Give Gluten a Chance

Can a gluten-free diet really help you lose weight? Before you start dodging gluten, read this.

January 31, 2013

Right now, gluten—or rather, the lack thereof—is all the rage among nutrition-conscious women who think that cutting it from their diet will help them lose weight. But the truth is, unless you’ve been instructed by a doctor to avoid gluten—a protein found in most grains—for a medical reason (like celiac disease), a gluten-free diet is not a bonus for your waistline. “The whole notion of using a gluten-free diet as a way to lose weight is a little misleading,” says Gloria Tsang, R.D., founding editor of Healthcastle.com. “Gluten is mostly found in wheat and flour, so you are probably eating healthier fare if the common coffee-shop baked goods are off-limits.” In other words, it’s not the gluten that sabotages your weight-loss goals, but the cakes, cookies, and other foods that contain it. Moreover, Tsang says, gluten-free versions of processed foods, like cereal, will often have significantly less fiber and only slightly fewer calories.

Find the right supplements for your diet and fitness goals at GNC Live Well.