Have you come across aisles and aisles of gluten-free foods in supermarkets lately? Food manufacturers are promoting a trend that's becoming more popular each passing day. But does a gluten-free diet lead to weight loss, and is it even healthier to go on a gluten-free diet?
What Exactly Is A Gluten-Free Diet?
Gluten, a protein, commonly present in wheat, rye, barley, bread, pasta, cereals, and other packaged meals must be avoided while adhering to a gluten-free diet. It can also be found in medicines and can be added to food as thickeners or flavors.
A gluten-free diet compels you to embrace fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grain cereals like bajra, jowar, and ragi that are rich in fiber and eliminate high-calorie junk foods like baked foods, pastries, and donuts, thus aiding weight loss.
Does It Really Help With Weight Loss?
If you ask the American Dietetic Association, the answer is a straight "No."
According to the association, there is no proven use of a gluten-free diet for weight loss. There haven't been any studies considering whether people who follow a gluten-free diet lose weight more conveniently than people who follow a different diet.
Let's Kill The Confusion
Should you go gluten-free to lose weight? A gluten-free diet may help a person lose weight only because they can't find as much food they can eat.
Most gluten-free products found in supermarkets are often low in nutritional value and fiber and high in sugar and fat, which are added to make them more palatable.
As a result, many people who are on strict gluten-free diets often end up gaining weight because of the calorie density of these foods.
Then, Why Do Celebrities Claim It Works?
Some celebrities often endorse following a gluten-free diet to lose weight. However, this weight loss is often due to cutting out an entire food group such as cereals and bread. That means they're eating fewer calories, which naturally leads to weight loss, and not because they've cut down on gluten.
Need To Lose Weight? Do It The Right Way
If weight loss is your goal instead of going on a gluten-free diet, try focusing on your portion sizes instead. Follow a healthy low-calorie diet, half your plate with vegetables or salad, a quarter of your plate with protein, and a quarter with carbohydrates.
It will ensure that you're eating from all the food groups and getting a wide range of nutrients, but it will also help you lose weight.
Must Check Out: Indian Weight Loss Diet Plan Curated By Expert Nutritionists
What's The 'Take-Home Message'?
If weight loss is your goal (And if you don't need to go gluten-free because of coeliac disease or gluten intolerance), try focusing on your portion sizes instead.
For lunch or dinner, half of your protein, dairy, and low GI plate should be made up of vegetables or salad, a quarter should be protein, and a quarter from all the food groups and carbohydrates.
However, if you decide to go gluten-free, then skip the packaged and include variety in your diet, with lots of vegetables, fruit, lean sources of protein, dairy, low GI, gluten-free grains, and legumes. It will ensure you're eating from all the food groups and getting a wide range of nutrients.