Have you jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon to lose weight? In recent years, the gluten-free food industry has expanded substantially creating a myriad of different products to cater to those on a gluten-free diet.
From the outset, you may think that a gluten-free diet is a perfect solution to lose weight, but I am here to tell you that a gluten-free diet is not the same thing as a low-carb diet.
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way.
In order to explain in better detail, let me tell you what gluten is and what makes a gluten-free, and a low-carb diet different.
Gluten is a substance present in cereal grains and is often found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is used to help with the elastic texture of the dough. As such it is found in a number of traditional bread, cereal and pasta products. Those on a Gluten-free diet must adhere to a strict diet and can not eat anything that contains the substance Gluten.
You can find some examples of what to eat and what not to eat here. This is an extensive list from the Canadian Celiac Association.
On a low-carb diet, you are avoiding foods high in sugar and carbohydrates and will generally eat meals that are high in protein, fat, and vegetables. With low-carb, the main goal is to help burn off the bodies fat stores. Often reducing the number of carbohydrates, you eat by 20% of your calories each day. Dr. Atkins was the one of the first who made this diet popular in the 1970’s, and there have been many variations of it since.
In an effort to lose weight we recently decided to go gluten-free. As the days and weeks went by, I was completely bread deprived, and also angry too I might add, all the while thinking that this was going to be the secret to our weight loss success.
We realized pretty quickly that it was not. It turns out that after reading the ingredients and nutritional information on the gluten free products we were consuming, they contained way more carbs than their wheat-based counterparts. At first glance, gluten-free seems to be a low-carb option, but it’s not.
While it may have a lower carb count on some things, overall it can be just as high or higher.
Now, I am not saying we are against Gluten-free, some health conditions require that they eat gluten-free, those with Celiac Disease for example. And, we will happily create gluten-free meals for our clients that require it due to health conditions.
Often the products that are gluten-free are not as high in vitamins and minerals as other traditional wheat-based products. So, it is important to supplement where necessary, so you are getting the nutrients you need.
Since neither my husband or I have a health condition that requires us to give up wheat based-products, I decided for us, that moderation was key. Instead of the complete elimination of carbs, we dabble in them here and there instead. In fact, I love bread and all baked goods! And my husband is the very best fermented bread baker I’ve ever met. It would be such a shame to eliminate them all completely.
Unless, you’re eating fruits and veggies only so don’t get sucked into the propaganda as we did. Just because a product is gluten-free does not mean its healthy.
Sure, choosing a gluten-free meal is probably going to better than a cheeseburger and French fries. But, be sure you do your research before you start any diet and beware of fads that come and go for weight loss.
Furthermore, Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!
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From our kitchen to yours,
Love + Peace