Health: What’s Up with the Gluten-Free Diet?

The Twitterverse is yammering about Miley Cyrus…again. This time it’s about how skinny she is. Some are saying she has an eating disorder, to which she quickly fires back: “For everyone calling me anorexic I have a gluten and lactose allergy. It’s not about weight it’s about health. Gluten is crapppp anyway!”

Is gluten really crap? Lately it’s been blamed for all kinds of ailments, from irritable bowel syndrome to autism. “There’s absolutely no evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes weight loss,” Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “However, there is data that indicates that following a gluten-free diet can result in a diet that’s low in key nutrients — especially iron, zinc and B vitamins such as folate and niacin.”

In fact, eating too many processed gluten free foods can make you put on a few pounds. Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian living with celiac disease and food industry consultant, says, “People who go gluten-free may gain weight if they rely mostly on highly-processed gluten free foods, many of which tend to be higher in fat, calories and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts.” Ansel agrees, and adds, “Gluten-free foods also tend to lack fiber that fills us up and can help us manage our weight.” [SOURCE]

So what gives? I’m all for cutting out the sugar–there’s clear evidence for that. But gluten, too? Lemme just go outside and eat some grass like the dogs do.