet)
starches (root veggies, potatoes, beans, legumes, peas)
herbs and spices (fresh and dried)
fats and oils (olive, walnut, avocado, coconut)
drinks (tea, coffee, juice, non-grain alcohols like potato vodka)
sweeteners (sugar, honey, maple syrup)

2. Gluten-free food is expensive

The Talk About Curing Autism Foundation (TACA) has already debunked this myth, when challenged to create a one-month gluten-free menu for a family of four, all while shopping on food stamps. Yes, eating gluten-free is possible (and for a family of four, no less) on the minimum food stamp allotment of $396.00 a month. And, TACA even came in under budget for their one-month menu. Though, it should be noted that their costs could have been reduced even more in choosing filling whole foods, versus pre-made gluten-free baking mixes.

3. Gluten-free cooking is very time-consuming

Making the most of your gluten-free diet does require time for cooking. The most inexpensive and healthy way to adopt a GF diet is to learn to cook your favorite foods yourself. Not only is it cheaper than packaged gluten-free products, but it’s also better for the body in many cases. But keep in mind that cooking gluten-free doesn’t require any more time than traditional, gluten-filled cooking; it won’t take up any more time in the kitchen than other cooking methods.

Though, if you’re in a hurry, there are many pre-made gluten-free items for sale at the grocery store that are healthy options for those moments you don’t have time to prepare food yourself. Go Raw, Uli Mana, and Righteously Raw are all great go-to snacks, found in most health food stores.

“Author Information: Liz Schau, Tampa, FL
Liz Schau, Health Writer


[Editor’s Note: This article was first published in 2010.]

About Liz Schau

Liz Schau is a health writer whose focus is in nutrition, as well as natural and green living. She is both the resident GreenGirl for -- a site aimed at raising self-esteem in females of all ages, as well as a columnist for on which she writes "How To Kick Your Thyroid's Ass" -- an irreverent guide to better thyroid health. She can be reached at
  • jlf says:

    Lies. Trying to bake with 6 different flours in one recipe is definitely expensive and time-consuming. Who are you trying to kid?

  • Carol@easytobeglutenfree says:

    This is not lies. It depends how you approach the diet. I have been gluten free for almost 10 years and do it very economically by eating foods that are naturally gluten free. You can be creative and find alternative ways to enjoy some of your favorite gluten foods in a different way. Save the gluten free baked goods and specialty products for an occasional treat.

  • Annemarie says:

    we have one gf child and a total family of seven. my grocery bill is 325$ a month. jlf try looking up GAPS foods that use coconut flour. feel free to email me over at if you need more info

  • Karen says:

    I think it depends on how you approach a gluten-free diet. When I first started, nearly a year ago, I found it to be VERY expensive. I still wanted my breads, pastas, cookies, etc. and the gluten free version of those are expensive.

    Then, slowly, because I have a horrendous sweet tooth, I started to move towards foods that are naturally gluten free: meats, fruits and vegetables (that I’m not allergic to). My grocery bill has moved out of the “Holy cow I need a second job to eat” range and back into “Dang my teenage boys eat a lot of food.”

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