Beware of gluten-free advertising to protect your waistline

Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 27 September 2016

Today I have a guest article from my friend and co-founder of the Eat Real Food Academy, Carolyn Coffin. Since we co-founded this online community over four years ago we have had many upgrades. Does anyone remember the very first course we offered where all the videos were shared on a private Facebook group?

The most recent upgrade was this past spring where Carolyn took over the business and branded a new website with a fresh look. We switched our popular online course so that people didn't have to wait for the next enrolment and they could take it anytime. Carolyn also added one on one coaching to her arsenal.

This topic is one of the bonus topics that is covered in the course so I hope you enjoy.

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Gluten is a protein found in most grains including wheat, rye and barley. Derived from the Latin word for glue (that's right...glue!), gluten is what gives bread dough its elastic texture.

For Celiac disease sufferers, gluten triggers a heightened immune response in the small intestine, and therefore must be strictly avoided. But there’s a growing subset of the population being diagnosed with "non-Celiac gluten sensitivity," for which gluten can not only cause gastrointestinal symptoms, but also headaches, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, depression, and anemia.

For this reason, we are seeing a growing number of gluten-free food products lining store shelves – everything from gluten-free flour to pancake and muffin mixes. And perhaps because of this increasing prevalence of gluten-free products, many folks erroneously believe that gluten-free is synonymous with healthy.

While gluten-free products may be easier on your small intestine, from a weight management point of view they are a really bad idea.

Here’s why gluten-free products will make you fat.

Gluten-free products are typically made from rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, buckwheat, cornstarch, xantham gum – or some combination of the above. These highly refined ingredients spike the blood sugar and trigger insulin release – the fat storage hormone. Insulin's primary job is to store fat for later use. The problem is that in order to be able to burn stored body fat, insulin must be low. And insulin is never low if you eat a high carb diet of gluten-free products.

Bottom line: Eat gluten-free (hint: eat real food!), but to be very skeptical of products that are marketed as gluten-free. Please don't fall into the trap of assuming that all gluten-free foods are healthy. Marketers have exploited our lack of knowledge around this subject, and as always, it behooves us to do our own research into the foods we put into our bodies.

Now Carolyn and I would love to hear from you! What gluten-free food will you no longer be buying? What is your favourite real food that also happens to be gluten free? Leave a comment below and I'll be back next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.


2 Replies to “Beware of gluten-free advertising to protect your waistline”

Jane Spilchen

I have a gluten sensitivity & only use gluten free bread occasionally. Portions is important for maintaining good health.

Dr Michelle Durkin ND

Portion control is important but not as important as we think. Hormone balance – primarily keeping insulin low, trumps calorie restriction and portion control any day of the week.

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