Gluten Free Diet


The Gluten-Free Diet did not start out as a weight loss plan, but a diet followed the approximately one percent of people who suffer from celiac disease.  Some “experts” believe that a gluten-free diet may assist people with losing weight, and have even convinced some celebrities like Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow to try a gluten-free detox diet.  There is no data however to support claims a gluten-free diet can lead to weight loss.


Eliminating gluten from a diet will assist those who suffer from the symptoms of celiac disease.  


Gluten damages the small intestine and impairs its ability to absorb nutrients.  

Program Overview

The Gluten-Free Diet is straightforward.  Avoid eating any grains that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein naturally found in a number of starches, most notably wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and spelt.  Additionally, some food additives, health and beauty products (lipstick and toothpaste), and medications contain gluten.  For beer lovers, this means no more indulgence in your beverage of choice, unless, of course, it is a gluten-free beer.

Gluten-free choices include corn, rice, potatoes, soybeans, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, flax, buckwheat, and wild rice.   Most fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, and dairy products are free of gluten as well.

Plan Strengths

If you medically need to avoid gluten, then this is a very good diet for you.  If followed correctly, it can be a healthy way of eating. Fortunately, as demand for gluten-free products has grown, more and more manufacturers are churning out products, which means a wide variety of choices.   

Two small studies suggest a gluten-free diet may have a slight effect on reducing the symptoms associated with autism.

Plan Weaknesses

This plan is not designed for mainstream dieters.  In fact, it isn’t even promoted as a series diet program.  Unless you suffer from celiac disease, you really have little need to follow this plan.  

While there are many foods marketed as gluten-free, they are unfortunately often lacking in fortified vitamins and minerals, and other important nutrients.  As many also contain added fat and sugar to improve the taste, the extra calories will likely do little for you in the area of weight loss.  

This is not a program you can pick up and start tomorrow.  People who follow this diet will tell you that you must be well-informed and research all products thoroughly.  Even for the most informed gluten-free diet follower, sifting through an ingredients list and identifying the “hidden” gluten can be frustrating.

There are no studies supporting the premise that a gluten-free diet leads to weight loss.  In fact, in some situations, people who follow a glue-free diet have actually gained weight because many of the gluten-free products are loaded with extra fat and/or sugar to make them more palatable to the taste buds.


For people suffering from celiac disease, following a gluten-free diet makes sense.  However, with no research to back up claims, it is an effective weight loss program, this fad diet should receive nothing more than a passing glance if that.

The information provided here is for educational or informational purposes only.  Dave DePew does not endorse any of the programs/services reviewed here.  

Additional Resources

Gluten-Free Diet: a Cure for Some, a Fad for Most, U.S. News 

Do Gluten-Free Diets Take Off Pounds? 

The G-Free Diet, WebMD