The gluten-free diet emerged and spread all over the planet after, one by one, movie stars and top singers went for such a diet which, supposedly helped them lose extra weight, diminish fatigue, solved bloating, hair loss, and many other problems. No wonder the gluten-free diet spread so fast, since it has been promoted by top stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Victoria Beckham.
Is the gluten-free diet beneficial or not? Is the gluten-free diet a weight loss remedy? These are the question almost everyone ask when they first hear of the gluten-free diet. Let’s find out the answers!
It’s impossible not to have heard in recent years of the gluten-free diet. It became a topic of great interest among advocates of a healthy lifestyle after several celebrities have praised its benefits. In the UK, for example, a recent survey revealed that 32% of the population avoid wheat and other grains because some diets fashion warns the harmful effects of gluten. The surprising fact revealed by this survey, besides the percentage of gluten-free diet fans, is that most of these people don’t truly understand what’s the deal with the gluten. More specifically, 42% of the respondents were convinced that gluten is an artificial substance added into the food.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a cumulative term that describes some protein substances that are naturally found in wheat, rye, barley, and, in a lesser amount in oats.
It is an important nutritional component of said grain and is essential when it comes to converting grain into bread. This is because gluten is the elasticity of kneaded dough, helping it grow alongside with the yeast. Therefore, grains that are containing gluten can be baked, while those which do not have gluten in their composition, can’t be baked.
What foods contain gluten?
Those suffering from celiac disease must be cautious including foods that are processed with equipment that is processed and wheat (it is possible to write on the label “may contain traces of wheat“).
Gluten is the common name for the proteins found in some cereals (barley, rye), and in all forms of wheat. Examples of products containing gluten: bread, cakes, biscuits, packaged meat and sausage, ice cream, pasta.
Oats do not naturally contain gluten, but often grown near fields of wheat and rye, and farmers who cultivate land can reverse these grains, such as oats can be ‘contaminated’ with gluten.
Is the gluten-free diet a weight loss remedy?
Some people are suffering from gluten intolerance, or are suffering from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by a severe physical reaction upon the consumption of the products containing gluten.
And while people who have this disease have no choice but to stay away from gluten, there are people who choose voluntarily to avoid products that contain this nutrient because they are trying to lose weight. But, according to experts, even though such a diet can work, it’s not at all the most appropriate method to lose weight.
According to a scientific report signed by the researchers from Warwick University in the UK, there is not any strong evidence that proves the effectiveness of the gluten-free diet in terms of weight loss or health enhancing.
‘The scientific evidence behind this popular diet are surprisingly few and weak. Most likely, this diet will rather soften your wallet than providing long-term benefits for health, as it is encouraging the transition from ordinary cheap foods to products specially designed for those who really need to avoid gluten’, explains Dr. Lillywhite, a researcher at the Warwick University.
So, the answer given by the specialists is disappointing all those people who are hoping that the gluten-free diet is the path to the silhouette they are dreaming of having.
Conclusions similar to those of the British researchers were drawn by Dr. Shelnutt, the leader of a study conducted on this subject at the University of Florida, and published by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.
Dr. Shelnutt explained that there are many who want to lose weight and read on the Internet that a gluten-free diet is ideal for this purpose but these people are not aware of the risk of depriving their bodies of some components that are essential for humans, such as, for example, fibers. In addition, Dr. Shelnutt stated that many gluten-free products are highly processed and may contain greater amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and food additives than bread and other wheat products.
A gluten-free diet is indicated in particular cases, only.
The gluten-free diet is not only recommended but required in the treatment of celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestine. This is a terrible disease that causes poor absorption of nutrients, especially iron, calcium, and folic acid. An estimated 2% of the population has this health problem. Celiac disease can not yet be cured, but only kept under control by excluding foods containing gluten from the daily diet.
Is the gluten-free diet a weight loss remedy? No, it is not! If you’re not suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease, you shouldn’t cut off gluten from your diet. If losing some weight is what you want to achieve, you should consider a balanced weight loss diet, attending to the gym, and/or even using weight loss supplements.