Do Gluten-Free Diets Take Off Pounds?
IstockphotoFrom Health magazine
Some experts believe that shunning foods with gluten—a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley—helps with weight loss. And celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah have reportedly gone on gluten-free detox diets for just that reason.
But does going gluten-free really work? We asked Dee Sandquist, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Her take:
You might lose a few pounds by cutting out high-gluten baked goods that contain lots of fat …
- But any weight loss is probably because youre reducing your overall calorie-and-fat intake—not because you‘re cutting out gluten. What‘s more, theres currently no science that indicates youll lose weight by replacing a gluten-filled food with a nongluten food that has the same number of calories.
You may eat more filling whole grains that dont have gluten, such as corn, rice, amaranth, and buckwheat …
- But some of those non-gluten whole grains actually have less fiber than their gluten-containing counterparts.
Some people feel more energetic on a gluten-free diet …
- But it may simply be because theyre cutting back on their total food intake.
The bottom line: Going on a gluten-free diet for a few days may do no harm and may even give your diet a jump-start if it helps you limit calories. But its not a long-term weight-loss strategy, Sandquist says. And, in spite of rosy forecasts for the gluten-free-product industry, crafting a whole meal plan around the limited number of products available would be a challenge, she says.