Thinking of going Gluten Free to lose weight – think again

November 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Cutting out gluten seems to be popular dietary ‘choice’ these days; it’s essential if you are diagnosed with Celiac disease or have non-Celiac gluten sensitivity but many people are cutting it out of their diets as a means to lose weight. Before you do, there are some things you should know first:

1. You don’t need to eliminate gluten (or any one food component) to lose weight. To produce weight loss, you must create a calorie deficit either by consuming less calories, or expending more. Period.

2. Switching from a gluten-containing carbohydrate to an equal calorie gluten-free carbohydrate is not going to produce weight loss. Case in point, a 400 calorie gluten-free banana muffin is no different than its gluten-containing counterpart. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie!

3. Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. In fact gluten-containing whole grains like wheat, rye, and barley supply key nutrients such as fibre and B-vitamins that are good for your health. Many gluten-free products are made from refined rice, potato, corn, and tapioca flour which are devoid of the fibre we need to control our blood sugars and feel satisfied. Science supports that fibre in whole grains is an essential component of weight loss for this very reason. So when choosing any grain (gluten-free or not) make sure you choose a whole grain with at least 4 grams of fibre per serving (check the label). Some fantastic gluten-free whole grains include: Quinoa, teff, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, and millet.