post image

Health Guide Review: 2,8/5

stars-icon

Gluten-Free Diet Review

What is it?

The Gluten-Free Diet is a diet plan for people who either have sensitivity to gluten, or those who want to avoid it for personal reasons. It’s had a rise in popularity since it’s closely linked to the low carbohydrate craze.

This form of dieting is often only practiced with those with celiac disease. It’s known that only about 1% of the population has this disease.

However, people without celiac disease have also adopted this diet in order to avoid possible gluten related symptoms. Here are some other facts about this diet.

  • What is gluten?: A lot of confusion is made about gluten. Gluten is a mixture of hundreds of proteins found in grains such as rye, barley, oat, kamut, spelt, triticale, and other similar grains. It gives shape to dough and also provides a chewy texture.
  • Are all starches off limits?: There are actually several other starchy foods that are free of gluten. This includes soy, corn, rice, nut flours, potatoes, quinoa, and beans to name a few. A gluten free diet is often confused as being an anti-starch diet, but there are still several foods you can eat that fit this category.

You can also transition away from these common gluten heavy foods by using the many gluten free breads, crackers, and cookies. Many supermarkets now cater to the consumer who doesn’t want to eat gluten.           

  • What kind of weight loss effects does it have?: For those that actually can’t process gluten, it’s advised to avoid this as it can cause early onset death. There are also certain people who are more sensitive to gluten, and this can cause indigestion. However, this is rare and you’ll likely know you’re sensitive to gluten when you eat it.

This isn’t a weight loss diet exactly, but some users and proponents of a Gluten-Free diet do claim it’s able to help one lose weight. For those that truly can’t process gluten, this diet would be necessary and able to help weight from piling on.

Though this diet is often only advised for people with celiac disease, there’s now a lot of information on what effects this diet will have.

Foods Allowed by the Diet

 It’s easier to describe what’s not allowed by this diet. This includes foods such as rye, wheat, barley, and most baked goods. There are also new strains of gluten crops that are often not well known.

Here’s a list of common foods and items you won’t be able to eat:

  • Beer.
  • Pasta.
  • Certain medications.
  • Gravy.
  • Cakes and pies.
  • Bread.
  • Cookies and crackers.
  • Many dipping, dressings, sauces including soy sauce.

Anything else is considered edible. Though it’s incredibly important to read the ingredients section to see if there’s any gluten. Some items such as seasoning will often have gluten inside.

This can be tricky especially when you use seasonings or eat out. Many times foods will contain hidden gluten, since it’s not mandatory to list gluten as an ingredient in the US.

Some pre-packaged foods will list gluten as an ingredient as this has become a popular diet, but not all companies will guarantee notification.

Also, since knowledge about gluten is often still coming out, there are many new resources available which list what alternatives you can eat to stay away from gluten. Many free resources are available from celiac disease organizations online.

There’s not one specific guidebook or resource that specifies how to properly maintain this diet.

 How Does the Diet Work?

 It’s fairly simple; you just avoid gluten that is found in foods like rye, wheat, oats, and barley.

The Mayo Clinic also adds that:

“(those with) celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives”

 So this is not essential for all humans.  In fact, a major issue with this diet is that certain people may not get enough nutrients such as:

Iron, calcium, fiber, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

For these type of people an additional nutritional supplement may be required. Although, for those who do have celiac disease, they can actually lose thee nutrients when they eat gluten-containing foods.

However, since this style of diet is not necessary for most, you can avoid having to restrict yourself from healthy foods such as oatmeal, breads, and common grain side dishes.

Luckily, unless you have celiac disease, there’s really no reason to go on this diet. If you do have celiac or gluten sensitivity, you’ll likely know it from a lack of vitamin absorption, nausea after gluten meals, and indigestion.

Gluten.org advises:

“many gluten-free processed foods are lower in fiber, vitamins, and minerals”

 Therefore, it’s highly advised to not eat gluten free breads, cookies, crackers, and other alternatives. They suggest you introduce more healthy vegetables and fruits. However, depending on the website, there are different opinions of what you should eat instead of gluten foods. Some groups will offer direct substitutes that taste like foods that have gluten, while others will provide basic guidelines on what to eat.

Pros

  •  It’s true that certain people may be sensitive to gluten foods. Those who have an issue with gluten would be significant health benefits such as better vitamin and mineral absorption, a lack of stomach issues, and better energy levels after meals.
  • Some restaurants and pre-packaged foods list whether or not they contain gluten.
  • There are specific gluten-free prepackaged foods available in most supermarkets. This even includes desserts and breads.
  • You can perform tests to figure out whether or not you’d be sensitive to gluten. This will confirm for a fact whether or not you should use this diet.
  • Many support groups are available online from people offering recipes, gluten substitute grain substitutes, and information on how to sustain the diet. 

Cons 

  • You have to read nutrition labels since many items contain hidden levels of gluten from salad dressings, sauces, seasonings, and other pre-packaged foods. It’s not yet a law for companies to list whether or not they contain gluten, unless it’s heavy on gluten.
  • Several foods have gluten such as beer, bread, candy, pasta, and other pre-packaged goods. There are also many healthy foods that contain gluten.
  • A Gluten-Free diet isn’t necessary for most people. It’s really only needed to those who make up just 1% of the population.
  • There’s no studies that show that not eating gluten foods are actually beneficial for weight loss. In fact, many low calorie and healthy foods contain gluten.
  • Eating out at restaurants can be difficult, as many people are unaware of what foods actually contain gluten. It’s often also added to many common seasonings, which don’t have to list whether or not they contain gluten.

 Better Alternatives to the Diet

 This diet plan isn’t necessary for those who don’t already have gluten sensitivity. If you’re looking to lose weight by liming gluten, it’s really not the best approach to take.

According to the dietician Jessica Fishman Levinson, those who think they have sensitivity are often wrong. When it comes to side effects with gluten:

“it could even be a placebo effect, which some studies have actually showed”

 She also adds that:

“I do not believe there is a benefit to eating gluten-free”

 “many people think gluten-free food is healthier… but that is not always the case”

 People also often think eating gluten will increase weight. The issue is that this isn’t necessarily true. Foods with gluten are actually healthy and filling such as oatmeal. Therefore, liming gluten isn’t necessary and has no direct influence on weight loss.

Those with celiac disease will gain weight if they eat thee types of foods, but since only 1% of the population has this issue, most don’t able to avoid gluten.

Gluten.org, a website which provides quality information to those looking for a gluten free diet also mentions that:

“sometimes promoted as a way to los weight… These claims are unfounded”

 “presence of absence of gluten alone is not related to diet quality”

 The reality is that you don’t have to use this diet unless you’re in the rare minority who can’t process this.  Much better diet options are available that won’t restrict you from eating certain foods.

Conclusion

 For those that can’t eat gluten, this diet is necessary. Though the people who do have issues with gluten will likely know how bad this is for them, as side effects are common.

The only way to truly know if you have an issue is to take a blood test followed by an endoscopy. This will show you whether or not your cells are damaged from the intake of gluten.

Gluten.org summarizes the gluten-free diet as really being an issue only for those in the minority:

“It’s estimated that in the US. 1 in 133 people have celiac disease”

 This is such a small percentage that most people don’t have to worry about gluten. You’ll know how well your body responds after a meal with gluten. For those who are allergic, they’ll experience digestive issues, nausea, and feelings of fatigue.

For the average person there’s really no benefit to this diet. You likely won’t lose weight unless your diet is heavy on gluten and you tend to overeat. Though you might actually gain weight if you substitute with other unhealthy foods.

The Gluten-Free Diet is not essential, and it isn’t the very best diet choice for most people. There’s really no reason to want to avoid gluten unless you’re in the rare 1% of the population with an issue.

Please Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertising Disclosure

The content that appears on this page is from companies that receive compensation from this website. This may impact how, where, and in what order products appear. This table does not include all companies or available products, some of which may be used without being labeled as such, however every attempt will be made to maintain transparency. All editorial content is written without prejudice or bias, regardless of sponsor or affiliate associations.

All trademarks, registered trademarks and service-marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

Disclaimer: The information provided within this site is strictly for the purposes of information only and is not a replacement or substitute for professional advice, doctors visit or treatment. The provided content on this site should serve, at most, as a companion to a professional consult. It should under no circumstance replace the advice of your primary care provider. You should always consult your primary care physician prior to starting any new fitness, nutrition or weight loss regime. All trademarks, registered trademarks and service-marks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.