The gluten free weight loss diet started out as a kind of recommended diet for those with celiac disease. However, due to the onset of diet fads, the gluten free weight loss diet became recognized even those who are not diagnosed with the disease. A lot of people are self-diagnosing just so they can buy gluten-free products and start losing weight. Remember that a lack of understanding of diets can lead to complications and side effects that may even lead to more weight gain so before jumping into the bandwagon of the gluten free weight loss diet, make sure that you are properly informed on what it can do for you.
The person with celiac disease
Gluten is a protein component that can be found on barley, oats, triticale, wheat, and grains. A person with celiac disease has a small intestine that is sensitive to gluten. In fact, even small portions of gluten can cause them harm. There are no known causes for the disease but it is believed that there are environmental and genetic factors involved. There is still no cure but it can be managed with a gluten-free diet. If left untreated, it can lead to a variety of disorders like osteoporosis, malnutrition, and infertility.
What the diet can do
The gluten free weight loss diet contributes to the recovery of the small intestine as well as in aiding in the absorption of important nutrients. With this diet, you avoid all types of food that have rye, barley gluten, and wheat. Examples of foods we love to eat but contain gluten are breads, pizza, pasta, malted breakfast cereals, bagels, and crackers. Oats are also avoided and you have the option whether to avoid or limit your intake of milk. Beer products, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are also avoided.
What you can eat
With a gluten free weight loss diet, you can still eat any of the following food products since they naturally do not have gluten:
1. Fresh, dried, canned, or frozen fruits and vegetables as long as they do not have thickening ingredients and additives that have gluten.
2. Starches and flours made from rice, soybeans, tapioca, corn, and buckwheat.
3. Dairy products like cheese. However, avoid these products at the beginning of your treatment for celiac disease.
5. Alcoholic beverages like wine and liquor like brandy, whiskey, ciders, and liquers.
6. Unprocessed meat products
7. Frozen or canned meat products, provided that they do not have any sauce.
8. Cereal products made from corn, lentil flour, rice bran, amaranth, lentil flour, psyllium, and polenta.
9. Rice crackers, rice crispies, corn tortillas, taco shells made from corn.
10. Gluten-free pasta, bean or rice vermicelli, buckwheat noodles, and rice noodles.
11. Condiments like tomato paste, jam, honey, cocoa, vinegar, honey, tahini, and some salad dressings and sauces.
12. Snacks like plain corn chips, plain chocolate, and popcorn.
13. Drinks like coffee, tea, mineral water, and spirits.
A few precautions
Be careful when buying foods that are labelled as “wheat-free” because it does not necessarily mean that they are gluten-free. When buying food, read the ingredients on the labels and be aware of the kinds of hidden gluten like those that can be found in different food additives and medications. Also, be aware that there are products that have “modified food starch” written on their labels because they may contain gluten.
Do not self-diagnose
Never self-diagnose that you have celiac disease. Before going on a gluten free weight loss diet, make sure to check with your doctor first. Only your doctor can give you the right diagnosis by showing that your bowel lining is damaged through endoscopy, blood tests, or by performing a biopsy on your bowel. More importantly, it is advised that you do not go on a gluten free weight loss diet before going to the doctor for a real diagnosis.
Stuff to remember
The gluten free diet may seem a little overwhelming at first. However, with enough knowledge, information and support, you can incorporate the diet into your lifestyle without any problems. Having celiac disease does not mean you have to stop eating majority of your favorite foods because despite several restrictions, you can still enjoy a variety of foods included in the diet. Furthermore, if you need more information on celiac disease and gluten free diets, you can consult a gastroenterologist, your doctor, or a credited/licensed dietitian or nutritionist.