Gluten has received a lot of attention in the past 5 years and gluten free products continue to gain significant share in the global market. Many people believe that these products are healthier and promote weight loss as if gluten is a proximate cause of weight gain.
What is gluten and can it really affect one’s weight and health?
Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, rye, barley, malt and triticale and their by-products such as pasta, noodles, bread, tortillas, crackers, cereals, baked goods, granola bars, croutons, sauces and gravies, soy sauce, salad dressing, meat substitutes, imitation crab, beer, and many other processed products. It is possible that by eliminating these products from the diet, fewer calories are consumed, therefore leading to weight loss. However, do not expect to lose weight by consuming commercial products advertised as “gluten free” because they don’t mean “calorie-free.” In fact, several gluten free products have more calories than regular products and cost more. One should read food labels carefully before purchasing a food product. When it comes to weight management, it is the total calories consumed that matters and not the gluten. Also, do not forget to include exercise at The Alaska Club to boost your metabolism.
Certain people are truly allergic to gluten (celiac disease) or have gluten intolerance. When gluten is consumed, they may experience abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, bloating, tiredness, depression, headache, skin rashes and unintentional weight loss. Not everyone with these symptoms suffers from a gluten allergy or intolerance. Many other factors can cause these symptoms. Before assuming that gluten is the culprit, talk with your doctor first.
For more information on natural gluten free foods or how to manage weight by eating a balanced diet, consult with a registered dietitian. You can also talk with a Personal Trainer at The Alaska Club.