Gluten Free Dieting

I can’t help but notice that people keep going on and on and on about this gluten-free diet thing.

I notice it not because I pay attention to fad diets, but because I have a gluten allergy. Do you know how miserable this makes life, sometimes?

So when I go to a restaurant and ask about it, or talk to acquaintances about it, they give me the old “Oh, so I see you’re doing that new gluten free diet thing! Neat!” This is relatively irksome. And you know what else is irksome? If I don’t avoid gluten, the effects basically interfere with my daily functioning. Period. But the fact that people think that simply because something has the Gluten-free! or GF label on it that it must be healthy.

No. It doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

I’m going to cut to the chase, here. Be an informed consumer. Know your labels. Understand them. And then read them.
Research fad diets, or diets that sound “too good to be true.” Oftentimes that is the case.

(For the Love of Gawd read the labels!)

Gluten Free Products can be altered versions of “glutened” products, or they can be products that are naturally gluten free even without special processing/labeling.

What most people don’t know about “gluten free” catered products:

1.) Some products are just naturally gluten free. They were products that never should have had gluten in them in the first place. These would be things like fruits and veggies. Don’t fall for scams. Know what you are putting in your body, and don’t trust packaging alone. Many “gluten-free” labeled products are more expensive than the regular version, too.

2.) Many gluten-free catered products are loaded with so much extra sugar, salt, fat, and other preservatives to help simulate the gluten-filled version of it, that people would actually be better off just eating the gluten-filled version (for those without a gluten allergy/sensitivity). Again, “gluten-free” does not always mean “healthy”. That piece of whole grain bread that the dieter scorns so much might actually be lower in carbs, fat, AND calories.

3.) Gluten is not just in bread. It’s in broth. It is in  many seasonings. It’s in some chocolates and cheeses. There are websites like http://www.celiac.com/ that are a gold-mine of helpful information when you are starting out on a truly gluten free journey. They don’t do it because they want to. They do it because they have to- many times to survive.

4.) Food items are often processed in locations that have other gluten-filled products, so there is often “cross contamination.” Even if something wasn’t made with gluten, it might have been processed in the same space as another product with gluten. This is a big deal for those with the allergy and sensitivity.

When it comes down to it, a “gluten-free” diet based on products marketed as such are not going to be an effective path to weight loss in and of itself.

The truth of the matter is eliminating bread from one’s diet reduces calorie intake. And brownies. And cookies.
So substituting a “gluten-free” option is not going to change that, right?

So what is the secret to sustainable weight loss?

Calories in vs calories out.

It is as simple as that. But simple does not mean easy.

Moral of the story:

Be an empowered consumer.  Know what labels mean, and don’t rely on gimmicky texts, pictures, or catch phrases distract you from your overall goal.

 

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