I am sure you've asked that before!
Gluten free has been a craze for a while and I have been asked that question a lot, is it really worth it for weight loss? Let's break it down first by learning what is Gluten and who should go Gluten free?
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a mix of proteins, prolamins and glutelins, found in wheat products and is responsible for the elasticity of the dough, especially when making bread products. Gluten can lie dormant in wheat products, meaning that it will not cause the allergic reaction to those who have Celiac's Disease, unless it is combined with yeast, which actives gluten.
What is Celiac's Disease?
Celiac's is an autoimmune disease where the body has an immune reaction to gluten in the system, this causes inflammation, damage to the intestinal tract, nausea, vomiting, cramps, bloating and diarrhea.
So what is Gluten Free?
Gluten Free means that the product has less than 20 parts per million of gluten in the product. So it may have a trace of gluten in it, but not a lot. Most companies are now labeling any of their products that are gluten free, even if it never would have had gluten in it! This is sometimes used as a marketing ploy because if it's gluten free, it must be healthier (not true!).
Should we be eating Gluten Free for Weight loss?
Unless you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, then there is no need to cut out gluten for weight loss. Eating gluten does not cause you to gain weight or causes the inflammation, unless you have Celiac's Disease. You may have seen people going gluten free for weight loss, losing weight and blaming it on the gluten. In reality, they lost weight because they cut out a major source of nutrients for the body, not because of the gluten.
Going gluten free does not mean you will automatically lose weight and it is not necessary for weight loss.
Plenty of my clients eat gluten every day and still lose weight.
I only recommend gluten free if you do have Celiac's Disease. Going gluten free for the fun of it with the thoughts that you'll lose weight is really putting you at risk for a micronutrient deficiency. Gluten Free products do not need to be enriched or fortified with the B vitamins, as well as other vitamins. Grain products are our primary sources for the B Vitamins, therefore, cutting out gluten just to lose weight can be harmful.
What you really should do is eat more whole grains and whole wheat products. When you eat whole grains and whole wheat, you get more naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, as well as more protein, fiber and heart healthy fats that regular, enriched white grains do not.
So, what do you think? Should you be going Gluten Free just to lose weight?
Do you know people that are Gluten Free just for weight loss?
Let me know in the comments below!