Gluten Free Diet Weight Loss benefits debated on ‘The Doctor Oz Show’

Dinner Rolls in a basket - credit: National Cancer Institute/Daniel Sone (Photographer) PD

(Best Syndication News) - Doctor Oz debated the gluten free diet myth promising weight loss on his television show today. Gluten, a protein, is being promoted for weight loss, but Doctor Oz thinks that it could be causing some people to gain weight. The doctor invited Mark Hyman MD and Samantha Cassidy, a registered dietitian, on the TV show to share about how a person can gain weight on a gluten free diet.

There are around 97 percent of people that are sensitive to gluten and do not even know it. Gluten is found in breads and many grains. Some people can benefit from a gluten free diet.

The first guest on the TV show was Mark Hyman, MD, who is an Internist Medical Director at the Ultrawellness Center. Doctor Oz said that Dr. Hyman has researched gluten over the past decade. Dr. Hyman explained that some people are hurt with gluten in their diet. Hyman said that there are 50 other diseases that may be caused from gluten intolerance. Rheumatoid Arthritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, depression, anxiety, anemia, vitamin b deficiencies, heart disease, and cancer are some of the diseases that could be spurred from a gluten sensitivity.

Hyman said that people think that if they switch to the gluten free diet they will lose weight. The weight loss might not happen because he said that the people often eat gluten free junk food instead. One study found that 81 percent of the people on a gluten free diet gained weight.

A gluten free diet could benefit some people. The doctors explained that up to 20 million Americans have gluten sensitivity. When gluten intolerance occurs in a person they can suffer from an increase in inflammation said Dr. Hyman. This will then cause more insulin to be produced in the body. Hyman said that more insulin makes more fat get stored in the body. In some cases, eating a regular diet could cause you to gain weight if you are gluten sensitive.

Hyman said that the packaged gluten-free products are “franken” foods and are not a good choice. He suggests eating a whole food diet if you do decide to go gluten free. Doctor Oz added that you pay more money for gluten free foods and might not even be benefiting from it.

Samantha Cassidy, a registered dietitian, joined the discussion by sharing three ways that gluten free foods could be making you fat. She said the biggest problem is calories. Many of the gluten free versions contained more calories. She showed comparable foods and the calories.

A gluten free waffle contains 270 calories, while a regular waffle has 140 calories. Five gluten free crackers contain 130 calories, while the same portion of regular crackers has only 70 calories.

Another problem with gluten free foods is less fiber the dietitian explained. She added that dieters benefit from fiber to help fill them up. An example of a regular English muffin had 3 grams of fiber, while the gluten free English muffin had only 1 gram.

The last problem with gluten-free foods is that they might contain carbohydrates that spike blood sugar. She said that often the gluten free carbohydrates used for bread products contain either potato starch or rice flour. These two food substitutes could spike blood sugar levels, which could promote more hunger and more eating. The dietitian recommends eating good carbohydrates,such as beans, if you decide on a gluten free diet. She added that a study found that people who ate whole grains tend to have less belly fat. She said that in many cases it might be better to eat a regular diet.

Dr. Hyman said one way to find out if you are gluten sensitive is to eat a gluten-free diet. You should go two weeks without any gluten and see if your symptoms improve. He said people would come to him with complaints of headaches, joint pain, and bloating. He would have these people go on a two-week gluten free diet to see if this might be the cause of the problem.

Dr. Hyman shared some meal ideas for eating gluten free foods. For breakfast, he suggested eating sweet potato hash with eggs or a gluten free protein shake. For lunch, he said to stay away from turkey lunch meat because they can contain gluten. He also said soups could have gluten in them used as a thickening agent. Instead, eat a Waldorf salad for lunch he suggested. For dinner, he suggested eating roasted chicken with potatoes or brown rice. For gluten free snack foods, eat popcorn, or carrots with tapenade dip. Dr. Hyman added that people should eat whole foods on the gluten free diet.

He said there are many other sources of gluten that are not even in foods. Hidden sources of gluten include toothpaste, lipstick, and medications. He said that the glue on stamps and envelopes also contain gluten.

After two weeks on the special diet and you are still not sure about being sensitive to gluten, a doctor can do a blood test for antibodies added Dr. Hyman.

By: Nancy Connors
Entertainment Writer

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