Gluten-free for Weight Loss … ?
First off, what is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat (all types, including einkorn, emmer, spelt and kamut), barley, rye, triticale and some oats. Agluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
A gluten-free diet has many healthy food options, such as beans, peas, nuts, seeds, fresh eggs, fresh lean sources of protein, fruits and vegetables and most dairy products. Many starches can be part of a gluten-free diet such as quinoa, flax, rice, buckwheat, millet, tapioca, corn and cornmeal, amaranth, sorghum, arrowroot, teff and soy.
Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Some of the products to avoid include bulgur, durum flour, farina,graham flour, kamut, semolina and spelt. If you are an uncertain on a specific product, check to see if it is labeled gluten-free.
When following a gluten-free diet it is important to get enough B-vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate), iron and fiber. Aim to choose whole grain, gluten-free products. Look for products containing whole grain corn, whole grain rice, millet, teff orsorghum. Look for enriched, gluten-free products instead of refined, unenriched products whenever possible. Consuming foods made with alternative plant foods, such as quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat will help to enrich your diet with fiber, iron and some B-vitamins. Don’t forget to fill your plate up with lots of color from your fruits and vegetables. All of these options allow you to add more variety, pus enrich your diet with the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
As you review the foods that are recommended, you can see how following a gluten-free diet could result in weight loss. The consumption of processed foods is decreased and fiber is increased. Increasing the consumption of whole foods and limiting processed foods is not a new concept. This is what is recommended across the board. Unfortunately, there is not enough research specifically stating that following a gluten-free diet is proven to promote weight loss.
Following a particular diet that other people are following is not going to lead to the results you are looking for. You may need different nutrition recommendations based on a current health diagnosis, your height, weight, age and level of physical activity. You also want to think about your current eating pattern and how you could further modify it based on your goals.
One diet does not fit all. Plus, you don’t want to go on a diet. Sometimes when you tell yourself you are on a ‘diet’, this places your mind in a restrictive state. This can lead to overeating and bingeing on foods that you think you are not allowed to have. Everything in moderation is the key to success!
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This post originally appeared on our January/February 2014 Magazine