More and more gluten-free products are being added to the marketplace every day. With this reality, people following a gluten-free diet need to be even more vigilant to ensure the gluten free products they are consuming are healthy. Take for example the announcement made on June 20, 2013 by Dunkin’ Donuts. Beginning later this year, participating U.S. Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants will have the option to offer certified gluten-free bakery products, including a new gluten-free Cinnamon Sugar Donut and a gluten-free Blueberry Muffin. To make them gluten free, these products have a unique blend of rice flours and certain starches such as potato and tapioca to replace traditional wheat flour found in regular donuts.
The Dunkin’ Donuts’ gluten free Cinnamon Sugar Donut is an old-fashioned cake donut coated with cinnamon sugar and the gluten-free Blueberry Muffin features all of the attributes of Dunkin’ Donuts’ classic blueberry muffin, including being topped with their signature crunchy baking sugar. However, a gluten free donut is still a piece of fried flour that is typically heavy on the sugar and calories. The gluten-free Dunkin’ Donuts products will be no different. The Dunkin’ Donuts’ gluten free cinnamon-sugar donut will contain 320 calories and the blueberry muffin will have 400 calories. That is a lot of calories!
While these new products will provide alternative options at Dunkin’ Donuts for people with food and dietary restrictions, be mindful of their calorie content and how they fit into your daily intake. And, before you consume or purchase gluten-free products, take the time to read the nutrition facts on the labels. Some gluten-free products may need to be an “every once in a while food” instead of an “every day food”.