The Gluten Free Diet is a very popular approach to treating celiac disease as well as losing weight. If you’re considering this diet, here are the basics of the plan you should know before you try it.
The Basic Idea:
The Gluten Free diet is primarily designed to help get rid of celiac disease, a condition in which too much gluten prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients from food. Additionally too much gluten has been associated with weight gain and negative health conditions because the blocking of absorption of nutrients can lead to inflammation which if left unchecked can cause a host of other problems and illnesses to arise.
The primary focus of the gluten free diet is just as the name states: Avoid eating anything with gluten. Doing so will help provide weight loss, in some cases rather quickly, an improvement in energy and more stamina. To complete a gluten free diet, one must basically eat foods with no gluten. Usually labels with gluten free are the best indication of which foods you can eat and nowadays more and more foods are becoming gluten free, allowing for more leeway to dieters.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein you can find in ingredients like wheat. It is found and used in many foods and even cosmetic products.
Gluten free doesn’t always = good for you
Just so we’re clear, there’s a lot of gluten free foods which are unhealthy for you. The point being is just because a food is labeled gluten free doesn’t automatically make it good for you. Ideally, if you’re going to do this plan, you’ll want to stick to foods that are traditionally associated with the diet, although there are flexible variations available if you already don’t have conditions for which the gluten free diet is designed for.
A List Of Gluten Free Foods:
Meat, fish, poultry (clean, not marinated, or coated with ingredients to spice up the taste).
- Dairy products (not all, check labeling).
- Eggs (organic preferably).
- Quinoa (a type of rice).
Although this is broad, you’ll find a lot more foods within each group once you delve into it. Additionally…
A List of Gluten Foods you should avoid (unless labeled gluten free)
Anything with wheat typically. A recent diet called Wheat Belly really went in-depth into this approach to dieting and basically summarized it’s main point that if you wanted to get healthy and lose weight, just get rid of wheat in your diet entirely. Though it has some cons, the overall point was correct.
However if you’re looking to do a traditional gluten free diet, just cutting out wheat isn’t going to do it. There’s a lot more things you need to avoid. Here are the most important:
- Ingredients with wheat, barley, rye.
- Anything with white flour. We’re talking cakes, cookies, candy, crackers, chips, bread.
- French fries.
- Dressing (for salad).
- Sauces & most condiments.
A lot of products including flour carry these ingredients. Your best bet is to read the labeling on each product. If the ingredients mentioned above are not there, or the term gluten free is used, you’re good to go. Again just because something is gluten free doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy. For example, eating gluten free cake doesn’t mean, it’s not loaded with sugar and other ingredients that aren’t good for you.
Is the Gluten Free Diet For Everyone?
For most people this type of diet, although effective is not easy to do. You’re going to have to give up a lot of common foods you’re used to and sustaining this sort of lifestyle can be difficult, but it’s still an excellent way to improve health and lose weight. As a rule of thumb, if you get rid of wheat in your diet, you should see/feel some very noticeable and positive changes within a few weeks.
- Great way to lose weight.
- Improves overall health.
- Advocates eating foods that are healthy for you.
- Not easy to do.
- Easy to mix up foods which are/aren’t gluten free.
Gluten Free Diet Score:
3.5 out of 5 stars. Very solid diet and worth trying, though not easy to do. Health & wight loss benefits. See #1 rated diet.
Conclusions on the Gluten Free Diet:
If you have celiac disease, this diet will help you a lot. This diet has also been noted to help people with yeast infections as yeast absolutely loves gluten. In those scenarios, this diet is ideal. It’s also great for weight loss and improving health.
Although it isn’t easy to do, the foundations on which it’s based on are pretty solid and worth giving it a shot. If you don’t have any of the major conditions above for which this diet is ideal, you may find this diet to be difficult to do at times in which case you can try to be more flexible about it. Like I said before, as a rule of thumb, avoid products with wheat and you’ll be off to a good start.
As demanding as this diet can be, it has moments and flexible variations you can try if need be. If you’re not a long term planner or feel this isn’t a diet you can do, you can also do what’s known as a Master cleanse, which will greatly help improve health & get you great weight loss results in a short time, though the process isn’t simple.
My final word on the subject is basically this:
If you have a yeast infection of the celiac disease, you should do the gluten free diet.
If you don’t have those conditions but are looking to lose weight faster, I would instead recommend this diet as a better alternative. It is the #1 rated diet on this website because of it’s speed and flexibility.
Overall the gluten free diet is great, but like every diet, it has holes and isn’t ideal for certain groups of people. For those situations you already know which alternatives are better suited.