The Gluten-Free Trap

Most potato chip brands have always been gluten free. Yet, when someone is grabbing a bag at the grocery store, or offering you some at their house, they announce “they’re gluten-free!” as if that’s some sort of health benefit.

Why?

Because food marketers have latched on to gluten-free just like they latched onto “low fat” and “low sodium” in the past.  Finding new ways to convince us that their package of garbage is healthy, and pushing us towards gluten-free breads, cookies, and crackers that aren’t getting us anywhere closer to our goals.

The gluten-free product market totaled $6.3 billion in 2011!

Yes, if you’re gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive, deciding to go gluten-free will improve your health.  And even if you’re not, eliminating it is a wise move based on the fact that it’s pro-inflammatory for MOST people (1 in 22 according to this study) and the gliadin proteins in wheat, barley and other gluten-containing grains stimulate zonulin and gut permeability (not good). But if your goal is fat loss, filling the wheat void with equal or greater amounts of starches and high-glycemic carbohydrates, or switching to quinoa pasta, rice crackers, blue corn chips, and gluten-free muffins, will not help.

rice-pasta-gluten-free-high-carb

For instance, 1 bag of rice pasta has upwards of 340 grams of carbohydrates (roughly 90 grams of carbohydrates in an average serving)!  Which is FAR too much for anyone carrying excess fat to consume if they have any goal of losing it; and far too much for the diabetic and debilitated majority to be consuming in one day, let alone one meal.

A brownie is still a brownie, and gluten-free or not, eating one everyday after lunch isn’t going to fix your waistline.

And again, I’m not saying don’t go gluten-free, as I think the picture below from David Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain, does a great job of showing you the impact that inflammation (from a gluten sensitivity) can have on your brain:

brain on gluten

And in fact, I encourage anyone that suspects even a mild sensitivity to try eliminating gluten from their diet entirely (yes, even on Feast Days). Which I did at the end of 2011, and have never felt better (cognitively).

Although, keep in mind that pizza is still pizza, pancakes are still pancakes, and a slab of pound cake beside your coffee on a Tuesday afternoon is and always will be a bad choice…gluten free or not.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike


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