After packing on a few pounds over the winter months, and with bikini season just around the corner, you may be looking for a quick and easy way to lose a little weight. The latest trend seems to be a gluten-free diet. But there are a lot of misconceptions about going gluten-free. The first is that it's not literally a diet. It's a lifestyle for those who suffer from something called celiac disease.
"Celiac disease damages the small intestine. It prevents the intestine from absorbing certain parts of food," said Alyson Piot, registered dietician.
Gluten is mostly found in wheat, oats, rye, and barley. It's a protein that's used to help make the dough rise in certain processed foods and baked goods. But for one to two percent of the population who suffer from celiac, gluten can lead to digestive problems and bloating. Eliminating it from their diet can get them back on track.
"It's generally eliminating processed foods: bagels, pastas, cookies, cereal," explained Piot.
Recently, people who aren't gluten intolerant are choosing to go gluten-free in hopes of losing a few pounds. But that isn't always the case.
"People who go gluten-free can either lose weight or gain weight, if they do it without really having a gluten intolerance. A lot of times people can gain weight if they take gluten out, but then they start eating gluten-free cookies, gluten-free cupcakes, gluten-free crackers. Some of those products, they take out the gluten, but they end up being higher in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar," said Piot.