Gluten free diets have become very popular in the past few years. Most people do gluten free because they discover they have and aversion to gluten, some have to remove all gluten from their diets because of severe gluten allergies or Celiac disease. I know parents who have removed gluten from their children’s diets and found it improved their energy and behavior, and I have friends and family who have tried removing gluten and they have reported feeling much better. My sister in law tries to avoid gluten because she says she feel better and has more energy. A friend of mine removed gluten a couple of years ago and discovered it cleared up her eczema and she lost quite a bit of weight.
A couple of years ago I decided to give Gluten free a try myself. I did this while also taking the supplement Chitosan, which deserves it’s own post and I’ll write about that later. I was trying to lose a little bit of weight before going to Mayo clinic to have a major hip replacement (I also write about this in case you are curios). I found that I slimmed down and felt really good when removing Gluten from my diet. I have no evidence that I am in any way allergic to gluten, but I do more energy and see physical changes in my body when I remove gluten from my diet.
I like that on a gluten free diet you really are not as limited as you might think, and with all of the new gluten free products in stores today, it’s pretty easy to find something you will like and not feel deprived. When you are on a gluten free diet you can eat meats, vegetables, fruits and many grains and starches such as: corn, corn meal, buckwheat, amaranth, arrowroot, flax, rice, rice flour, potato, millet, bean, hominy, and my favorite quinoa. You cut out processed foods that contain wheat, barley, and rye. It can be tricky to cut wheat because it can be found in so many things you might not expect….I remember discovering it was in they soy sauce I was eating on my fish. This is just a list of a few things you should avoid unless labeled gluten free: beer, breads, cakes, candies, cereal, cookies and crackers (you can find gluten free options for all of this stuff now). If you have a severe allergy you should speak with a doctor about the full list of things to avoid. It can be quite long as many things that are seasoned such as snack foods, french fries, nuts, sauces, gravies, soups, etc have gluten.
Overall, I like the way I feel when I cut or limit gluten. I also love some of the gluten free options out there so I don’t really feel like I’m on a diet when I cut gluten. I don’t see a huge amount of weight loss as with low carb or low calorie diets, however I do feel better. Not sure if I could do gluten free forever, but some people have to and it may be challenging at first, but I again I think with all of the new gluten free products popping up everywhere, it’s getting easier. We even just put gluten free chicken nuggets on our menu at our restaurant because so many parents wanted a gluten free option for their children. When I did gluten free before and after my hip surgery in 2012, I lost weight and felt slimmer but I was doing it with Chitosan. I tried gluten free again at the beginning of this year and my husband even did it with me for a while. Neither one of us felt like we lost very much weight and he quickly gave up. But I did still see improved energy, my skin looked better, and I overall just felt better.
Gluten Free forever? Not for me. For weight loss? Maybe depending on what you eat, if you stuff gluten free crackers and treats in your mouth all day, probably not. However, if you eat meats, vegetables, low calorie potato and rice based items, and quinoa, then I think you will see some weight loss. Will you feel better? I think this depends on the individual. I know many people have to go on gluten free diets because of allergies. I don’t think I have an allergy to gluten, but I as I said before I do notice higher levels of energy, improved skin, and a more clear head. So overall, I am a fan of cutting gluten from your diet, and think it’s a great idea for anyone to try for a couple of weeks as an experiment to see how you feel.