Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thank You, Dr. Oz from this Gluten-free Chick

I am CERTIFIED Gluten-Free (My Doctor Says So!)

I have been gluten-free since June 2010. I didn't want to be gluten-free. I didn't care that I might lose weight, but I was told I was "intolerant" and that gluten was making me sick. Sick is one thing I really don't like, so I took gluten out of my diet.

As I took the gluten out of my diet, the weight melted off of me. For this reason many people - friends, acquaintances, co-workers and family - who were not quite interested in any other treatments I have received from any other doctors started asking questions and lots of them. It did not take me long to realize that the people that had all the questions were the same people that have always been looking for the next stage in their battle of the bulge.

Why Is Gluten-Free Becoming SO COOL??
Now that I have been living gluten-free and am always on the hunt for information and tips for this new lifestyle I keep stumbling upon websites, books, "professionals" all touting the new weight-loss trend: gluten-free. I can not deny that I lost weight when I took gluten out of my diet, but I have always felt when that happened that the weight I lost was more of a reaction lost - I felt like my body was no longer reacting to something it couldn't handle.

I didn't lose weight, I healed.

I have tried to explain this to others. I have even explained that eating gluten-free can be less healthy than a standard diet if you are not careful, but people do not hear me, they only see me. I was, therefore, overjoyed when I saw that the first segment of Dr. Oz's Show today was dedicated to the "Gluten Myth."

Dr. Oz Chimes In About Gluten

The first part of the video (Gluten Myth Part 1) begins with a brief description of the protein gluten. Dr. Oz and Dr. Mark Hyman discuss the reasons why some people need a gluten-free diet, and how even when medically necessary it can be unhealthy if not approached correctly.

Gluten-free Can Totally Be Fattening

The doctors are then joined by Samantha Cassidy (Gluten Myth Part 2) from Good Housekeeping (Dr. Oz is on the cover of the April 2011 issue which will also address the Gluten Diet) to discuss the three reasons gluten-free labeled foods can make you fat. In short, the three reasons are
  • they contain more calories
  • they contain less fiber
  • they contain more refined carbs
This is why it is especially important to avoid boxed foods and, instead choose more whole foods or, as we've been saying as of late: EAT REAL FOOD. (Yes, I note the irony that this is coming from the same person who wrote a post all about gluten-free cereals yesterday!!)

The Dr. Oz/Dr. Hyman TWO WEEK Plan To Determine if You NEED to Be Gluten-free

In the final portion of the Gluten Myth segment (Gluten Myth Part 3), Dr. Hyman walks us through a healthy looking gluten-free diet. Not one of his options include something that was labeled gluten-free, instead, he selects ingredients that are naturally so.  He says that in order for you to determine if gluten might be the culprit in your weight and in other ill feelings, you need to eliminate it COMPLETELY for two weeks to see how it feels. When you reintroduce gluten, if you start to feel not-so-good, then you know you need to talk to your doctor about getting a blood test.

I think this is a very good idea for people to try. I had no idea I had this intolerance and I know my life has changed because of my knowledge of it. I miss gluten, but the trade-off is worth it. If you aren't feeling well, there is no harm in trying it for the sake of your own health, but please don't do this just because you are trying to lose weight. There are far too many deliciously healthy food items that can help you in that fight that you would have to eliminate just to be gluten-free! (Check out the Gluten-free Diet Plan provided on Dr. Oz's website!)

Do you have a gluten intolerance or know someone who does?
Have you thought that gluten-free was a sure-fire path to weight loss?
For you gluten-lovers out there - what do you think you would miss most if you had to go gluten-free?

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