Lose the Wheat – Lose the Weight???

I get daily notices from Prevention in my e-mail and today’s notice was about a new book on the market written by an MD. The premise is that if you cut wheat out of your diet you will lose weight. Additionally, he suggests that the wheat of today is different from what our fore-bearers ate and is less healthy. The statements and premises in this book ARE NOT based in science. Just because someone has an MD after his or her name does not make them an expert in nutritional science as evidenced in this book. This is just another gimmick or fad diet.

Currently wheat and gluten are the scapegoats of the obesity epidemic. The real culprit is many of us eat more calories than we expend. Is wheat the culprit? Not entirely. Will you lose weight if you cut it out, maybe temporarily.

Here are some of the issues:

  • Many products with wheat, especially the refined wheat (white) flour are not very nutritious, contain very little fiber and fewer nutrients than whole wheat or other whole grain flours.
  • Refined grain products such as white rice, white or refined wheat flour found in white breads, pastries, crackers, many desserts, some cereals and pasta readily convert into sugar in your body and tend to settle as fat around your mid-section.
  •  Gluten-free products (Gluten is the protein in wheat that people with Celiac disease must avoid) are often made with refined flours such as potato and rice flours and may have more calories, less fiber and fewer nutrients.
  • Cutting out whole grain products may result in a diet missing nutrients and too little fiber. If you have to follow a restricted diet for medical reasons, always consult a registered dietitian!

Gimmicks and quick fixes rarely work over the long-term and who wants to be on and off diets while struggling with weight loss and gain for the rest of their lives?  The bottom line is- if you eat fewer calories than you expend  through regular exercise (include cardio, and strength training), you will lose weight. Your best bet is to eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, include protein with every meal, and  when you choose grain products, make sure the first ingredient is a whole grain.

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