Who doesn’t want to lose weight without dieting? Is going gluten-free the answer to lasting weight control that will finally free you from tedious dieting?
What is gluten and why would it help your weight management?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Wheat, barley and rye are common ingredients in cakes, cookies, pies, muffins. bagels and crackers. If you stopped eating all of those foods to stop eating gluten, it could represent a large reduction in calories.
Reducing calories would reduce your weight. It’s not the gluten-free foods you’re eating that make you lose weight, it’s reducing your calories by cutting out a food group and not replacing it with something else.
If you eat the gluten-free versions or replace those foods with other foods such as fatty meats, or foods processed with added sugars and fats you most likely will increase your calories substantially. Many of the gluten-free versions are considerably higher in calories than their standard glutenous counterparts. Now your gluten-free eating is going to make you heavier than when you started.
Scientists are trying to learn if gluten affects hunger and satiety hormones.
Research showed that it does make a difference for children with celiac disease, but the results don’t translate to people without the disease.
There are about 3 million celiacs in the U.S. who must avoid gluten because it causes extreme gastrointestinal symptoms and even for them, it’s not a reliable form of weight management. There’s no reliable evidence to say avoiding gluten will do anything for your waistline.
The confusion about gluten, what it does or doesn’t do is good, however, for a burgeoning gluten-free food industry.
Clever marketers are taking advantage of the gluten-free fad and they’re making money because too many people don’t know what foods normally don’t contain gluten.
Foods marked gluten-free sell! People are confused about what foods contain gluten and why avoiding it could be a useful way to lose weight but it’s not!
Food-labeling guidelines released by the FDA allow even foods that never had gluten, such as vegetables, fruits, eggs and bottled water, to be labeled as gluten-free. The gluten-clueless buy the gluten-free labeled products rather than the same foods without the label.
In a grocery store full of competitive products made by different manufacturers, pricing may be higher and sales brisker for the package reading, “gluten-free, no trans fats, no high-fructose corn syrup!” in green (we associate green font with health!) writing on the front than a similar product without all the latest marketing hype words.