With increasing regularity folks are asking if they should start the “new” gluten free diet to lose weight. They’re serious. Too often eating plans designed to combat specific diseases become money making marketing machines in the form of weight loss fad diet products, usually with poor long term results.
Many people now see the gluten free labels in the health food section of the grocery store, the thin people reaching for them, and well, you see the fore drawn conclusion. What they don’t realize is that the thin person may have celiac disease or other autoimmune disorder, and he or she actually weighs a healthy 20 pounds more since starting a gluten free diet, putting an end to malabsorption problems. Conversely, some people do lose weight eating gluten free, not because they are using the lifestyle as a specific weight loss program, but because addressing their underlying disease resulted in improved body composition.
In the later case, weight loss may be a side benefit of removing the offending food, thus allowing the body time to heal and absorb nutrients normally. However, a gluten free lifestyle is not intended to be the next fad weight loss program. Consider two other dieting trends over the past two decades: (more…)