Gluten Free Myth: The gluten free diet is healthier and is a good diet for weight loss.
Truth: The gluten free diet is not necessarily healthier than the average diet and might not help you lose weight!
There is no doubt that the gluten free diet has grown a lot over the past 5 years, both in terms of available products and people who are on the diet. With that has come a lot of misconceptions over the purpose of the gluten free diet with a lot of people touting it’s use as a weight loss plan.
There have been a lot of celebrities who have come out saying they are on a gluten free diet to aid in weight loss, healthy weight management and because it makes them feel better. This is not something that only celebrities are doing and many people seem to think that eating gluten free is generally healthier for you.
A new study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which indicates that there is no benefit for the average healthy adult to follow the gluten-free diet. It also debunks the perception that going gluten-free is an effective way to lose weight.
“While the gluten-free diet is an important medical treatment for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, far too many Americans are following the diet for reasons that simply do not make sense” – Dr. Gaesser
The research which was led by Arizona State University professor and researcher, Glenn Gaesser, PhD addresses the myth that the gluten free diet is healthier and aids in weight loss, which adds to the perpetuation of the gluten free diet as a fad, which can be dangerous.
This study obviously excluded those who medically benefit from a gluten free diet due to celiac disease, gluten allergy and/or gluten sensitivity, but found that, “there is no evidence that the gluten-free diet provides benefits to the general population”. It also suggests that the gluten free diet is not beneficial to weight loss since many gluten-free modified foods (meaning, not naturally gluten free) are just as unhealthy for you as regular gluten-containing foods (like cookies, breads etc).
Many people who go on a gluten free diet for celiac disease actually gain weight on the diet because their intestines are beginning to heal and poor absorption becomes less of an issue.
A recent Harris Survey was conduced with more than 2000 people who were asked about their reasons for being on a gluten free diet and it mimics the recent growth and “fad” claims,
Of those participants who followed the diet, half reported doing it to “feel better” and 26% as a “diet for losing weight.
While I certainly don’t think there is anything wrong with someone going on a gluten free diet because it helps them feel better, I do worry about the impact of gluten free diet as a weight loss claim can have, especially when people have the idea that the only reason people go gluten free is for weight loss. It can have a big safety concern when it comes to dining out and eating outside our home.
Eating naturally gluten free would be a great way to help in weight loss but that’s not because you’re eating gluten free. Naturally gluten free foods include fresh fruits, veggies and meats and you would tend to stay away from the heavy carbs, high processed foods and fast foods. Naturally gluten free foods are going to be lower in (bad) sugar, sodium and fats simply because you will be eating foods closer to nature.
:: What are your thoughts? Do you think the gluten-free for weight loss claims are true? ::
source: PR NewswireShare This Post: Tweet