Many have heard, lose weight and feel great by cutting out gluten from your diet.
However, Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Jennifer Sygo says a gluten-free diet and its alleged benefits haven’t been proven.
“That might be the case for…maybe six to eight per cent of the population, but for the majority of people…we have no evidence that eliminating gluten makes them feel any better, and …certainly no evidence that it causes weight loss,” says Sygo.
According to a recent article in the Daily Mail 60 per cent of people are now estimated to buy gluten-free products frequently.
“Are you alarmed by that figure?” asks Bruce.
Sygo didn’t seem alarmed, but she does believe gluten-free diets are simply a trend, unless of course you suffer from celiac disease.
“Well it is the trend of where things are going, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a trend that’s based on good evidence, or that’s its even necessary,” she says. “It is definitely being fueled by a celebrity, and sport celebrity driven culture that has people very afraid of gluten.”
The first step in Sygo’s opinion is for people to learn what gluten is, before making a hasty decision to cut it out.
“Gluten is actually a protein. There’s an impression that it’s a carbohydrate and that’s not true. It’s a storage protein and it’s found in wheat, barley, rye and all of its derivatives,” she says. “It’s not just in things like bread, it also occurs in small amounts as additives in things like soy sauces, yogurts and cereals, so it’s quite prevalent in our current diet.”
Too often, Sygo says people attribute the lack of gluten in their diet to feeling better. In reality she says they likely feel better because they have replaced foods such as bread with salad, which in turn makes them feel better.