Diane May Nutrition Blog

Should You Go Gluten Free for Weight loss?

March 12th, 2017

Many people choose to go gluten free for weight loss and to “feel healthy”.  Should you go gluten free?  The short answer is no, not unless you have to!

First lets define gluten.. Gluten is the protein found in certain grains: wheat (wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina,spelt, farina, farro, graham, kamut, einkorn), barley, rye, triticale and contaminated oats (those that have been processed in a factory that also processes other grains-so they must be identified as gluten free to be safe for patients that have gluten intolerances).

Who needs to be on a gluten free diet?  People that have been identified to have Celiac disease,  gluten intolerance (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) or wheat allergy MUST remove gluten from their diet. If you suspect one of these conditions, you should see a gastroenterologist and be tested. Testing involves blood tests and possibly a biopsy. Once diagnosed, it is important to meet with a Registered Dietitian to understand a gluten free diet, hidden sources of gluten and possible supplement needs.

For weight loss or overall health, there is NO evidence whatsoever (let me reiterate-NONE) that a gluten free diet assists in weight loss or overall health.  Many gluten free foods are higher in sugar and fat to replace the gluten in processed foods.  Many Americans get a large percentage of certain B vitamins (especially B9) from fortified grains.  By removing gluten, you may also be losing out on these important nutrients.  Wheat products are also an excellent source of fiber, which is essential to keep in our diet.  The American Heart Association also recommends consuming whole grains to assist with lowering triglyceride levels. People that consume higher levels of fiber tend to have lower triglycerides. A very interesting new study has also linked going gluten free to increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes later in life. Although new research, just one more reason to rethink going gluten free if you are not gluten sensitive.

You are not doing harm by going gluten free (although you should be doing it with the guidance of an RD)…but it is NOT a way to lose weight or be healthier. Paying attention to caloric intake, moving your body and eating a whole, well balanced diet is the best way to lose weight and promote health and wellness.


Chickpea-Farro Salad



Cooking Light: SIDNEY FRY, MS, RD OCTOBER 10, 2016




Serves 4 (serving size: about 2/3 cup)

Diets higher in whole grains have been linked to lower levels of inflammation and cognitive decline; whole grains are a staple in the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. This salad combines brain-boosting farro, chickpeas, and olive oil with the bright crunch of fresh celery. Simple, quick, and delicious.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked farro
  • 1 cup canned organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves
    • calories 171
    • fat 8 g
    • satfat 1 g
    • monofat 5.1 g
    • polyfat 1.1 g
    • protein 4 g
    • carbohydrate 21 g
    • fiber 4 g
    • cholesterol 0.0 mg
    • iron 1 mg
    • sodium 347 mg
    • calcium 34 mg
    • sugars 2 g
    • Est. Added Sugars 0 g


How to Make It

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Add remaining ingredients; toss to coat.