barley

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In almost every “diet” conversation the word “gluten-free” comes up. EVERYONE has their story of a friend or someone they know who “lost 30 pounds” by cutting out gluten. No surprise that this “trendy word” has caught the attention of marketers.  There has been a 43% increase in body care products being labeled and certified as “gluten-free” since 2012.  Even Domino’s Pizza is on the bandwagon with gluten-free pizza crust!Photo Credit: glutenfreeeasily.com

Since nobody in the room wants the acknowledge the elephant. We decided to.

What does “gluten-free” even mean?!

By definition, according to the Mayo Clinic: “The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease. It is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).”

Did you know that only about 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease. To put into perspective, that just about 1%. So why is EVERYONE going gluten-free? Well it wasn’t until THIS YEAR, the FDA had to slap a regulation on what exactly “gluten-free” means. So naturally this buzz word was just used in good faith. In reality NOBODY had any clue what it meant…

According to the new regulation, “gluten -free” has some standards. Our favorite being “Must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten.”

But for the majority of us who are not bothered by gluten, are there real benefits to the diet overhaul? Not really, although some people report feeling better after reducing their intake of products with gluten. But take note: A food billed as “gluten-free” isn’t necessarily healthier. Gluten-free products can be high in calories, fat, and carbohydrates, and some people who go gluten-free actually gain weight.

So will the “gluten-free” diet actually help you with weight-loss? Our opinion is YES, but it is not the removal of gluten doing the work. It is you being conscious of your diet. You have since added in more fruits and vegetables. You have cut out the breads, pasta, cereal, and for some even put down the alcohol.

We are not “against” this new craze, but “Gluten-Free” does not mean rapid weight loss. It means with fewer choices, you’re a lot less likely to overeat!