DO YOU NEED TO GO GLUTEN-FREE? Gluten has become a food fad with very few people who truely understand gluten sensitivity and the need to eliminate ot from our diets.With the latest trend of going Gluten-free and the manufacturers harvesting on the new buzz word “GLUTEN” there are lots of thoughts and notions around this concept of late. The supermarket aisles are flooded with gluten free products in the health aisles.
Let’s take a look at Gluten facts and if it is actually worth shelling a bomb for the new diet trend for weight loss.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat rye and barley. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. The word Gluten itself is derived from the latin which means glue like.
Gluten can be found in your everyday diet in an array of foods containing wheat, rye and barley.
List of food that contains Gluten:
|Breads, baked goods, Soups, Pasta, Cereals, Sauces, Salad Dressings||Malt, food coloring, Soups, Beer||Rye bread, Rye beer, Cereals|
WHY GO GLUTEN FREE?
Going Gluten free is a necessity more than a diet choice for people suffering from a genetic autoimmune condition called CELIAC DISEASE, in which the ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the villi in the small intestine. The villi or finger like projections in the small intestines help in absorption of nutrients are damaged leading to malnutrition. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.
There are people who suffer from non celiac gluten sensitivity where gluten leads to bloating, headaches or any such discomforts hence they also need to be on a gluten free regime.
There is a third section of people who consider Gluten free a more healthier choice. Gluten free is healthy merely because it eliminates a calorie dense food group which happens to be rich in gluten. Going on an extreme low carbohydrate diet by eliminating wheat or eating processed food can lead to malnutrition if not compensated with other non gluten sources of carbohydrate. Gluten-free diets are low in fibre, iron, B vitamins, may be usually high in sugar and fat.
For an average person with no such known allergies gluten free is definitely not a wise and healthy choice to make if not compensated well with other sources of the lost nutrients.
GLUTEN FREE for weight loss?
Gluten or Gluten Free, a low calorie diet will create weight loss. One needs to ensure there are enough (gluten free) good carbohydrates in their diets if you aim to go Gluten free.
Gluten free has also picked up momentum because of celebrities endorsing it for its weight loss properties. Eliminating a carbohydrate dense food group such as breads, chapati etc leads to a calorie deficit in one’s diet, leading to weight loss and not because they have cut out gluten.
Aim towards a healthier lifestyle which includes eating whole foods, eating seasonal produce, eating clean organic food, regular exercise and choose your food wisely. If you incorporate small lifestyle changes you will never have to go for a crash diet plan.
Gluten Free Alternates to Weight Loss:
If you don’t suffer from any known gluten allergies and you are adapting gluten free merely for weight loss then the other options that you might want to consider are:
- Controlling your portion sizes. An ideal meal plate is half filled with greens or salads, one-third lean protein, and one third good carbohydrate.
- Eating good carbs that add to fibre, roughage, bulk to your diet.
- Concentrating on fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Eliminating processed food.
- Concentrate on lean sources of protein.
- Include nuts and seeds in your diet.
- Incorporate Grains and legumes.
- Plenty of unsweetened fluids.
- Regular exercise.
- No binge eating or crash diets.
This will ensure you’re eating from all the food groups and getting a wide range of nutrients and right exercise which all together will help you strike the right weight balance that will stay with you for life.
Going gluten free
If you need to go gluten-free, consult your doctor or a nutritionist to determine the best diet plan for your specification. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables and more naturally gluten-free grains, like brown rice, millets or quinoa.
Weight loss comes from a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. There are no shortcuts. Choose wise and live smart!