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The myths of gluten free diets



If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, by all means, you should avoid gluten. (I have celiac disease and I understand first-hand the importance of omitting gluten from the diet.)


And there's also a large group of people who just feel better without eating gluten. They don't get stomach bloating, headaches, and that feeling of malaise that can occur when you eat something you body can't tolerate. This is called gluten sensitivity.

But, if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, going gluten free will not benefit you. There is no science-based evidence, other than testimonials, that gluten free diets will achieve any of the many claims.

For example:

Gluten free is not healthier. If you don’t have celiac disease or other gluten related disorders, avoiding gluten will not improve your diet. Sure, if you eat a lot of white pasta, bread and baked good, then stop, your diet will be healthier. But it’s not the absence of gluten that makes it so. It’s the absence of simple carbs. And if you just substitute with gluten free options, you’re no better off.


Gluten free does not help with weight loss. If you replace gluten filled, low quality simple carbs with fruits and veggies, then sure, you’ll probably lose weight. But it’s not the lack of gluten that’s causing the weight loss.


Gluten free does not give you more energy. Again, if you replace low quality food with healthier options, such as fruits and veggies, you will feel better and have more energy. But again, it’s not the gluten that was the culprit.


I believe in real food, that you like, in the right amounts. Anytime I hear that something is not allowed, I know it won’t work. It’s not how you achieve lasting weight loss.


What are your thoughts about gluten free diets?

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Karen Marcouiller

Personal Trainer and Health Coach

National Sports and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

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