Is switching to a gluten-free diet a good way to lose weight? Are products containing no gluten better than traditional products with it? Is gluten-free diet good for everyone? I invite you to read my article.


For billions of people wheat is the basic food and an important source of nutrients. It is a source of protein, B vitamins, minerals and bioactive ingredients. However, over the past few years there have been growing concerns about the adverse effects of wheat on health, particularly in North America and Europe. Despite the popularity of the gluten-free diet and the recommendation of celebrities regarding the benefits of switching to a gluten-free diet, there are no published scientific reports indicating that a gluten-free diet is an effective method of weight loss.

Weight loss.

A belief that gluten-free bread or other gluten free products are better than traditional gluten products is a trend nowadays. However, replacing ordinary cereal-based foods (bread, pasta, baked goods) with gluten-free processed foods usually leads to an increase in body weight. This is because the gluten-free substitutes have a higher content of sugar, fat and calories so that they can mimic the texture of gluten, and often have a lower fiber content than their gluten-containing equivalents.

A product labeled as gluten-free does not automatically mean “healthy” food. Do not give up eating wholegrain foods for fear of gluten. Whole grains, in addition to fiber, contain a number of important nutrients.

Instead of switching a gluten-free diet, people who do not suffer from celiac disease should eat healthy foods and properly manage the size of their portions, and choose products with a higher nutritional value. If you want to lose weight, first get acquainted with your eating habits. Weight gain can have more to do with your addiction to sweets, sweetened drinks and snacks than to your gluten intake. A gluten-free cake is still a cake. However, if you decide to eliminate gluten from your diet, remember that gluten-free products often contain very few B vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber, and are twice as expensive as their traditional equivalents.

Weight loss results from a well-balanced diet and regular exercise. Diet and exercise are important in managing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you do not suffer from  celiac disease consider the advantages and disadvantages carefully before you decide to go on a diet. Remember that choosing a gluten-free diet equals eliminating the whole category of products such as grains and it can put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies.

Gluten-free diet

Gluten-free diet is usually suited for people who are unable to tolerate gluten at the biological level. Celiac disease is a GI tract disease characterized by abnormal absorption of gluten. This hereditary autoimmune disease affects 1 in 100 people around the world. The only way to treat gluten-dependent celiac disease is to strictly adhere to the gluten-free diet by eliminating all products containing gluten.

Why people on a gluten-free diet can lose weight?

  1. They eat less becaues the diet is very restrictive (for people with Celiac Disease)
  2. Gluten free products are more expensive than their gluten containing equivalents so they buy less food.
  3. Meals like fast food are eliminated.
  4. They eat more naturally gluten free products.


You may have noticed there is more and more special products labeled “free for” in the supermarkets. Packaging underlining health benefits; labels informing that the content is free of lactose, dairy products and mostly gluten – gluten free bread, cakes, sauces, jellies, cornflakes are now broadly available. Products that never have contained gluten are now sold and labeled as “naturally gluten-free”. You can find ready-made gluten-free meals in refrigerators too.

Not so long ago, gluten-free food was not available anywhere – it was a medical need for a small number of people. In the past few years, the gluten-free market has flourished. Bestselling diet books have linked gluten with autism, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Gluten-free food has become a trend.

For those who suffer from an adverse reaction to gluten (celiac disease) it is quite burdensome since their dietary needs are being perceived as a trend.

Therefore, a gluten-free diet popularity may influence perception of people with celiac disease in a negative way.

A person with celiac disease.

A person with celiac disease must strictly follow the diet. Often people with no medical reasons switch on a gluten-free diet. After a few months, they return to eating gluten with no side effects.

As more and more people has gone gluten free since it’s become trendy people who suffer form celiac disease may be perceived as unreliable. They hear comments like “What, are you trying to loose wieght?”, “A little gluten will not kill you”, “Fad”. A person asking for gluten free meal in a restaurant attracts glances. While the trend’s growing popularity many restaurants take advantage and offer gluten free meals on their menu. Often without a proper knowledge on what products really are gluten free. The meals are being prepared in the same space as the gluten containing ones, with the same kitchen ware that makes the food not gluten free actually. It may occur that a gluten free menu contains spices with gluten, a gluten free pasta is served with a sauce thickened with flour and some gluten free meals are fried in the same oil with gluten foods. All of this makes a person with celiac disease neglected, her needs ignored and put into doubt.

Pros: The trend for a gluten-free diet has increased awareness and celiac disease is being diagnosed more often. There are more and more gluten-free products available and people on a gluten-free diet have better choice. Gluten-free does not necessarily equal healthier and you need to read labels and pay attention to the quality of food you eat, this will certainly help you making the right nutritional decisions.

Wioleta Zysk

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