​​ gary.3fpt@yahoo.co.uk
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17/01/16
Whole grains are part of a healthy, balanced diet, but thanks to all of the hype around gluten-free foods many believe going "g-free" can help shed some extra pounds.

I'm fed up hearing all the noise on this subject .... and listening to the so called experts.
It's worth looking at the facts. It may not be all that it seems - and certainly not worth spending a lot of money on.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, and it’s a common protein source and processed food filler. In fact, you’ll find it in many foods, medications, and everyday items — not just your bread and biscuits. Other foods like cereal, soy sauce, whey products, alcoholic beverages, such as beer, and even beauty products, such as lip balms, may also have gluten in them too. There are some people — maybe about 1 in 100 — who suffer from an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease whose small intestines cannot process gluten properly and it causes a serious response in their digestive system. Unless you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, going gluten-free will not give you any additional benefit.

Gluten is not harmful to your health and is not making you gain weight. Since so many foods now come in gluten-free versions, it’s easy to think that they are a better alternative, which would be wrong. Gluten is found in many whole-grain foods that have an array of vitamins, minerals, and fibre and are vital to a healthy diet. People who eat three servings of whole grains a day are 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The right mix of healthy carbohydrates, like whole-grain products is the best way to control your blood sugar and avoid diabetes, plus they help to keep you full throughout the day. Whole grains are also the vehicle for many of nature’s disease fighters, like phytochemicals. Without these foods, we’d be sitting ducks for cancer, heart disease, and more. So when you’re cutting out gluten for no real reason, you’re losing all of the nutritional benefits found in foods with gluten.

Gluten-free foods aren’t better for your health. Don’t be fooled, gluten-free doesn’t automatically mean “low calorie” or “healthy.” In fact, gluten-free foods are not only more expensive, but full of extra calories and sugars to make up for taste and texture when alternative products are swapped. They also tend to have less fibre than their gluten-containing counterparts. Unless people are careful, a gluten-free diet can lack essential nutrients since a lot of the gluten-free products tend to be low in B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Another rule of thumb, don’t confuse “gluten free” with “low carbohydrate,” some gluten-free pastas are actually higher in carbohydrates than regular pasta.

Weight loss comes from a balanced, healthy diet — gluten free or not. When you’re trying to lose weight, the key is to make conscious and sensible choices about eating whole, real food and getting produce without additives, remember if it doesn't breath or grow - don't eat it. If you think you need to go gluten-free, see your doctor or a nutritionist to determine the best eating plan for your lifestyle, but in general.

The Bottom Line: If you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t cut out an entire nutrient in your diet, such as gluten. Save money and focus on creating a calorie deficit while eating a variety of nutritious foods and exercising regularly in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.