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Review: The Gluten-Free Diet

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By Nicole Ferring Holovach, MS, RD & Katie Lewin

 

First, let’s clear one thing up. Going gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean weight loss. The popularity of cutting gluten and the widespread availability of gluten-free foods are prompting the public to associate gluten-free eating with weight loss — which is not always the case.

The Theory: People with celiac disease and, to a lesser degree, gluten intolerance, experience intestinal inflammation when they ingest the protein in gluten, which is found in certain grains, like wheat and rye, and other foods. A gluten-free diet is best for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, not for those simply watching their weight. Gluten-free foods are sometimes higher in calories than their gluten-friendly counterparts!

Pros: Many people are gluten-intolerant and don’t even realize it. This craze has done a lot to help raise awareness of the associated conditions. If you think you might have problem with gluten, definitely talk to your doctor.

Cons: Those who are cutting gluten for weight loss purposes are probably barking up the wrong breadstick. Instead of going gluten-free, just limit your intake of refined carbs and processed foods — a much healthier and sustainable undertaking in the long term.

Bottom Line: If you think you’re sensitive to gluten, talk to your doctor about dietary changes. Otherwise, aim to eat whole grains and limit refined ones. 

 

Published January 5, 2015. 

 

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