Is a Gluten-Free Diet Healthier?

Hearing a lot about gluten-free diets these days? This is partly due to the fact that more people have become aware of gluten intolerance and are being tested for it. But a lot of websites, blogs, and weight loss articles are also touting gluten-free diets as the new way to lose weight. Could gluten-free be the key to weight loss for you? Read on.

What does that mean, exactly? Simply put, gluten is the stuff that makes dough sticky “ it is a protein usually found in cereals, breads, and other processed starches. Wheat, rye, barley and oats all have gluten. Being gluten intolerant, which is sometimes a symptom of celiac disease, is serious business “ it can cause bloating, constipation, and other icky symptoms there are no need to go into here. Celiac disease is a serious health condition and you should consult your doctor if you think you have it.

Why would you go on this type of diet? People on this diet often report having more energy.  This diet may help stabilize your blood sugar, which will keep you from craving snacks and sweets. Also, by shunning processed carbs and focusing more on lean proteins, you may lose weight, as protein will increase your metabolism and help you feel fuller longer than a lot of carbohydrates. If you follow this type of diet plan correctly, it can be very healthy (fruits, vegetables and fish are all good gluten-free choices). You’ll have to avoid beer, but wine is okay. 

How do you go gluten-free? Cut out wheat, rye, barley and oats. Try eating foods such as sweet potatoes and lentils instead, cutting down on processed foods (always a good idea) and eating more whole foods. Corn and rice are two more good ways to incorporate filling, starchy foods into your diet while following this plan. Also, due to the higher level of awareness of both celiac disease and gluten-intolerance, many foods are now labeled gluten-free, and some will clearly label when wheat is an ingredient.

But keep this in mind. You’ve read this before and here it is again “ you will not lose weight unless you are taking in fewer calories than you are burning off. All the gluten-free food in the world will not help you lose weight if you are overeating. (In other words, ten gluten-free brownies probably won’t help you lose weight.) That being said, however, following this type of diet may help you cut down on calories, eat healthier, and in the end lose weight.

Tags: Diet, gluten, gluten free, Health, intolerance, Protein, Weight Loss, Wellness, wheat

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