A gluten-free diet is a proven treatment for people with celiac disease, a condition where the body attacks a protein called gluten Today, even people who don’t have this condition are “going gluten-free” because they believe it helps to shed off some pounds. This diet has been endorsed by various celebrities ranging from Oprah Winfrey to Mile Cyrus, and of course, diagnosed celiac Elizabeth Hasselbeck, making many people adopt this form of eating. But does it really work? There hasn’t been enough evidence to show that people who eat gluten-free food lose more weight than those who follow other dieting strategies. So, let’s look at if gluten-free diet is good for weight loss.
What Is A Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and other processed foods like pasta, and cereals. When you’re diagnosed with celiac disease, you should avoid such foods because they tend to worsen the condition. A gluten-free diet requires you to eliminate foods that contain any of the above-mentioned items. Statistics show that the sales for gluten-free diets are on the rise purely fueled by the need to lose weight.
Consequently, research done on gluten-free diet says there is evidence of the diet aiding in weight loss. Whether you have celiac or not, medical studies show that celiacs who are overweight when they’re diagnosed tend to lose weight when they go gluten-free. Additionally, for those who don’t have the condition, a gluten-free diet may still help them lose weight.
How It Works
Because gluten-free means you eliminate processed foods and eat whole grains, you tend to lose weight due to avoiding those high-calorie diets with no nutrients. By removing them you lose weight sooner than expected. To replace the gluten, you will be required to eat fruits, vegetables and gluten-free foods like whole grains, brown rice, quinoa, and millet. Also, eat minimally processed, and high fiber foods to encourage fullness.
Is A Gluten-Free Diet Good for Weight Loss?
Conclusive studies have shown that a gluten-free diet helps obese people who have celiac disease lose weight. The research was carried out on 191 people, 32 percent underweight, 38 percent normal weight, 16 percent overweight and 14 percent obese. At the end of the study, 91 people out of the entire group had gained weight after starting a gluten-free diet, an average of 16.5 pounds. Another 25 patients lost an average of 27.5 pounds, with the weight loss being more among the obese. Also, another different study that looked at 369 people found that weight tends to normalize on gluten-free diet meaning for overweight individuals they will tend to lose weight while underweight people gain weight instead.
The third study looked at the number of calories consumed by people with celiac disease following a gluten-free diet compared to individuals with celiac who cheated on the gluten-free diet. They discovered that those who cheated consumed an average of 418 calories more every day. Generally, eliminating wheat from your diet can lead to weight loss. However, some people perceive gluten-free foods to be healthy, thus they tend to eat more which could potentially lead to weight gain. However, even though you’re going gluten-free, you should also eat other nutrients like fiber and B-vitamins.
Are All Gluten-Free Foods Healthy
When people tell you to eat gluten-free foods to lose weight, you will automatically assume that the foods are healthy. However, this may not always be the case and you’ll be surprised to find out that not all gluten-free foods are equally nutritious. For example, an apple and gluten-free sugar cookie are both gluten-free, but the nutrient in each item varies considerably. You will find a local store with various types of gluten-free cakes, cookies and all sorts of sweet treats, but they are all high in sugar and fat which tend to promote weight gain. Instead, when shopping take time to go through the food labels to avoid any unhealthy ingredients which are high in calories.
Gluten-free diets are consumed by people suffering from celiac disease or those who have a gluten intolerance. However, there is no harm in adopting a gluten-free diet to lose weight or as a healthier way of eating. It’s understandable if you want to avoid gluten but remember to eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes. Also, for weight management, dieting and exercising are the key components. Nevertheless, there is no need to restrict gluten if you don’t have celiac disease as long as you practice moderation.
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