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What is the Gluten-free diet?


A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten-containing cereals: wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, Malts and triticale, as well as the use of gluten as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent.

The use of a gluten free diet has become quite popular as a way to lose weight. This diet consists of eliminating all ingredients that contain gluten such as wheat, barley, rye, malts such as beer, baked beans, cooked pork, some imitation seafood, and even certain types of ripened cheeses.

Eating a diet free of gluten originally began as a way to treat celiac disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder originating in the small intestine that can affect anyone of any age. Its symptoms include diarrhea, failure to thrive and fatigue. Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to the gluten in which the absorption of nutrients is hindered. The lack of absorption can cause major vitamin and mineral deficiencies which can lead to life threatening medical issues. The only known treatment for celiac disease is the gluten-free diet.

When implemented as a means of weight loss, eating gluten free can have positive effects on the body. Because there are so many food choices that contain gluten, eating gluten free requires very detailed meal planning. But, because you will be so detailed, you can actually schedule in a variety of foods so that you will not be missing any specific nutrients. You will end up eating high protein, low glycemic, nutrient dense meals on a daily basis.

By doing this, you will be able to level out your blood glucose levels, which directly affect hunger and cravings. When you eat whole foods, your body is better able to digest and use the complex sugars for long term energy thus avoiding the “crash”. When you have a more gradual increase in blood sugar, you will be able to control your cravings which decreasing your chances of ingesting additional calories while reducing the amount of fat storing hormones that you body releases.

Because you will be eating a significantly larger portion of protein, you will also be providing sustenance for your muscles to continue to grow and rebuild which will inevitably speed your metabolism so you burn more calories. Protein is also the hardest nutrient to digest therefore you will feel fuller for much longer than with fats or carbohydrates.

Obviously, before getting yourself involved with the gluten free diet, it’s best to check with your general practioner that the diet will not have any adverse effects on your health.



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