Should I go Gluten-Free to be healthier and lose weight? This is a very common question for people who are not celiac or allergic to wheat products and people ask us at the bakery all the time.
First, no matter what products you buy or diets you follow, whether it be Gluten-Free, vegan, keto, low-carb, etc. Simply being on these diets and consuming the products that fall under that category does not mean you are eating healthy.
For example a Gluten-Free cookie is no healthier than a regular cookie and in either case they are both seen as a treat that you should enjoy on occasion. Just because something is Gluten-Free, does not mean you can go and eat a whole box of Gluten-Free cookies and then expect to lose 5 lbs.
Eating processed/packaged products vs products made with whole ingredients also make a big impact in how much you consume and what nutritional value it brings to your diet. A cookie that has 4-5 ingredients like flour, eggs, butter, sugar and raisins for example is better in nutrient density than a cookie that has hydrogenated oil, preservatives, natural colours etc. Stick to foods that you recognize and those will keep you feeling fuller and more energetic over time.
Here are three things that are important to remember when considering going Gluten-Free for your health:
1. Evaluate what your health goals are?
Is your goal to lose weight, feel better, blood sugar control, etc. be honest with yourself about what the end goal is and what will make you happy. Then consider what foods you should be eating and when!
2. Listen to your body!
We have forgotten to simply listen to what our gut tells us when eating food. If you feel gassy, bloated, nauseous, fatigued, after eating certain foods, keep a journal and modify your intake accordingly. Consume food mindfully and in balance.
3. Exercise physically and mentally!
Everybody knows that you should eat well and stay active to feel good, but go one step further and exercise your brain, this might include visiting with friends, meditating, taking a walk, breathing...smell those roses people! Your brain is intertwined with your body and if one is imbalanced the other will feel bad.
Disclaimer: In matters of health, it is always best to check with your medical doctor before trying new diets for health reasons. A registered nutritionist is also a good resource to help you reach optimal health with food.