Gluten-Free Diets: What You Need To Know

Kim Kardashian recently sparked debate after posting "Gluten free is the way to be” on her Twitter account, along with a photo of herself posing. With so many celebrities like Miranda Kerr, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba rumored to be on gluten-free diets, more and more people are hopping on the bandwagon. While most go gluten-free due to allergies or celiac disease, many also do so with the hope that it will help them lose weight. But is it actually a good idea?

A gluten-free diet excludes food like wheat, barley and rye that contain gluten. “People often don't understand that gluten-free diets are really only beneficial to people that have the gluten allergy,” says San Francisco nutritionist Rania Batayneh. “Oftentimes people count it as a weight loss tool because with the absence of breads and other products that contain wheat, some people start losing weight.”

The big mistake that many make is they assume when something says “gluten-free” it means that it's better for you. “Gluten-free doesn't equate to a healthier option. Some foods can have more corn starch and gums to make up for lack of wheat gluten,” says New York nutritionist Ellie Krieger.

What's more, many companies often add in fat and sugar to their gluten-free products to make up for the loss in flavor. “Just because its gluten-free doesn't mean you can eat the whole thing-a cookie is still a cookie, a brownie is still a brownie, a cake is still a cake. Something may look healthy, but it's not,” says Batayneh.

You don't have to be gluten-free to lose weight. You can achieve weight loss by eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and minimally processed food. But if you're determined to go gluten-free, it is still possible to lose weight if you do it the right way. An example of a healthy gluten-free meal would be a piece of salmon or chicken that's either baked or grilled, a colorful vegetable medley and a serving of brown rice. However, what it really comes down to is reducing your calorie intake rather than removing gluten from your diet.

Going gluten-free can also be beneficial to your skin, but again, only if it's done the right way. Those on a gluten-free diet tend to see improvements in their skin because they're consuming less sugar. Since sugar can cause inflammation, removing them from your diet can help clear up your skin and even reduce rosacea and psoriasis flare-ups.

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