Does Gluten Cause Weight Gain?

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Chances are you’ve heard about gluten in the news lately. Those in the diet industry have been promoting a gluten free diet as a way to improve health and make fat loss easier, but are there any truths to this claim?

Much controversy has surrounded the subject of gluten, with many dieticians and physicians taking the stand that a diet high in carbohydrates and lower in fat is better for weight loss. A recent study in the January 2013 Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry has shown that to not be the case. Gluten has now been definitively shown to promote weight gain, turning a lot of conventional wisdom on its head overnight.

In this study, 2 groups of mice were both fed high-fat diets. One group was given gluten and the other remained gluten free. The gluten free mice lost weight without exercise and without lipid excretion, giving merit to the argument that a high fat diet is not what leads to weight gain. The conclusion was that that the weight gain had little to do with the high calories, but the gluten proteins disruption of the endocrine and exocrine body processes. This altered the metabolism, leading to weight gain.

When and why did wheat become toxic?

With incidences of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance on the rise, one has to wonder what the cause might be? Today, 2 million people have been diagnosed with Celiac disease and the numbers continue to rise. There are 4 times the number of people with Celiac today as there was in 1950. Add to this the extreme spike in obesity, type II diabetes and other obesity related illnesses and it really does ring alarm bells.

Wheat today is not the same as wheat from half a century ago. Today’s wheat crops are hybrids designed to be faster growing, disease resistant, and more malleable for commercial baking needs. As a result, today’s wheat has upwards of 50% gluten as compared to the 5-6% it used to have.

The new wheats are good for the processed food industry, but not so much for the consumer. This type of flour leads to high speed baking methods, allowing commercial products to be baked and packaged rapidly. This of course is about the bottom line, more efficient baking processes lead to increased profits at the expense of our health.

Bleaching and overprocessing of flour have also had an impact. Flours are often “improved” through the addition of toxic additives and the stripping away of the parts of the grain that have actual nutritional value. This gives white baked goods (cookies, breads, cakes etc) their addictive flavors and textures. Going Gluten Free? Tips for Great Gluten-Free Cooking here.

Is Gluten Free the Way to Be?

If you have pre-diabetes, any metabolic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome or other inflammation issues with indiscernible causes you may want to consult your physician about removing gluten from your diet to see if your health improves. 26 Gluten-Free Foods the Whole Family Will Enjoy!

There are many gluten free alternatives out there, but it’s important to know what you are getting. Many gluten free products substitute other high glycemic foods like genetically modified corn, soy and rice. You still want to look for whole grains and foods that are minimally processed.

Enjoy these Ten Gluten Free Entrees Under 287 Calories.

Gluten Free – Ingredients to Avoid

Here is a short list of ingredients you should avoid if you want to be gluten free. Wheat gluten is hidden in many products, so the safest bet will always be choosing whole, natural foods. If you do buy packaged products avoid any with these ingredients:

Brewers Yeast
Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
Wheat Germ
Wheat Bran

Try these Gluten Free Foods Your Kids Will Actually Eat, plus more fantastic Gluten Free Recipes here.

3 Comments on "Does Gluten Cause Weight Gain?"

  1. Skinny Ms.  May 19, 2013

    Angela, Thanks for the feedback!

  2. Jennifer  November 13, 2013

    In the United States, maltodextrin is usually made from rice, corn, or potato. In Europe, maltodextrin is frequently made from wheat.

  3. Jennifer  November 13, 2013

    In the United States, maltodextrin is usually made from rice, corn, or potato. In Europe, maltodextrin is frequently made from wheat.


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