Is Gluten Free Right for You? : the not so subtle side effects

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The Gluten Free industry has exploded in the marketplace. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about all the healthy benefits. I listened, watched, and analyzed. At one point, I found this cute bakery that was healthy/gluten free. They had everything you needed to eat gluten free. So I tried the GF lifestyle for a week or so. I couldn’t stay on it long, even though the food was delicious. There was a negative side effect that I had never heard of, and it was weight gain.

I thought maybe certain people can’t handle GF, just like certain people can’t handle gluten. However, I started seeing a connection with others as well. People I had known for years would switch to GF, and the weight gain was almost instant. So, I started thinking, what exactly is gluten free?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat/kamut/spelt etc. GF uses things like corn and rice to make food instead. Corn and rice have gluten, but they wont affect a person with celiacs disease. In other words, gluten free diets are solid rice and corn. Rice and corn have hardly any fiber, unlike (healthy) wheat/kamut/spelt. So, anything you eat, stays and turns to fat.

Researching further I found a bunch of fad diets, but some surprising statistics.

“a study found that 81% of people suffering from celiac disease (gluten intolerance) who followed a gluten-free diet gained weight”

“A study in 2010 examining the benefits of a gluten-free diet found 22 of the 81 obese participants diagnosed with Celiac disease gained weight over the course of 2.8 years”

There are more, but the point is gluten free foods can have over double the calories of regular foods. They have more added fats and sugars, to improve the taste. They have small amounts of protein, so they are less filling. Along with low fiber, so they don’t digest.

Something I didn’t expect to find was that going gluten free, if you don’t have celiacs disease, can actually harm your health.

“There are indications that gluten may contribute to blood pressure control and immune function, and may create a healthy composition of colon bacteria”

GM (Genetically Modified) and highly processed grains aren’t healthy for anyone. However, this can cause people to think their gluten intolerant, when they’re just intolerant to unhealthy grains. I’m pretty selective when it comes to grains because the crappy kind does bother me. ‘Healthy breads’ in ‘healthy stores’, are not necessarily quality breads. Try sticking to small local bread companies, that aren’t too many calories, are high in fiber, and are whole grain. Having a small amount of grains each day can help your digestion, too much, or the wrong kind, will just mess you up again.

The ultimate test to see if a food is good for you, is yourself. When your body is healthy, anytime you eat something unhealthy, you can instantly feel it. It’s more important to listen to this, than a wrapper that says natural, organic, or anything else.

So, be careful about diving into a gluten free diet. Reduced meals are important when eating gluten free. You should be eating about half as much as a regular diet, which should add up to the same amount of calories. Plus you need to eat other foods that have more fiber (examples: organic locally grown fruits and veggies, flax or chia seeds etc.). I’ll still have GF foods, just sparingly. Gluten free might be the diet you need, but you should be aware of the not so advertised side effects. Adapting your diet accordingly, can help you successfully achieve your health food goals.

Good luck out there

(gaining weight on GF stats)
http://www.sharecare.com/question/why-gaining-gluten-free-diet
http://cw.ua.edu/2012/09/25/gluten-free-diet-beneficial-for-possible-weight-loss-long-term-health/

(positive effects of gluten)
http://westernfarmpress.com/management/gluten-free-fad-not-backed-science

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This entry was posted in advice, best years, celiac disease, food, gluten free, health, Uncategorized, weight, weight loss, your life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Is Gluten Free Right for You? : the not so subtle side effects

  1. grassprints says:

    Great commentary on GF. I commend you for staying impartial, and sharing citations for both the pros and cons of living GF. Kudos.

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