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Lady Gaga contributes to gluten-free diet confusion

The "Born This Way" singer announces she's cutting gluten as a way to lose weight. When will celebrities realize that gluten-free diets are for managing a health condition, not dropping pounds?

And the gluten-free diet confusion continues. The latest victim? Ms. Bad Romance herself told the Australian paper Sky News, she's going gluten free to drop 10 lbs. as she wraps up her international tour.

"Gaga has decided to go on a major body blitz and cut out all gluten and wheat from her diet, which is very hard to do," The Huffington Post reports. "She has given her people strict instruction to advise staff at venues and restaurants about her new diet because she is taking it very seriously."

She may be taking the diet seriously, but she's also seriously misinformed.

It's the sugar and addictive nature of wheat products that largely contributes to weight gain, not gluten. In fact, new research published in the August issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics shows that gluten-free eating can lead to weight gain because many gluten-free products contain more added fats and sugars than their gluten-containing counterparts. 

Furthermore, the study author, Arizona State University professor and researcher, Glenn Gaesser, PhD, "found there is no evidence that the gluten-free diet provides benefits to the general population and that gluten itself may, in fact, provide important benefits, such as supporting heart, gut and immune system health," according to a release.  

I suspect the later finding will widely be disputed, but the point is if you're not gluten intolerant and don't have celiac disease, cutting gluten is not for you. To lose weight, you're better off trying any of the handful of super popular low-carbohydrate diets which often prescribe boosting protein and vegetable consumption and severely limiting all grains.

Gaga isn't the only misinformed celebrity. Miley Cyrus, Peter Sarsgaard and Kim Kardashian have all suggested a gluten-free diet helped them lose weight, and the media buzz continues to add to the consumer confusion about what and who this diet is really for.

Does it bug you when celebrities tout gluten free for weight loss? Share in the comments.

Discuss this Blog Entry 10

on Aug 24, 2012

YES, this makes me crazy. Just when I think we're gaining ground in helping people understand what it means to eat and live gluten free, someone with a zillion Twitter followers perpetuates the myths. Maybe Gaga will get enough feedback from her GF fans to make a correction ... here's hoping.

on Apr 21, 2014

She always do her stuff to make her body slimmer. Even in her music, she still contributes to health.

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Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 25, 2012

One of the symptoms of celiac or any food sensitivity is *weight gain*, which means if any of those celebrities have been identified as celiac or have a sensitivity to gluten and have cut it out, going gluten-free may very well be responsible for their weight loss. They may not be as misinformed as the article indicates.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 27, 2012

I have Celiac Disease and was one of those people who gained weight after going on the gluten free diet. At first it was a good thing because I was actually absorbing nutrients for a change and getting healthy again. However, as I found all of the gluten free junk food I continued to gain weight. Now I'm trying to limit the gluten free junk food and stay more with the foods that are naturally gluten free. So in answer to your question, yes it makes me kind of mad and I worry that I won't be taken seriously when out at restaurants.

anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 27, 2012

This is just getting ridiculous. Yes, it's true that a lot of Celiacs are thin, some even emaciated looking, but it's not because of the diet, it's because their body can't utilize the nutrition in the food they eat. Many Celiacs gain weight once they go completely gluten free because, finally, their body can digest food and use the calories. A gluten free diet is not a low-calorie diet unless you forgo the carbs. Eat a high protein, low carb diet consisting mainly of fish, poultry and lean meats and plenty of vegetables and you WILL lose weight.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 29, 2012

I would agree with this article. Eat Paleo or something similar and you will lose weight because you aren't eating as many carbs (that turn to sugar and then fat) and excess calories, but don't attribute gluten to weight loss. The only reason most people lose weight on a gluten free diet is that they cut a lot of carbs and don't eat processed GF foods, and instead just eat whole foods like more protein, veggies and fruits.

on Aug 31, 2012

The Huffington Post reports. She has given her people strict instruction to advise staff at venues and restaurants about her new diet because she is taking it very seriously.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 26, 2012

I saw this exact quote from a somewhat famour nutritionist: "if you're not gluten intolerant and don't have celiac disease, cutting gluten is not for you." Why didn't you quote the person? Not cool...

Kylev (not verified)
on Jan 16, 2013

I must say the gluten-free diet article is really good! Nice attempt dude! Looking ahead for postings great work...Keep it up.

on Jan 24, 2013

I think people need to be seriously informed regarding the particular diet. This can be harmful if not informed regarding the diet plan. Confusion needs to be solved to get a good knowledge on a specific diet.

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