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Gluten Free Diet...yes or no?



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TURTLESDOVE
Posts: 1,061
12/18/12 12:25 P

Amazing Grace, do you remember how long after starting GF did the cravings wear off? I don't have any will power lately.



VANHALENFAN
Posts: 434
12/18/12 12:16 P

I did this for a short time last year, and wish I had it in me to carry on with it since I felt so great on it! I DO NOT have a known intolerance to gluten, nor allergy, but I do have other systematic issues going on that I read may be helped by cutting out gluten. While going GF, I had amazing energy, felt full and satisfied on smaller portions (in fact, I don't think I was ever feeling hungry or having cravings for crazy things all the time), and slept better. My favorite was the abolished cravings, though. I struggle badly with cravings and on the GF diet, I felt free from that.

I only stayed with it for 8 weeks though as it was expensive and difficult to keep up on. Family gatherings are hard, people asking too many questions and scoffing are annoying, etc. It did break me down eventually. I hope to return to GF again at some point.



GDBEAR65
SparkPoints: (2,095)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 574
12/18/12 11:22 A

I suggest avoiding products with added gluten.



MEG-NATALIA07
Posts: 679
12/18/12 10:22 A

I am gluten free for medical reasons. But I started doing gluten free before my doctor recommended it simply because I was eating healthier and more wholefoods.
You can get in trouble with junk food GF or not. Trust me, there's plenty out there. Thankfully, it's more expensive and that keeps me from putting much, if any in my shopping bag.

I think it's more about what you ARE eating, than what you aren't. I noticed with I was eating more whole foods, produce, good fats and protein I had less cravings automatically. This surprised me, I've always suffered from cravings!

Whatever your decision regarding gluten, make sure you're getting REAL food that satisfies. Best of luck!


Edited by: MEG-NATALIA07 at: 12/18/2012 (10:23)


TURTLESDOVE
Posts: 1,061
12/18/12 10:11 A

The only thing I know for sure is that SOMETHING in junk food is highly addictive. I am just like an alcoholic with junk food. I crave donuts, chips, cake, just about any bad junk food you can think of. Why? I don't know, but I know that it's some kind of ingredient in this processed junk that is highly addictive. My problem is trying to wean myself off of this crap. It's no different than being an alcoholic. I thought for many years that I like to eat this kind of stuff because it is so yummy that it makes me feel better. That is a load of crap. Processed food have an ADDICTIVE ingredient. Whether it's gluten or not, I don't know, but it's SOMETHING.



MCAFEE34
SparkPoints: (5,987)
Fitness Minutes: (3,223)
Posts: 167
12/18/12 1:00 A

yes




LDANELIS
Posts: 3,406
12/18/12 12:57 A

Thanks for the responses!! I have read arguments on both sides of the debate. I am not one to jump on the diet fad-wagon, instead opting to make permanent, healthy lifestyle choices. That being said, I recognized long ago, that breads, pastas, cakes, etc, are a problem area for me. Whether or not the recipe has gluten, I am still a sucker for these products, and will be tempted to overeat.



SINAED
SparkPoints: (14,583)
Fitness Minutes: (16,570)
Posts: 202
12/17/12 6:18 P

i gave my son a birthday party and one of his friends was gluten intolerant...Until then i never realised how much gluten was in everyday products.Since then that friend is a regular visitor so i always have plenty of gluten free products in my house and while my family eats these products we are not gluten free as a whole.
In saying that my son has aspergers and has violent reactions to certain preservatives therefore my house is as preservative free as possible.
Unless you have an intolerance i don't believe you should cut out any food group



ANARIE
Posts: 12,342
12/17/12 5:51 P

Nirerin pretty much nailed it.

Gluten is a protein. Most allergies are reactions to a specific protein. Iff you're allergic to eggs, for example, you're actually allergic to one of the proteins in eggs. If you have hay fever, you're probably allergic to one of the proteins in the pollen you're breathing. But those proteins are only a problem if you're allergic to them. You don't get any benefit from avoiding them otherwise.

EXCEPT (and this is a biggie) that deciding that a certain food element is "bad" might make it easier to fool yourself into eating better in general. It's just easier to say, "I CAN'T eat that because it might have X in it" than it is to say, "I'm CHOOSING not to eat that because it's not beneficial." If you declare yourself gluten-free, you can't eat out, you can't go to dinner parties, you can't eat packaged food without a gluten-free label... so you're pretty much limiting yourself to eating what you cook for yourself at home.

That's definitely going to improve your health and help you lose weight for a while, at least until you start discovering more and more unhealthy gluten-free foods. However, it tends to get very expensive and can really limit your social life, and if you're not careful, it can give you an excuse to go overboard on very high-calorie gluten-free "treats." (Someone wrote in to this forum a while back about buying a gluten-free snack cake assuming it was healthy, only to find out it had 1500 calories per serving! Sugar and butter are gluten free, after all.)

What it boils down to is that saying "I can't eat that because it has X" can temporarily help, regardless of what "X" is. But at some point, we all have to get through that and be able to say, "I CHOOSE not to eat that."



TAMMYOKAHARA
Posts: 405
12/17/12 11:43 A

We are grain free, starch free, gluten free, high fat, moderate protein and very low carb. Getting rid of the starches made a world of difference for our family. No processed foods.



MICHELLEXXXX
SparkPoints: (6,128)
Fitness Minutes: (5,730)
Posts: 1,768
12/17/12 11:38 A

I am grain free, gluten-free, and essentially follow a Paleo diet in my food choices. At this time, I feel it is the healthiest way of eating when personalized for each individual's needs.



CALLMECARRIE
Posts: 1,597
12/17/12 10:30 A

I have no intention of cutting out gluten. Why would I? I'm not allergic to it. If you have problems with gluten, by all means go without it, but my feeling is that dieting is hard work, why deny yourself something if you don't have a problem with it? I have lost weight on a diet rich in complex carbohydrates, including all kinds of grain and gluten products. Not everyone is the same, but don't deny yourself an entire food group without a solid reason for doing so.

A slice of good quality whole wheat bread gives you thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, manganese, selenium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and calicum. If you pick your grains carefully, you also get good amounts of fiber, quality carbohydrates, and protein.



MANDIETERRIER1
Posts: 13,511
12/17/12 10:21 A

I don't believe there is any benefit to going gluten free unless you have an intolerance.


Edited by: MANDIETERRIER1 at: 12/17/2012 (10:25)


MISSRUTH
Posts: 3,286
12/17/12 9:56 A

Personally, I do not think there's a benefit for me to go gluten-free. I do not have an intolerance or anything, that would indicate gluten-free would make me feel better or be healthier. Certainly if I did, I'd at least try it and see what difference it made.

I did find, however, that cutting back on the bread and pasta (and rice, which isn't a gluten issue) helped me a great deal in my weight loss efforts. I replaced those carbs with low-starch vegetables, and fruit. Keep in mind that when we had spaghetti for supper, I was used to eating at least 2 servings-- same with rice. And I'd bake bread every week and eat a LOT of it. Now I only occasionally make pasta (whole wheat) and carefully measure out my one serving, filling the rest of the plate with low-starch vegetables. When I bake bread, I eat one slice and that's it. Not 3 or 4. That's what I mean by "cutting back".

The way I look at it is this-- is this something I can do for the rest of my life? And gluten-free would be a NO.



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,747
12/17/12 7:39 A

there are two instances when avoiding gluten would be a benefit. the first is if you actually have issues with gluten. the second is if arbitrarily deciding to cut something out of your diet makes you look at everything you eat and make better choices. in other words, instead of putting one of everything in your cart from the junk food aisle every week, you stop, read the labels, and go buy carrots and hummus instead. the latter instance doesn't have anything actually to do with gluten [you could do it with nuts, soy, dairy or any of the other major allergens or to a lesser degree by deciding to go vegan], that's just the excuse you make to stop and read labels and make better decisions. and to some degree, the processed food industry is catching up with gluten free. it's certainly more expensive than gluten based, so if cost is an issue, buying less processed foods could be cheaper, so that might be a plus in the pro-gluten-free column. but since companies know that gluten free is the thing right now, they are working on ways to make gluten free junk food. and if you're simply switching from gluten junk food to gluten free junk food, that's not helping you any. and if you're using gluten as an excuse to entirely change the choices that you make, that has everything to do with making better choices overall, and little to do with gluten.
personally i wouldn't give up gluten unless i actually had an issue with it, but i also love pasta and eat it pretty frequently. and that hasn't hindered me at all. but i also think of pasta as a vehicle for getting foods that are good for me that i don't like as much in me. like i am pretty sure that eggplant is good for me, but i have yet to find a way that i really love it plain, so i have it in lasagna because i like it with pasta and tofu and cheese and other vegetables that i actually like. or i will have it with pasta and crab and a cream sauce. and i do that to mix what i like and what i should be eating but don't like quite as much.and that balance works for me. trying to that might make other people eat a box of pasta a day, which isn't quite the best use of calories.



SUNSHINE6442
Posts: 1,753
12/17/12 6:24 A

There are many people who deny that wheat makes us fat..not all foods create health and I rarey eat anything with wheat, Our bread It contains a Super Starch called amylopectin A that is super fattening.

It contains a form of a Super Gluten that is super imflammatory....and I believe being fat is being inflammed and there are also forms of a Super Drug that is super addictive and makes you crave and eat more.
Wheat and white bread raise blood sugar and 2 slices of wheat bread now raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar and there are many processed foods that contain wheat.....foods with a high glycemic index make people store belly fat, trigger hidden inflammation in the body that causes joint pain and disease....going gluten free cant hurt you...try it and see how much better you will feel...I sure do and I have lost a total of 94lbs, omiting every bread except Rye and eating low glycemic



RUSSELL_40
Posts: 16,783
12/17/12 6:06 A

I eat low carb, and have never really liked bread, or noodles, but when I used to eat them, I would go on a binge, and eat lbs of them. Not sure if it was a gluten issue, or just bread/noodles in general. All I know is that by cutting them out, I no longer binge, and can lose weight, because I eat the proper amount of calories.

If you try it, and feel better, as well as lose weight, I would just caution you to stick to it. If it is a problem for you, eating those foods will result in rapid weight gain, and you don't want to be yo-yoing. You need to find a diet that you can stay on for life.



SPARK_COACH_JEN
Posts: 55,181
12/17/12 5:43 A

This article sums up SparkPeople's stance on gluten-free diets:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=1441


Of course, everyone is different and you have to find the style of eating that works best for you. But I'd recommend that any changes you make are things you can live with for the rest of your life. That's the best way to take weight off and keep it off for good.

Hope that helps,

Coach Jen



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,988)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,801
12/17/12 12:51 A

I read that going gluten free without needing to is a bad idea. Hopefully Dietician Becky can confirm, but I think your body stops being able to process it? Could be wrong.

You don't need to cut anything out to lose weight. Tonnes of people cut nothing but calories and lose weight successfully. Remember that just cutting out foods with gluten will not equal weight loss if you are still over eating.



LDANELIS
Posts: 3,406
12/17/12 12:26 A

To begin with, I do not have a gluten intolerance, but am considering making the shift to a gluten-free diet. I have been informed that the gluten debate is just bunch of phooey, and merely a conspiracy (blah blah blah)...
So...where do you stand on this debate? Is it a good step in the right direction for a healthy diet? Do you have experience with cutting gluten out of your diet (without having a gluten intolerance)? Did it make you feel better? etc...Keep in mind, that weight loss (combined with a healthy diet) is a major priority for me.



 
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