Gluten Free Diet Weight Loss


Gluten Free Diet Weight Loss

Gluten is derived from a Latin word which means “glue” and it is a specific protein compound that is commonly found in foods processed from grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is composed of proteins glutenin and glaidin (from wheat), hordein (from barley, and secaline (from rye). It is often used as in a wide variety of foods as a binding agent, thickener, protein additive, flavor enhancer, and adds texture and elasticity to dough.


In itself, gluten has no nutritional value, but when used in other foods, it provides many health benefits. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that bring about a feeling of fullness, satiety, and curbed appetite. Aside from wheat, rye, and barley, gluten can also be found in several processed foods like cold cuts, sauces, and flavored rice mixes.


However, people who have a celiac disease (or gluten sensitivity) have a difficulty in digesting gluten and even a small amount of gluten can cause digestive problems like stomach pain, diarrhea, malnutrition, bloating, and permanent intestinal damage for these individuals. This sensitivity to gluten is caused by an overactive response of the immune system to gluten, attacking the “villi” (small structures that line the small intestine and help in absorbing nutrients). If left untreated, long term damage can lead to weight loss, exhaustion, malnutrition, and joint pain. There is no cure yet other than a gluten-free diet for these individuals with celiac disease.


Recently, a large number of individuals have been adopting gluten-free diet as a weight loss tool. No matter if you are planning to abstain from gluten because of medical reasons or to lose weight, staying on a gluten-free diet can effectively help you manage your weight and prevent many potential health problems like diabetes.


Gluten-free diet calls for a lot of carbohydrate and calorie restricted diet which can be hard to follow since most food products we usually consume contain wheat or other similar ingredients. Gluten-free weight loss diet is not about the absence of gluten in foods but more on the severe restriction on what food you can eat. It can be quite frustrating at first, but with patience, you will find that there certain foods you are already eating that are gluten-free. You will also discover that there are a lot of substitutes for gluten-containing foods which you can enjoy.


The following are some tips that may help you lose weight effectively while on a gluten-free diet:


  • Steer clear of processed gluten-free foods.
  • Keep an eye on your total calories and make sure you are still getting your recommended daily allowance. A decreased in appetite leads to lesser calories consumed.
  • Combine a low carbohydrate, grain-free, or Paleo diet with gluten-free for a successful weight loss.
  • Be sure that you have absolutely eliminated all the wheat and gluten in your diet to stop the insulin response if you really want to shed off those extra pounds.
  • Engage in regular exercises or other healthy physical activities to help you build more muscle since more muscles means more calories burned, helping you in losing more fat.



How Gluten Free Diet Works:


Gluten-free diet is not a total avoidance of carbohydrates. You can still get the carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables so as to supply your body the necessary amounts of glycogen it needs. It may be difficult at first because of a major change and strict restrictions in your diet, but in time you will get used to it. Keep in mind though that you should consult a dietician before going on a gluten-free diet to get advices and answers regarding staying healthy while avoiding gluten in your diet.



Foods That Are Allowed In a Gluten Free Diet for Weight Loss:


  • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
  • Cereal products made from corn, lentil flour, rice bran, amaranth, psyllium, and polenta
  • Condiments like tomato paste, jam, honey, cocoa, vinegar, honey, tahini, and some salad dressings and sauces
  • Dairy products like cheese
  • Drinks like coffee, tea, mineral water, and spirits
  • Eggs
  • Foods that they do not have thickening ingredients and additives that have gluten
  • Frozen or canned meat products that do not have any sauce
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Gluten-free pasta, bean or rice vermicelli, buckwheat noodles, and rice noodles
  • Rice crackers and crispies, corn tortillas, taco shells made from corn
  • Snacks like plain corn chips, plain chocolate, and popcorn
  • Starches and flours made from rice, soybeans, tapioca, corn, and buckwheat
  • Unprocessed meats, fish and poultry


Grains and starches that are allowed in a gluten-free diet:


  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff



Foods That Are Not Allowed In a Gluten Free Diet for Weight Loss:


Many of the wheat flour-based foods should be avoided on a gluten-free diet because they can lead to insulin sensitivity, blood sugar spikes, and weight gain. Most of the gluten-free manufactured products are similarly refined as wheat-based products.


Wheat products to avoid:


  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt


Drinks to avoid:


  • Barley
  • Beer
  • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • Wheat


Other foods to avoid:


  • Breads
  • Cakes and pies
  • Candies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mixes
  • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases
  • Vegetables in sauce




Advantages of Gluten Free Diet:


1. Medical Benefits:


Gluten-free diet has been proven to treat certain health problems like:


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Anemia
  • Ataxia and late-onset Friedreich ataxia
  • Autism or Down Syndrome
  • Brain fog
  • Celiac diseases
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis – a chronic skin disease characterized by fluid-filled blisters which have been triggered by high gluten ingestion
  • Gluten intolerance or allergy
  • High blood sugar level
  • Lupus
  • Migraine in individuals with celiac disease
  • Mood disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromyelitis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Provides a natural detoxification for the body
  • Raynaud’s phenomenon
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Seizures
  • Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes


B. Weight Loss Benefits



Disadvantages of Gluten Free Diet:


Eating gluten-free foods for longer periods can cause certain deficiencies in the body since you are not consuming healthy and natural foods that are rich in nutrients your body needs. Several of these gluten-free foods are not fortified and lack many nutrients. Gluten-free foods can result in low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients like:


  • Calcium
  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin



How Safe Is Gluten-Free Diet?


When gluten-free foods come into contact with foods containing gluten, which usually happens during the manufacturing process where the same equipment is used, cross-contamination might happen. Always read the ingredients indicated on the label and check out the manufacturer if you are not sure if the food you are buying contains gluten or not. Cross-contamination can also happen at home when preparation of foods is done on the same surfaces or when utensils used for gluten-containing foods are not carefully cleaned.


Take precautions when you are buying “wheat-free” labeled foods because it does not automatically indicate that these foods are gluten-free. Be aware of different medications and food additives too because they might contain hidden gluten. Products that have “modified food starch” in their labels should be avoided too because they can also contain gluten.


Individuals with celiac disease must also be careful of unhealthy substitutes for gluten. For those people who are going on a gluten-free diet for weight loss, it is highly recommended that they check with their doctor first to get the proper diagnosis to be sure it is safe for them to go on a gluten-free diet.



Side Effects of Gluten Free Diet:


Gluten-free diet might lack the necessary nutrients needed buy the body and might be harmful to your health.





Although gluten-free diet for weight loss may not be for everyone, it can significantly enhance the lives of individuals suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, people find it hard to follow a gluten-free diet because they find it too restrictive especially when it comes to breads and several baked foods. However, getting all the necessary information, knowledge, and support can help you incorporate gluten-free diet into your lifestyle without any hassle at all. There are gluten-free foods available for you to choose from which you can use as substitutes for gluten-containing products.


Whether you are medically required to go on a gluten-free diet because you have gluten intolerance or you want to lose weight, it is very important to make sure that you are getting adequate nutrients from your diet. Also, don’t just buy a product just because it has a gluten-free on its label. It is highly recommended that you see a doctor first to get the proper diagnosis before going on a gluten-free diet.