Hello, medical weight loss friends! What's for lunch today?
Organic lunch meat and hydroponic lettuce on double-fiber wheat bread...or even whole-grain pasta with veggies and pesto? Both choices are healthy, right? We at OMNI Medical Center say, "Not necessarily."
That's because more and more researchers are finding that sluggishness and weight gain (or delayed weight loss results!) can be blamed on a discreet substance hiding in wheat and many other common grains: gluten.
So what is gluten, anyway, and how does it affect the body?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, as well as in many common food additives. It's what gives dough its elasticity and adds that satisfying chewiness to baked goods. But for people with celiac disease—a type of autoimmune disorder—eating foods that contain gluten can lead to a laundry list of reactions, including damage to the small intestine, poor nutrient absorption, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, anemia, and fatigue.
Celiac disease is surprisingly common (it affects about one in every 133 people), according to a study by researchers at the University of Maryland. There is no cure for celiac disease and no drugs that can treat it, however. You can only manage the condition by sticking to a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.
But even if you don't have celiac disease, gluten may still be bad for you, according to a dietitian at the University of Chicago's Celiac Disease Center. Additionally, a rising percentage of people in the U.S. now consider themselves "gluten-sensitive."
If you think you may have symptoms of a gluten intolerance, ask one of us at OMNI Medical Center about scheduling a blood test to find out for sure.
The good news about cutting gluten out of your diet is that it can lead to weight loss. That's because a strict gluten-free diet forces you to stay away from some refined carbohydrates that can lead to weight gain.
Here are some common culprits where gluten is hidden:
Avoiding gluten (as much as we may hate to give up certain foods) also means you're likely to adopt other whole grains and flours that lack gluten, such as buckwheat, quinoa, and wild rice (which is not related to white rice). These aren't necessarily healthier options than gluten-rich wheat, barley or rye, but consuming a wider range of grains gives you even more nutritional variety in your diet!
Here's to discovering new foods without gluten!
--The OMNI Medical Center Team
For more helpful nutritional tips or for details about the OMNI Medical Center medical weight loss program visit our web site: http://www.omnimedicalctr.com/.
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