Gluten is a protein found in specific grains such as wheat, barley and rye. A gluten free diet is only recommended for people experiencing allergic reactions to these grains, or if they’re diagnosed with celiac disease. This disease causes gluten intolerance that prohibits the consumption of any product containing these grains. They will cause intestinal damage such as inflammation to the intestines, malnutrition and nutrient deficiency. Many people turn to a gluten free diet because it restricts the consumption of certain products such as breads, sweets, cakes, rice, pastas, crackers, beer, etc. As a result, there is a high demand in the market for more ‘gluten free’ products because of diet fad advertisements, or celebrities praising the diet for their weight loss. All this hype is giving the illusion that these products do actually work for weight loss by having less calories, fat and sugar.
Because there is an actual need for gluten free products, there’s a vast variety of things to choose from that range from chips and cookies, to breads and pastas. These foods, which are not necessarily healthy, exist mostly to satisfy people with gluten allergies and celiac patient’s needs. These products usually have more calorie and fat content, which will make you gain weight instead of losing it. There’s a term called “free foods” used for foods or drinks with less than 20 calories and 5g of carbs per serving. These include all sorts of non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cucumber and carrots, which can be enjoyed many times a day. Products that are labeled gluten-free are not considered free foods, therefore no one can expect to lose weight and be healthy just because all they eat is gluten-free products. These products must be limited to fewer amounts just like all other foods, because these are not a complete protein. They won’t properly satisfy your hunger, so you’ll end up eating more. Sticking to a diet packed with essentials like fruits, vegetables, low fat milk, low fat meat products, and gluten products with high dietary fiber content, are important for us. Eating more of what we actually need, will help us lose weight and have a healthier lifestyle.