Gluten-free has been the buzz lately (at least one of them) on dieting. And yes, sometimes it is a way to get positive nutritional results, but does it work for everyone?
How many of you jumped on the bandwagon and why? If so, did it work for you? Maybe you noticed changes in your weight, energy, pockets? Last year Americans spent 10 billion dollars on products labelled “gluten-free.” Today, we’ll look at what this diet and 3 others could mean for weight loss, your health and your shopping list.
Essentially, people who follow this diet eliminate foods that have wheat, barley, rye, or triticale (tri-ti-KAY-lee, which is a crop hybrid of wheat and rye). Some even choose to avoid oats due to cross-contamination.
Here’s the science behind the diet: If one has celiac disease or reacts negatively to gluten, they may find reduced gastro-related issues and bloating. They may get less headaches and feel less fatigued. Those that don’t have gluten issues have reported weight loss and increased energy, but that could potentially be due to eating healthier anyway.
What you need to know: Be careful while following this diet because some gluten-free processed foods will have more calories than the non-gluten-free version, like breads. They will also tend to cost more. An athlete may find a spike in energy, but others may feel fatigued because they aren’t getting enough carbs.
Other diets to consider:
Followers avoid refined and processed foods and eat whole, raw, and natural instead.
The very basic science: We say this all the time – replace processed foods with fresh and natural foods to be healthy. Read labels to find out if foods contain preservatives and decide if they are unhealthy or good for you.
Need to know: This can be difficult and expensive to sustain. But if you do it properly, it can really improve your nutrition intake since processed foods are less nutrient-dense than whole foods.
Avoid foods high in simple (or total) carbohydrates (refined sugar, white flour, starchy vegetables like corn and peas) and some fruits and juices.
The science: This diet may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and may aid in weight loss, especially around the waistline.
Need to know: If you don’t get enough carbs, your energy level may drop. You may also lose lean body mass, experience poor performance and poor recovery, especially for elite athletes.
Followers eat wild caught game and fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. They stay away from salt, refined sugar, flour, processed foods, legumes, beans, and dairy.
The science: It is reported in small short term studies that the diet resulted in weight loss (5lbs in 3 weeks), lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and improved insulin sensitivity.
Need to know: Some of the good aspects of this diet are: reducing the intake of sodium, refined sugars, and saturated fat. On the other hand, this low-carb profile can lead to reduced exercise performance.
There is no “one size fits all” diet for everyone, however we encourage you to play around with your diet and find which approach works best for you to help you get the results you’re looking for. We would like to also remind you that we do not support short, fad “dieting” to achieve short-lived goals. The idea is to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes a diet where you eat healthy to sustain a healthy life. Eat as fresh as you can for as long as you can, don’t punish yourself for mistakes, and quickly get back on track if you fall off. Make healthy choices everyone!
This information came from Training Edge magazine’s Sept/Oct 2014 issue.