Nowadays diets that completely excludes gluten are getting more and more popular. Most of these diets promote a healthy way of losing weight and healthier eating habits.
However, there is not just gluten that is in the ‘no-no’ list in these diets.
Therefore, can gluten-free diet help you lose weight or there must be some other variables to the weight loss success?
Moreover, the shelves in the stores picked up the trend and offer us ‘gluten-free’ packages. A lot of us would automatically buy these products trusting the label with the hope of making a healthier choice.
Though are these foods really a healthier choice?
Can the gluten-free label make us skinnier?
Before we answer this question let’s see how can gluten-free diet help you lose weight.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein presented in grains (like wheat, spelt, rye, barley, Kamut, and semolina) and consists of gliadin and glutenin (1).
Gluten is widely used in baking as well as in the food industry as a stabilizer.
Generally speaking there is nothing wrong with gluten itself, but the one that our great-grandparents were cultivating and consuming.
As the demand for wheat increased the modern wheat nowadays is hybridized.
What it means to us is that it contains a new type of protein that our bodies do not know how to process and instead store it as fat.
Find more about How Does Gluten Affect Your Body here.
Why Do People Lose Weight By Following Gluten-Free Diets?
A lot of people achieve their weight goals by going gluten-free because of the following reasons:
Healthy eating becomes a part of you once you embark on a gluten-free diet
People who have a diet free from gluten discover that they eat more balanced and healthy meals compared to the junks they ate before (like cookies, cakes, pizza, and muffins).
Gluten is present mainly in carbs such as wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Dieters switch these for vegetables and fruits which are much healthier and contain fewer calories meaning less weight gain.
People with a high sensitivity to gluten may have health disorders including inflammation which may cause a severe imbalance in the body’s chemistry and physiology.
The implication is altered cues for eating, retention of water, extreme fatigue and other health disorders that could disturb a healthy lifestyle and result in weight gain.
Elimination of gluten helps dieters to resolve these problems and enjoy better health.
If I Do Not Have Celiac Disease Is It Safe To Go Gluten-Free?
Well, a gluten-free diet can help you achieve weight loss based on the reasons listed above. However, the diet must be carefully followed to ensure the sustainability of the weight loss.
Though it is easier to stay away from gluten presently as compared to the past, one still needs to deny himself lots of foods.
If you are aiming at weight loss with a gluten-free diet, chances are that you might be overwhelmed and give up in the long run.
Gluten intolerance is associated with symptoms such as pains in the joints, eczema and other skin conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, and other health problems. It may therefore not be out of place to see if you can fare better on a gluten-free diet.
Before going on a gluten-free diet, it is best that you get tested for celiac disease. Accurate diagnosis is difficult once you start dieting.
As a plus to its weight-loss effects, I should be noted that a gluten-free diet is free of unhealthy oils and carbohydrates such as those found in pastries and doughnuts.
Apart from weight loss, staying away from gluten can minimize your risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Because a gluten-free diet is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, a gluten-free diet will help you combat germs and viruses (2).
Are All Gluten-Free Foods Healthy?
The label ‘gluten-free’ does not necessarily mean a healthier food choice.
For example, a gluten-free cookie where sugar is named as a second ingredient is probably not the healthiest choice compared to the apple or a banana.
Though both will theoretically be gluten-free.
You got the point.
Read the label before buying the product to make sure that what you are buying is actually a healthier choice compared with the wheat doughnut.
Living a gluten-free lifestyle has a lot of health benefits.
When you exclude gluten from your diet, inflammatory activities in your body is reduced.
There is an improvement in cholesterol levels, promotion of digestive health and a boost in energy level.
Your body chemistry will also be restored to normal.
According to Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D., “a gluten-free diet provides a perfect balance between lean protein and complex carbohydrates, including brown rice, quinoa, and vegetables, as well as healthy fats.” (3)
Gluten-free diet plays some very crucial roles in weight loss especially if you consume a balanced diet.
Ensure you watch the portion size and also eat carbs free from gluten. They include quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes.
Be vigilant when taking in information from the labels. Most of them may be false.
Maximum attention should be paid to the label and steer clear of replacements.
Some unhealthy foods that contain gluten may be switched to other unhealthy foods that do not contain gluten, but either way, you would have consumed some unhealthy meal.
It is essential that you know the facts about any diet plan before embarking on it.
Would you like to feel healthier?