Going gluten free to lose weight has become a popular fad diet recently, but is it really working? Yeah, maybe Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, and Kim Kardashian have all gone gluten free, but if they were all diving off a cliff, does that mean you should dive off a cliff?
Chances are we all know someone who’s jumped on the gluten free bandwagon. As a student studying dietetics, I can’t help but roll my eyes at these crazy people.
Well I’m here to tell you the truth about going gluten free, and why that should NOT be your go-to diet.
Here’s three good reasons you shouldn’t even think about going on a gluten free diet.
Whole Grains are Good for You
It’s true. Whole grains are a must for anyone who’s trying to lose weight (just keep it in moderate amounts). The Huffington Post states they are an excellent source of fiber; with about 2 grams of fiber per slice, they help aid normal digestion in the stomach and keep things moving.
Even better, they keep you fuller for longer. This means if you feel starved, like I would, an hour after having that plate of zoodle (zucchini noodle) spaghetti topped with gluten free pasta sauce with a gluten free breadstick, you probably wouldn’t feel this way if you just switched those foods to whole wheat grains.
You Probably Digest Gluten Perfectly Fine
In reality, only 1% of the population actually has an allergy to gluten. That’s a fraction of those who are currently on a gluten free diet. If we’re being real, whole grains actually help the aid of digestion. In fact, whole grains are filled with bacteria that promote better digestion of nutrients in the large intestine. I know… Mind. Blown.
Going Gluten Free Will Not Actually Promote Weight Loss
In an article from the Cleveland Clinic, it states that a gluten free diet does not mean weight loss. Just because you’re cutting out gluten from your diet, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being healthier. Have you ever walked down the gluten free aisle in a supermarket? Item after item is just another processed food that uses alternative flour: Nut Thins, tortilla chips, gluten free cookies, cakes, etc. Does this sound like a healthy diet to you? Ehhh, probably not.
Gluten Free Food Has More Fat, Sugar and Calories
Nowadays, gluten free foods taste just as good as foods that contain gluten. In order to make these gluten free foods taste like normal, processing manufacturers add a lot more fat, carbs, and calories.
Here are the facts: in 1 serving of Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, there are 110 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugars. Meanwhile, 1 serving of Betty Crocker’s Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix has are 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 13 grams of sugar. If you’re really trying to lose weight, I would say there’s no question which mix you would choose.
So, let’s see, is gluten the enemy? Bad gluten found in white and heavily processed flours? Yes. But gluten found in whole grains? Definitely not. If you’re really trying to lose weight, keeping gluten out of your diet is not the way to do it. Instead, eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins and all your dreams will come true.
BAM. Mic drop.