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How can a gluten-free diet help me lose weight?

Angela Lemond
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

A person will lose weight if they take in less energy than they expend. So technically, it is possible for you to lose weight on a gluten-free diet. However, it is not recommended to follow a gluten-free diet for weight loss.

A gluten-free diet is primarily prescribed for the treatment of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks itself following the ingestion of wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. The nutritional challenges with a gluten-free diet include getting adequate amounts of fiber, calcium and several of the B vitamins. Gluten-free diets can be a bit higher in sugar than normal diets because sugar is often used to make gluten-free foods taste better.

Seek the guidance of a registered dietitian (RD) before going on any elimination diets. You can find a RD in your area by going to http://www.eatright.org and clicking "Find a Registered Dietitian."

Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist
When you eat gluten free, assuming you are not eating lots of processed gluten free foods, you should be eating less carbohydrates which often means less calories. Protein, veggies, fruits, limited amounts of healthy fats, and beans can lead to weight loss if combined with regular exercise.
Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics Specialist

Cutting back on foods that contain gluten means that you will be consuming fewer calories. As long as you are eating fewer calories, you will lose weight. Most of my clients over the last 20 years LOVE their carbs, especially rice, bread, and pasta. So cutting back on bread and pasta, which contain gluten, will help you lose weight. However, if you don't need to eliminate gluten, it is not recommended that you cut out foods with gluten, because you may be losing out on important nutrients and fiber.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.