Should I go gluten-free?

What’s gluten? And should I go on a gluten-free diet to lose weight?

Gluten is a protein that’s in wheat, rye, barley and triticale. People with celiac disease must avoid it because even small amounts of gluten can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. There are also some that have gluten sensitivity and may suffer symptoms after eating gluten products. But this accounts for about 1% of the population. So if that’s not you, I don’t recommend a gluten-free diet. Not only can it be expensive, it’s a tough diet to follow as a lot of items contain gluten. And eliminating whole wheat and other high fiber foods can make it difficult to get all the fiber we should have in a day.

I do recommend that you monitor portion sizes, like a half cup serving size of rice, pasta and oatmeal. Aim for balanced meals in which one-half of the plate is non-starchy veggies, one-quarter is protein and the other quarter is starch. Fruit and low fat or nonfat dairy are outside the plate. Prepare food in a healthy manner such as baking, grilling, roasting, steaming and baking. Don’t drink your calories and don’t skip meals. And if your doctor approves, engage in 60 minutes of physical activity a minimum of 5 days a week.

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