Dietitian Takes on Gluten-Free Weight Loss Rumors

November 22, 2010

Dietitian Takes on Gluten-Free Weight Loss Rumors

Nutrition expert counters claims that link the gluten-free diet to staying slim.

The gluten-free diet has gained media attention, but not for the right reasons, according to health specialist Rebecca Scritchfield, RD. In a segment on Fox News in Washington, DC, the dietitian noted that while interest in gluten-free has increased, the public appears to associate the diet more often with weight loss rather than the medical condition it’s intended to treat.

There is no scientific evidence to support gluten-free as a weight loss diet, Scritchfield explained, adding that a lot of claims include misinformation. Scritchfield challenged a chapter in Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G-Free Diet, that linked gluten-free food to staying slim. Many gluten-free alternatives have the same or higher caloric content as gluten-containing counterparts, Scritchfield countered.

“While there are a lot of foods that are gluten-free like vegetables and fruit, you don’t have to go gluten-free to increase your fruits and veggies,” she added.

To achieve and maintain a healthy weight, Scritchfield advised everyone to eat a “balanced plate” of protein, vegetables and whole grains. Brown rice is a healthy option that also happens to be gluten-free. But, she added, those not required to eat gluten-free for medical reasons can swap in a whole wheat pasta and still have a healthy meal.

Watch the video segment >>