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Gluten Free Diet

Gluten Free Diet ReviewBy now, you have probably heard of the gluten free diet – it’s in the news, on the tip of some celebrities’ tongues. Gluten free bread decks the shelves of your favorite grocery store, and gluten free desserts line the display case at your neighborhood bakery. Everyone is talking about the latest, hottest diet, but the question is: does “gluten free” join the ranks of diets that work for weight loss?

Unfortunately, the answer is probably not. While the principles of a gluten free diet are trendy right now for people looking only to shed pounds, it is actually intended for people with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder. People with Celiac cannot handle a protein found in gluten, and this means that their immune systems react to flour and other food products containing gluten, producing an uncomfortable and harmful autoimmune reaction.

If you’re a Celiac sufferer, gluten-free is an absolute must. But if you don’t suffer from gluten intolerance, this may be just another quick weight loss fad. If you want to lose weight, and you want to do it without resorting to fad diets – in a way that is sustainable and healthy over the long-term – then you should look beyond gluten free. A physician-guided program, such as those available through The Center for Medical Weight Loss, is based on real science and your individual needs to create diets that work now and for years to come.

Basics of the gluten free diet

If you suffer from Celiac disease, this means that your body has an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a combination of two proteins known as gliadin and glutenin. Gluten is present in bread, pasta and other foods, giving them that chewy, puffy quality. Gluten also hides in other foods, like barley (including malt) and rye. When you ingest these foods, a harmful immune response can cause painful, long-term and even permanent damage to your system. The gluten free diet eliminates these foods (often by substituting gluten free bread, gluten free desserts, etc.) and therefore their harmful reactions.

Gluten free recipes – what should I avoid?

First things first, you need to identify where gluten is hiding in your foods. These are some of the ingredients you need to avoid:

  • Barley (including malt flavoring and malt vinegar)
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat

You must also avoid the following foods, unless they are explicitly labeled gluten free:

  • Beer
  • Bread
  • Cake and pie
  • Candy
  • Cereal
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Croutons
  • French fries
  • Gravy
  • Imitation meat or seafood
  • Matzo
  • Oats and oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Processed lunch meats (cold cuts)
  • Salad dressing
  • Sauce, including soy sauce
  • Seasoned rice mix
  • Seasoned snack food, such as potato and tortilla chips
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups and soup bases

Gluten free menu – what can I eat?

When you first start eating gluten free, you may feel deprived. This is perfectly normal, so take heart – for many it passes soon. The key is in identifying the foods you can eat, and learning how to prepare them (or where to buy them) to satisfy your cravings. You can eat most foods, including proteins, fruits and vegetables. Grains you can enjoy include:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn and cornmeal
  • Flax
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy (corn)
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Teff

Short and long-term results of the gluten free diet

If you suffer from gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, a gluten-free diet will help you live a healthy life. But if you can eat gluten and are just looking for diets that work to lose weight quickly, then you should probably choose a different option. In the short-term, gluten free may help you achieve weight loss – you’ll have to cut carbs when you eliminate gluten – but over the long-term, you’ll probably gain those pounds back, and you may be dissatisfied with your new lifestyle and its dietary limitations.

If you don’t have to cut gluten for medical reasons – and, in fact, even if you do – a physician-assisted diet is the best choice for weight loss and a healthier, more active lifestyle. Physician-guided programs, like those offered through the Center for Medical Weight Loss, take into account your individual requirements and preferences—whether those include gluten free bread, beer, or other menu items.

Read successful weight loss stories!

Your doctor will help you evaluate your weight loss goals, and then together you’ll build a customized program that is easier to follow than any diet you’ve ever tried. That’s because diets that work are the ones that take into account your favorite foods, most active times of day, preferred forms of exercise, and even the “comfort” foods that you just can’t give up completely. So call the Center for Medical Weight Loss today, and get started on losing weight – with or without gluten in your diet! And don’t forget to ask about special introductory offers for newcomers at certain locations.

Read here to learn more about liquid diets, the high protein diet, the Mediterranean diet.