You see it everywhere, gluten-free foods advertised with banners on bags and boxes. If gluten is a problem for you, you probably welcome that help when you’re shopping. Gluten is a protein. It’s found in wheat that can have several other names, such as bulgar, graham flour, kamut, spelt, durum flour, semiola and farina. It’s also found in barley, rye and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. Just because a product is gluten-free, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. Sometimes products marked gluten free, like potato chips to make you feel like you’re eating healthier junk food.
If you’re sensitive to gluten, you may have stomach problems.
There are a lot of names and types of gluten sensitivity. Wheat allergies, celiac disease, and gluten intolerance are a few. Some are more severe than others are. Each one varies and may include bloating constipation, diarrhea. However, severe problems may include abdominal pain, exhaustion, blistering skin or other dermatitis, depression, weight loss, anxiety, iron deficiency, numbness of appendages, brain fog, auto-immune disorders and muscle pain. That’s when removing gluten from your diet is important.
In most cases, people with a gluten intolerance will gain weight when going gluten-free.
Because of the diarrhea and stomach upset, people with gluten intolerance often lose weight. However, it’s not a healthy way of losing it, since it’s mostly through fluid loss and lack of nutritional absorption. When gluten is restricted, the body returns to normal and slowly weight is regained. The bloating that often occurs with gluten intolerance disappears, so some people find their clothes fit better, and they look thinner and healthier.
If you’re not gluten intolerant, a gluten free diet may help you indirectly.
Many of the foods that cause weight gain are often made of processed wheat, fat and sugar, so giving up gluten means eating none of those. That immediately can lead to weight loss if they’re not replaced with other high calorie foods, like those gluten-free potato chips. If you replace them with whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, you’re on track to a healthier lifestyle and will lose weight, not because you’ve given up gluten, but because you’re eating healthier.
- If you have symptoms of celiac disease, immediately see you physician to avoid irreparable damage to the body. Discuss your diet with your health care professional and see if going gluten-free will help.
- You’ll improve your overall health with a gluten-free diet, especially if you’re a junk food junkie. Cut out food with added sugar as well to get the full benefit of a healthy diet.
- Ensuring you get adequate fiber and nutrients can be difficult when you give up gluten. Make sure you include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to increase fiber and foods that contain B vitamins, iron, zinc, phosphorus and calcium, which are often found in gluten laden foods.
- At Sci-Fit Nutrition, we can help you navigate the pitfalls that occur when you need a gluten-free diet, such as cross contamination or products you might not suspect that contain gluten, like flavored coffee, pudding, soups and soy sauce.
For more information, contact us today at Sci-Fit Nutrition