Gluten free diets have traditionally been recommended for those individuals suffering from Celiac Disease. Celiac is an auto- immune disease in which the body forms inflammation against the lining of the small intestine and it is prevented from absorbing gluten containing foods properly. Gluten, which is a protein, is found primarily in foods that come from grains. Therefore, people who are eating foods with grains do not absorb the nutrients from these foods and are often diagnosed with severe deficiencies in iron, fat stores and proteins.
Recently, studies have been done to show that people who struggle with excess weight may also have excess inflammation in their GI tracts. Although they may not officially have Celiac disease, their bowels may react similarly when eating foods rich in gluten. They may still absorb the nutrients but the exposure to the gluten causes excess inflammation and can lead to symptoms of bloating, a lack of fullness after eating and an increase in cravings. Decreasing gluten intake can lower the inflammation in the bowel and can help with weight loss. A recent study showed that individuals that avoided gluten containing foods – those made from grains(breads, pasta, many cookies, etc), can improve their weight loss goals significantly(greater 10%). Also, limiting gluten can improve their sense of well-being by decreasing the inflammation and can make their weight loss process easier to stick with over time.
Even though gluten-free diets seem to be the “craze” of late, some of these recent studies may shed light on the advantage for some people, with or without Celiac disease, to avoid these high gluten foods.
If you think you may be sensitive to foods rich in gluten, then it may be worthwhile to work with a dietician or your physician to come up with a gluten free meal plan that may fit your needs. At the very least, it will not hurt you, and it may end up helping with your weight loss and improving your sense of well -being. The new studies suggest, it can’t hurt to try! For more information on how Gluten Free could help you lose weight, schedule a consultation in our Far Hills, NJ office. Call today! 908-470-2235.