Jennie Bragg is an Editorial Producer in CNN’s Money Unit. Previously - Gluten-free and well-fed: the sneaky stuff
Fashion week has come and gone here in New York, but with all the models, designers and wanna-be fashionistas roaming about town just a week ago, I got to thinking a bit about trends. Like shoulder pads and last season’s romper, diets tend to go in and out of style.
So what’s hot right now? You guessed it: the gluten-free diet.
Popularized by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the G-free diet is all the rage. Once a solution for those diagnosed, like me, with celiac disease, now 93% of gluten-free interested dieters have never been diagnosed with celiac, according to research by the Hartman Group, a consumer research group.
So if you don’t have a gluten allergy or intolerance, why are you eating gluten-free?
First, you have to consider the way you are eating. A gluten-free diet can be similar to many other diets if you do it right; it's high in protein, low-carb, lots of fruits and veggies. This all sounds very familiar. We have heard it from doctors, nutritionists, and weight-loss books for years. On the other hand, if you are simply planning to substitute gluten-packed foods with gluten-free foods, you may find the weight loss more challenging.
Many gluten-free products substitute wheat flour with ingredients unusually high in carbohydrates, like potato, rice or corn starch. This can often lead to a spike in blood sugar, and according to many medical professionals, you may end up packing on a few pounds, rather than losing them. (Fashion Week models, don’t try this at home.)
I did not go gluten free to lose weight - and believe me, I didn’t lose any. I was diagnosed with celiac disease and was trying to get healthy first and foremost, but I must say, the super-trendiness of this “diet” has worked in my favor. Thanks to millions of dieters testing the gluten-free waters, G-free products and G-free restaurants abound. While it may not be for everyone, I hope the gluten-free trend doesn’t go the way of the shoulder pad anytime soon. It is certainly working out for me.