Weight Loss Resolution? Going Gluten-Free Won’t Help

gluten-free strawberry shortcakeA poll of registered dietitians found gluten free diets are predicted to be the “most popular approach to weight loss” in 2013 – proving just how gaga Americans go for food fads. Gluten-free eating may be a good idea for some, but in general there’s no reason to think going gluten-free will lead to weight loss.

“Consumers believe that gluten-free will help them lose weight, but the research does not support this claims,” NYC-based RD Jenna A. Bell told FoodNavigator-USA.

“Dietitians recognized this as a fad and a trend for 2013 among consumers, but it’s not a recommended strategy for weight reduction.”

Unless you have celiac disease or a clinically diagnosed gluten intolerance, there’s no reason to think gluten-free will be best for weight loss or overall health. Since many gluten-free foods are calorie dense, people on gluten-free diets often gain weight, says Center for Celiac Research dietitian Pamela Cureton.

Gluten-free diets are also lower in certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, zinc, iron and folate.

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    • Alexandra

      I’m on a gluten-free-like diet since I react badly to carby food like bread or pasta. I don’t reach for gluten-free bread or chips though, I just eat things like quinoa, squash and rice occasionally. I do stay skinny as a side effect though, since I’m not eating many calorie-dense foods.

      • http://twitter.com/enbrown Elizabeth

        That’s a great way to go about it! Unfortunately too many people think “gluten-free” on any old label makes it magically a diet food (and I’m not knocking those people, but the marketers et al who’ve consciously pushed this idea).

    • Mila

      In 2010 I went gluten free (and dairy/soy/chocolate free) on top of being a vegetarian due to gynecological condition called endometriosis. For me it is VERY hard to lose weight, plus I was living abroad and leading a life of constant dinner parties/lunch dates…and I lost weight easily…I plan on doing it again, as it is easy and for me rewarding. So even if there is no scientific data to back this up – (for me) IT WORKS!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Juston-Levi-Wendt/588076067 Juston Levi Wendt

      Eating gluten free can result in weight loss, but not for the reasons most people would think. It is the change of diet to fresh foods that helps the most with the weight loss. When you remove the processed foods, generally packed with gluten, from your diet and move to fresh foods; you reduce the amount of sodium, fats and sugars you intake. Lowering these three items in your diet results in weight loss for most people. So the Gluten free “diet” may cause weight loss, but is certainly not intended for that purpose.

    • nutrition1st

      This information couldn’t be farther from the truth. If someone has cut out gluten and dairy and still isn’t losing weight, then they are eating wrong. We have no one in our family that is Celiac and we cut gluten almost a year ago. We didn’t do it to try and lose weight, we did it because gluten is acidic to our bodies and acts as a toxin. As a result, we are healthier overall and so are our children. My husband and I are both down nearly 60 lbs each and we’ve kept it off because we don’t consume gluten, dairy, processed foods, gmos, etc. We only eat REAL FOOD or food that has very few ingredients. We don’t feel like we are missing out on anything at all. If we want bread, we make bread with gluten free ingredients like teff flour-pancakes from quinoa and buckwheat flours. My kids still have cupcakes that we make using bean flours mixed with pseudograins like quinoa. We make flax crackers in place of wheat based crackers.

      Changing your health is what’s most important. Once you stop believing the hype and use the internet for research based purposes, then you can take charge of your health, your life. Only then will you be amazed at what the human body is capable of–self healing.

    • http://twitter.com/GlutenDude Gluten Dude

      It ALL depends on what you are replacing the gluten-filled foods with. If you eat gluten-free chocolate cookies and expect to lose weight…well then you’re a bonehead. Unhealthy food is unhealthy food. Go natura/paleo/whole/whatever and exercise and guess what…you’ll lose weight and feel great.