Have you heard that a gluten free diet is healthier than other weight loss plans? Do you want to know if going gluten free will help you lose weight? With gluten free products popping up on grocery shelves and popular celebrities announcing what restricting gluten has done for them, it’s no wonder you’re confused. There are good reasons to go on a gluten free diet, but eliminating gluten won’t necessarily help you shed pounds.
Eating a gluten free diet is essential for those diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that’s triggered by eating wheat, rye or barley. It can improve inflammatory conditions, gastrointestinal complaints and allergy symptoms in those who are sensitive to gluten. If you don’t have celiac disease or some form of gluten intolerance, eliminating gluten doesn’t produce any additional health benefits you can’t get from moving to a whole foods diet. Most gluten free products contain more fat, calories and carbohydrates than the dishes they replace.
Going gluten free is a lot of work if you don’t have to. It requires you to learn which brands and companies will deliver you a safe product. While wheat is one of the eight major allergens that must be declared on the label, rye and barley are not. Reading labels each time you shop is essential because manufacturers can change their ingredients without warning.
For those who must go gluten free, switching to a fresh, whole foods diet is the easiest and healthiest way to get started. That means eating lean meats, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and complex carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice. Most healthy fats such as olive oil are also gluten free. Be careful with gluten free baked goods. Even if you make them yourself, they can quickly result in weight gain. While a whole foods diet means giving up many foods you’ve become accustomed to, you eliminate the problems that come from gluten cross contamination and will reap the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Just don’t forget to watch the calories.