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'Free-from' lifestyle - is it really any better for us?

There are so many 'free-from' trends and lifestyles that it's hard to keep up. But are any of them backed up by science? Chrissie Russell talks to the experts to separate fact from fiction

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Following an elimination diet (especially without medical guidance) can be problematic

Following an elimination diet (especially without medical guidance) can be problematic

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Following an elimination diet (especially without medical guidance) can be problematic

Whether it's gluten- free bread or zero aluminium deodorant, more and more of us are buying into products that promise not to contain certain substances. But is this 'free-from' lifestyle really any better for us? A halo effect has developed around certain products - usually purporting to be more 'natural' in composition or excluding some out-of-favour chemical - while other ingredients are demonised. But how much of this gulf between 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' is real and how much is down to marketing?

Does jumping on the free-from bandwagon come with hidden costs - only in terms of the extra expense in our shopping baskets but also potentially harming, rather than helping, our health? To sort the facts from the fiction and the fear, we spoke to the experts to find out the truth about the biggest free-from fads.

⬤ GLUTEN-FREE