This article debunks the five major myths that seem to persist when it comes to the gluten-free diet.
Gluten-Free Is a Weight Loss Diet
False. Removing gluten from your diet is not a weight loss diet.
Do some people lose weight? Yes. Why?
Many people have reported losing weight when they adopted a gluten-free diet. Losing ten to twenty pounds makes a big difference in how a person looks. People see this and ask, “What did you do?” The person replies, “I went gluten-free.” Other people hear, and since EVERYONE is “trying” to lose weight, the gluten-free diet becomes a weight loss diet…especially once reporters start spreading the word.
The gluten-free diet is not a weight loss diet, but weight loss can be a side effect. It was for me.
How does this weight loss work?
- Reducing Inflammation
- Proper Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients
Removing gluten, the trigger that is causing the immune system to react, decreases inflammation. When you reduce inflammation, you reduce water retention. A person can have fifty pounds of inflammation or more. In the eyes of the public, all extra weight is fat. Watching someone effortlessly lose weight in a few weeks seems like a miracle. It is simple biology.
As the intestines heal, the body properly digests and absorbs nutrients. When you absorb nutrients properly, you have less undigested nutrients dumping into the colon where bacteria ferment it to produce short chain fatty acids.
When your body is digesting and absorbing properly, you aren’t starving all the time. All people aren’t the same. Intestinal damage doesn’t affect everyone the same. If your body does not digest and absorb a certain nutrient, you will crave it. You will eat more until your body says you have enough. Once you stop starving, your appetite diminishes.
The Gluten-Free Diet Is Unhealthy Unless You Have Celiac Disease
False. There are no nutrients in gluten grains that you cannot find in other foods. In fact, gluten grains are nutrient poor. The government pumps them with synthetic vitamins and iron
If you eat a nutrient poor diet, then you will be malnourished. Eat nutrient dense, healthy foods.
The problem arises when people do not know what is and what is not gluten-free. They rely on food labels, on mostly processed foods, when there are plenty of naturally gluten-free foods to eat. Most of these are found on the periphery of the grocery store. These foods, vegetables and meats and fruits, et cetera also happen to be nutrient dense, unprocessed and therefore better for you.
It Is Hard to Maintain a Gluten-free Diet
Being gluten-free is relatively easy. You can’t eat wheat, rye, barley, oats. The hard part is learning all the places that hide those gluten ingredients in your foods. Once you learn, you are good to go.
Check out this list of safe and unsafe foods, broken down by food type.
Gluten-Free Is a Fad
If the gluten-free diet is called a fad, it is only because the media said it was a fad. Gluten-free is a dietary treatment for anyone with gluten sensitivity, gluten allergy or celiac disease.
The idea that people would want to follow a restrictive diet to be trendy is ridiculous. If people follow the diet because they heard from their friends and family that it led to better health and they feel better, then good for them. The chances of receiving a proper gluten sensitivity or celiac disease diagnosis are poor. Doctors don’t look for it. Many still don’t believe in it or understand gluten disorders. They don’t know what to look for or what the test results mean.
The gluten-free diet is not a fad for the millions of people, medically diagnosed or self-diagnosed, who know it makes them sick. As more people realize how it made them sick, the numbers of people following a gluten-free diet will continue to grow.
Gluten-Free Is Expensive
Gluten free is simply removing wheat, barley, rye and oats from the diet. EVERYTHING else is fair game: meats, cheeses, corn, rice, legumes, beans, vegetables, fruits, nuts and so forth.
Are PROCESSED gluten-free foods more expensive than gluten-full foods? Yes. Most of the time they are all natural or organic and produced in small batches by small companies who do not buy their ingredients by the train load like the gluten-full food conglomerates.
If you eat all processed gluten-free foods, then you will pay a premium. If you don’t, then you won’t. We shouldn’t be eating all processed foods anyway. Can’t cook? Learn. Your food will taste better. You will be healthier, feel better and be happier.
Those are the top 5 gluten-free diet myths. Do not be surprised if you see them headlining news stories. Staying informed is the best way to debunk them.
For more information about the gluten, how it affects your health and how to fix your symptoms, visit our Gluten Free Works Health Guide.