When Miley Cyrus dropped a significant amount of weight from her already slim frame this April, tongues immediately started wagging about a potential eating disorder. Miley dismissed this claims, insisting that she had dropped the kilos as a result of eliminating gluten and dairy from her diet. While the singer/actress/serial dieter added that she is allergic to these products, she also recommended that everyone does the same. Yes, it is true that gluten and dairy foods are often high in carbohydrates or fat, making it a no brainer to reduce these levels when trying to shift some kilos. However, there is much research to suggest that banning entire food groups in a plight to lose weight can actually do more harm than good. Gluten free products, for instance, can have a much higher kilojoules and sugar content than its gluten-containing counterparts. This is because manufacturers may be forced to include less-than-wholesome additives to try and replicate the taste of the original product. Gluten free alternatives also tend to be lower in nutrients including iron, zinc and folate.
Waving goodbye to dairy can also make it challenging to sustain a balanced diet. Products like cheese, milk and yoghurt are rich in calcium, protein, vitamin D and minerals including phosphorus. Luckily, most of these health benefits can also be attained by chowing down on things like eggs and tofu. However, many dieters seem to turn to alternatives like soy, not realising that these can contain an equal amount of sugar (or even more) than full-fat dairy products. Now, it goes without saying that the Ingredieat team would never try to deter you from experimenting with gluten and dairy free foods and drinks. After all, showing you just how exciting and accessible this lifestyle can be is our ultimate goal. Our only bone to pick with Miley’s claims is that ‘EVERYONE’ should try out a gluten and dairy free diet. We believe this should only be taken on as a result of allergies, intolerances or a desire to FEEL better, not as a short-term weight loss fix.
What are your thoughts on this contentious issue, Ingredieaters? Have you ever considered nixing gluten and dairy to lose weight quickly?