My Dearest Celebrities,
I know this may not be easy to accept.
I know you surround yourselves all day with yes-people.
I know if you told your posse that dinosaurs never existed and the earth was flat, they’d all just nod their head in agreement.
But I’m here to tell you a hard truth. And, yea oh yea, the truth indeed shall set you free.
Perhaps you should take a seat before reading any further. Ok…here we go.
It has officially been proven that you cannot lose weight simply by eating gluten-free.
I know. I know. “How can this be?” you’re saying. “We’re never wrong”.
I know all of the effort that went into your well-orchestrated sound bytes about going gluten-free and how “hard” it is.
But you’ve been debunked. You’ve been outed. You have been exposed.
And no…not by me (well, not this time anyway). And not by those in the celiac community.
But by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Let’s listen to what they had to say, shall we?
Likewise, he explored the perception that the gluten-free diet is effective for weight loss. After reviewing the existing research on gluten, Dr. Gaesser concluded the gluten-free diet is not an effective weight-loss method. In fact, it frequently leads to weight gain because many gluten-free products contain more added fats and sugars than their gluten-containing counterparts.
“This paper is one of the first to look at the other side of the gluten craze. While the gluten-free diet is an important medical treatment for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, far too many Americans are following the diet for reasons that simply do not make sense,” stated Dr. Gaesser.
“Even though it has been endorsed by celebrities for weight loss, let’s face it – they are not the experts on nutrition and health. It’s time to listen to the science.”
I need to be honest with you and I don’t mean to hurt your feelings. But that last sentence really made me smile.
But here’s the problem and I am hoping you can help me. You see…Dr. Gaesser doesn’t quite have the following that you do. Heck, I couldn’t even find a twitter account for him.
But you folks are famous. You have millions of followers on Twitter. These people, for some odd reason, are entranced by your celebritiness (I know…not a real word) and you have the power to change their way of thinking.
So how about you all take one for the celiac team?
Have your PR team go on your Twitter account and tweet the following:
“Holy crap, I was wrong. Gluten-free is not a weight-loss diet. Eat healthy and exercise. @glutendude”
It’s only 100 characters so you can even add your trademark saying at the end. For example, Kim…you can add “OH Hiiiiiiiiiii”.
As always, I appreciate you listening and I thank you in advance for helping us celiacs out.
With much love,
45 thoughts on “Dear Celebrities: We Were Right and You Were Wrong”
SO MUCH YES!!!
I can think of so many celebrities AND day time talk shows that need to read this.
ALL OF THIS. I just applied for a talk at my local Ignite Chapter to do a talk and it was labeled something like “Why Lady Gaga Might Kill Me” hahaha. I hope I get a chance to spread the word to more than just my gluten-free Celiac and the Beast fan page – I wanna go worldwide (or just statewide). So many good points – and also the fact that by adopting fad diets it compromises restaurants taking us seriously – something I’ve been fighting for since diagnosis. YAY DR. GAESSER!
“by adopting fad diets it compromises restaurants taking us seriously”
Yes! Thank you so much, Erica. I said this earlier this week on here after a glutening and I believe this is the truth!! When a server “eye-rolls” you right off the bat, I think he/she is done listening and you’re probably going to be CCed. 🙁
If the GF diet were good for weight loss I wouldn’t be twice the man I used to be.
Now is we could just make the scientists of the world as famous as the singers and actors, then perhaps people would start think properly, and perhaps they would believe that scientists know more than celebrities.
I wonder if any of those celebrities ever actually spoke to anyone with Celiac, consulted a physician about the diet, or did any actual research.
I doubt it. I bet they all just blindly followed each other like sheep. The blind leading the blind!
Rachel–:) I had this image of lemmings—going right off the cliff, one after the other….LOL
Here is the same discussion on the Mayo Clinic Website’s blog posts entitled “Will Going Gluten Free Help You Lose Weight?”
They do have a disclaimer that this is a user-generated article, but it is all sound information.
My gluten-free reality is that right now I am in a total panic because at lunch I accidently used my husband’s fork after he had been eating cake. I didn’t even know we HAD cake. Turned out he was given a slice of birthday cake from a neighbor while I was at work. I realized I had the wrong fork when I tasted something sweet. (Please, Lord, let it have only been the frosting!)
Until any of these celebrities have experienced this level of “gluten fear”, then they really can’t understand why we get so pissy when they become gluten-free to lose weightt..
Correction: The link is from WebMD…not Mayo Clinic. I wonder if the brain fog is already setting in. 🙁
I would like to add that:
ANYONE can adopt a GRAIN FREE diet and lose weight. I think many people would lose their guts & butts if they did that. It would be very healthy for anyone to exclude grains. My friend is in tip- top condition off them.(not a celiac, but has MS)
It does not “endanger” anyone’s health to go GF. No scientific or medical evidence to support that statement. NONE.There are opinions, but that’s it. If you choose healthy non-gluten grains for added fiber in your diet, you have the same benefits of dietaty fiber as you did when consuming whole wheat. I have a non-celiac hubs who is GF and he is healthy as it gets.BUT he does not eat a bunch of GF- marketed crap on a daily basis.
No one can lose weight BY ADDING BACK IN the calorie and fat-laden GF goodies on the market.
One Against the Grain Baguette for example, has 750 calories. 42 g of fat and 71 g of carbs.
I could knock down one every day –no problem. But my arse would not fit through the door eventually.
ANYONE can lose weight if they dump the starches and carbs and exercise. That’s a given.
But it is NOT necessarily a “GF” lifestyle they are living. It is not a mandatory, life-saving exclusion for these people and does us a huge disservice to call what they are doing a “GF diet”.
In time, they will give it up– and return to eating what they always did–because the novelty will wear off.
We do not have that choice.
HARUMMPH! That to me is the major issue here, we were told “or else”.
Here is Dr. Gaesser on youtube:
Sorry, but I am not so sure he is right about consuming so many carbs on a daily basis –listen to the portions he recommends!– as being a way to “control weight”. Just does not make sense. If I ate as much pasta as he says is “okay”? I’d split my pants.
Thanks for sharing this, Irish. I don’t generally don’t trust Dr, Oz or anyone else who has attained “expert” status because Oprah launched them on her show, but that is my own bias. I’ve only watched Dr. Oz three times and he contradicted himself on what is a “healthy” diet each time! I did agree with him when he stated B-12 levels should be monitored in anyone with gut problems and the elderly so I don’t necessarily think all his advice is bad.
I wonder if carbs get a bad rap for weight control when it is really what we put on them or what we consider to be a serving size that is the real problem. The recommended serving size of 1/2 cup of pasta/rice and my actual serving size are vastly different! Seriously, if I am served only 1/2 cup of rice or pasta I am PO’ed! Also, how many average Americans eat plain rice, potatoes, corn, pasta, or bread? Most of us add butter/margerine, sauce, gravy, creams, or fry/stir fry them in a fat. That many additional calories per serving, even if someone actually eats the recommended serving size, will really add to the daily calorie totals.
I do think that many of us with intolerance/sensitivity to gluten are more sensitive to other foods especially those that make the gut work really hard to digest it. For me my digestive problems weren’t resolved when I went gluten-free, but I had over a decade of damage. I think everyone has to take that into account. Someone who has found out they are Celiac before their guts are badly damaged will probably see immediate improvement without cutting out any other foods. Everyone of us is in a different stage of damage and a diferent stage of healing. This is why we strive to bring awareness of possible Celiac/gluten sensitivity to those who have “IBS” , joint pain, neurological symptoms, or other immune diseases before the damage becomes irreparable.
Totally agree, Miss Dee! 🙂 I never miss an opportunity to enlighten someone who has obvious symptoms of a gluten intolerance. Not everyone wants to hear it however (like my family….)
(and I am no fan of Dr. Oz.)
I, personally, think we all need healthy carbs for energy.I know I do anyway.
I think portion control is the key as well. (and I agree that many people are quick to drown everything in sauces, creams, cheese and gravies and that is where the fat calories come from) I know so many people who have never even had broccoli WITHOUT cheese on it. (not kidding) 🙁
I have a long road ahead of me as far as healing goes. My doc told me I had better have patience, as there is no fast forward button or magic bullet. You do not undo a lifetime of damage in a short time.
I get that part; I am patient. Except for when I am in pain.
And maybe I am one of the few celiacs who will say this out loud: I think everyone has a problem digesting gluten. The wheat gluten of today is NOT the same as it was 2000 years ago and for that reason, our guts are not adapted to digesting it.
Many people of various cultures around the world thrive on being gluten free. But they do not do as a “fad diet”. It is just how they live.
I have seen people adapt many diets to try and feel better–I have done a few of them myself (GAPS, Paleo, Primal, Failsafe , low salicylates, whole foods only, etc….) and I think people should do whatever they need for ultimate good health.
I have never met a single celiac yet who miraculously healed in a few weeks or months. But I have met many who have achieved good health.
That’s my goal.
oops, please pardon my obvious typo…I meant “adopt” many diets.
I knew you were my “soul sistah”! I am pointing and saying “What she said!”
I can’t seem to post anything on here or on Facebook typo-free. I actually can’t see what I’m typing in the little comment boxes thanks to bifocals. (I need a large print version!) When it posts in the larger font I think “I hope they know I can spell better than that!”.:). If I’m on my phone I can see it better, but.I have never mastered typing with my thumbs. Oy!
I am an awful texter…. haha
I use a laptop to “text’ with people. I type like a journalist (and the journalism teacher I was) …very fast. …2 index fingers and maybe my right middle one.
I use a laptop and a cell phone–that’s it, but the phone only makes phone calls. It is not a smart phone. It is a very dumb phone. I understand it can text and take pics. But I have a gorgeous Nikon that does that, so why bother?
That’s my extent of me being a techie. I am still getting used to the NOOK Mr. IH gave me for Christmas. I tried one book on it so far…I can’t help it. I’m old school. I love to hold a book, feel a book, smell a book….
I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the Brave New World. LOL
oops. so sorry we got off track, Dude….!!
Happy Saturday night all!!!
and PS. DUDE, I am still keeping our deal, but I am having a bit of w/d of some kind. Hang tough. 😉
I just survived a weekend without alcohol with both nights at friend’s houses. I missed having a cocktail or two. But I do like waking up fresh the next morning. 25 days to go.
I really got hooked sort of on tonic water in such situations, going so far as to add bitter lemon to it. Yum !
I agree with you, we as humans can not digest Gluten. (or corn) nor can most animals. yet we force our bodies to. Also if you read the first book of the bible (genesis) It says:
“3: 17- And to Adam he said: “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and took to eating from the tree concerning which I gave you this command, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground on your account. In pain you will eat its produce all the days of your life.18And thorns and thistles it will grow for you, and you must eat the vegetation of the field.
so I believe as I believe in God that EVERYONE has what we have, but they have better tolerance-or just other symptoms.
Sorry for going biblical on everyone- but its so black and white!
I have a neighbor kid who went gluten free to see what would happen. He lost weight! See it does work!
OK- in small print at the bottom of this post: He stopped eating at McDonalds, etc everyday because he couldn’t eat gf there. He had to eat regular meat & veggies and fruit that mom served at home.
But I’m sure its just the gluten that made him fat. :0
Sarcasm duly noted and approved Lou…
I probably should research this, or ask a doctor, but I haven’t and probably won’t. Anyway, does anyone know if nearly starving to death changes the metabolic process, causing the body to ‘hang on’ to fats as
a response to the possibility of further episodes of malnourishment or severely reduced calories? Or am I just trying to rationalize getting too fat over the years?
Starving yourself is the worst way to lose weight. Your body will indeed store fats and slow down your metabolism to keep you alive.
Starving wasn’t on purpose; when I went into the hospital my intestines had been so badly damaged that I could eat anything and ten minutes later it was passed through chewed up but otherwise intact. I had lost 65 pounds through diarrhea by that point and was critically malnourished. Bad times…..
Yes, bad times. A 90 lbs. weight loss for me before DX–and so many body systems were affected.
Your body (in starvation mode due to malabsorption) starts to leech from wherever it can: Your bones, your tissues, your organs.
It is why we have so many deficiencies when diagnosed and why celiacs sufer from calcium leeching from teeth and bones, also causing osteopenia/osteoporosis, joint and bone pain, and other disorders such as hypocalcemia, hypoglycemia, hypothryoidism, hypoparathryroidism, anemia, heart disease, kidney disease,gall stones,tapping the adrenals, creating a malfunctioning pancreas……..among other “fun things”….it’s a head to toe disease.
Wonder if the Kardashians are aware of any of this? HA HA! I make a funny…..
Can we collectively campaign a mainstream media staple to get the word out? Maybe Leonard on Big Bang Theory can discover that in addition to his lactose intolerance, he also has Celiac? And then after going GF he can gain 10 lbs eating GF processed foods before he realizes the importance of whole foods. There can be a nice arc of episodes with difficulties ordering out, awkward dating situations, an accidental glutening that renders him unable to visit the Large Hadron Collider?
It seems like after all of the Kim/Miley/Channing/everyone malarkey it would be nice to see our real plight done right. And then afterwards maybe everyone can just drop it? Well, that, and poor Leonard can order the pitiful GF salad at Cheesecake Factory for every episode going forward.
Dude, your current journey is inspiring! I’m going to give a farewell to alcohol this evening — really, the only thing that I haven’t fully kicked to the curb yet — in your honor. Here’s to better health and awareness.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! Clever girl! I think Sheldon, with his OCD, food quirks, phobias and other “behavioral traits” may be a gluten intolerant as well. He’s pretty slender. It will be best for the roommates to go GF together anyway. All that potential CC would put Shelly right over the edge.
I was so hoping that Jennifer Esposito’s character (Jackie) on Blue Bloods would “out herself” as a celiac as she has been very vocal about CD and a good spokeswoman for our cause. Maybe someday!
Amanda, as the Dude and I have discussed (on the previous whole30 thread) –we may be “lushes” perhaps– but by God, we can put it down and enjoy that club soda with lemon for one month.
(and by “enjoy”, we mean we hate it. )
AWESOME idea Amanda!! I think about it as well every time they mention Leonard’s lactose intolerance when he orders a meal. Wouldn’t it be great if they took it a step further? 🙂 Love it.
There’s a character on Parenthood who supposedly has gluten “issues” but I think it was mentioned once in one episode and never again.
That’s awesome Amanda. I’m six days into no alcohol and while I do miss it, I’m sleeping better and my mornings are much better. Yes, I will go back to it, but I will limit myself to nights only. Just kidding.
So my wife has Gluten Intolerance, not Celiac’s disease. Based on her doctor’s advice she went Gluten Free. Tremendous improvement!! No more weeks of upset stomach, bloat, aches and pains and best of all no head ache for me. In fact being 5’ 7” and under a hundred pounds she was actually able to put on a few pounds since losing the gluten.
When the wife changes her diet.. EVERYONE does around my household.
So that led me to research (the reason I ran across this site too!) and recently ran across the book Wheat Belly . Based on what I have read (and researched on my own) perhaps Gluten-Free can lead to weight loss… well… as long as you don’t replace it with high carb starches like tapioca, potato, or corn.
It turns out that the weight loss may be due partially to the GMO dwarf wheat and the other properties that come along with it. (addictive + carbs what a combo) It could be that there are those like my wife that are suffering from Celiac without the positive indicators that name it “Celiac”. (perhaps myself who rides over 20 miles a day eats fairly modest but still holds on to a spare tire has some intolerance to super carb wheat?)
I don’t think the celebrities making a big hoopla over gluten free is a bad thing… have you noticed all the new gluten free labeling? (also more and more you can find gluten free menu’s…)
It may not be the stuff you should consume daily. (processed high starch etc) But on occasion when you want to modify grandma’s recipe and want to substitute that one ingredient… it is nice to easily pick the product off the shelf that has gluten free labeled across the front. Maybe it will help the prices on this stuff fall a little as demand goes up.
I think this comes as a large part due to some celeb going on a diet and causing marketing agencies to quickly check their product ingredients so they can stick Gluten – Free on the front and sell !
So in conclusion maybe the celebrity fad may lead to a little spotlight on the disease and maybe lead to the identification that there is a wider spectrum (and problem) to this disease that may not be identifiable with Celiac markers.
I appreciate the input ET. Heck…I appreciate any input.
But as I’ve said, we don’t need an increase in awareness on gluten-free. We don’t need five types of gluten-free crackers to choose from. We don’t need ANY pseudo-celebs jumping on the bandwagon when they have no idea what they are talking about.
This is all about celiac awareness. And Kim, Miley, Channing and Gwyneth are not the people we want in our corner.
Unless of course they have celiac disease, in which case they are more than welcome, unless they treat it like our friend Dean McDermott.
“I don’t think the celebrities making a big hoopla over gluten free is a bad thing… have you noticed all the new gluten free labeling? (also more and more you can find gluten free menu’s…)”
Please, this gluten free label on a product is NOT because of some celebs.They are not doing us any favors. Gluten free menus offer food that may not contain gluten, yes, but it does NOT guarantee gluten free status. Cross contamination is the problem.
Those “gluten free” labels on products are not a guarantee of gluten free status either. Companies do not have to divulge rye, barley or oats. Read those packages carefully. Many of them say: “produced in a facility that also processed wheat products”. That food is going to make me deathly ill.
It is not a law that a company divulge “Gluten free” status (not yet anyway) because this is still pending.
However, for some dedicated facilities with GIG certification, that big black GF with a circle on it ?—is a Godsend to those of us with celiac and NCGI. Certified gluten free —is not the same as “gluten free ingredients” or “no gluten added”. It is safer.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA)
of 2004 , which was finally put into effect in 2006. mandates that food labels clearly state the presence of eight major food allergens, including wheat (BUT NOT barley, oats or rye).
What you fail to understand is this: It is not because of celebs that we get the attention we deserve, rather it because of dedicated members of the celiac/gluten free community who have worked hard to get this labeling standard the attention it deserves..
Written into the law was a requirement for “gluten labeling” as well as a definition for “gluten-free” by August 2006, followed by a mandated standard and final rule for gluten-free food labeling by August 2008.
Nearly three years passed without action and seven years since FALCPA was passed.
So, “Tired of waiting for the FDA to act (and watching other countries, including Australia, Argentina and Canada, pass gluten-free labeling laws) Jules Shepard and John Forberger founded 1in133 (1in133.org) to shed light on this country’s gluten-free labeling impasse. (1in133 stands for the number of Americans living with celiac disease.) “The glaring lack of any standardized federal gluten-free food labeling laws has so fired up my sense of justice that I couldn’t simply stand by and watch it languish any longer,” Shepard told me.
The absence of gluten-free-labeling standards was presumably an invitation for Paul Seelig, a Durham, N.C., man who fraudulently sold bread as gluten-free. Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge found Seelig, owner of Great Specialty Bread Co., guilty on 23 counts of fraud and sentenced him to 11 years in prison.”
(excerpted from: Kim O’Donnel for USA TODAY)
ANYONE can slap a GF label on something they made because they did not put any gluten in it, but where dod they make it and how do we know it is not cross-contaminated? We don’t.
I know. I have trusted a “this is gluten free” statement on occasion and I have been burned badly. ( Trust the GF circle certification only._
So glad I live in Australia, the laws for gluten or any allergen are very strict. If a product is labeled as gluten free, then it must have No Detectable Gluten. All packaged food products, must be labeled to include the possibility of coming into contact with any of the common allergens, i.e. gluten nuts or lactose. If chocolate chip cookies are made on the same line as peanut cookies, then this has to be noted on the label, usually after the list if ingredients.
The only things not covered by this law are medications and supplements. So i find it pays to check with a pharmacist you trust.
remember when I said I wish Jennifer Esposito would speak up? well, she has!! Look at what shes says.. So loving this girl right now…:)
Life is completely different! Yes, exclusion is a big part of it. Of course, it’s not intentionally done, but it’s just not easy to be casual about food the way everyone else is.
Try to imagine knowing that with every piece of food you put in your mouth there is the potential that it can make you very ill. It’s not a fun feeling… Going out for dinner becomes daunting and travel becomes sometimes impossible.
Now we are also faced with a bigger problem. Gluten-free dieting is becoming a fad thanks to high-profile individuals who are removing gluten to achieve weight loss. This makes me want to scream! “Going gluten-free” may be a trend now, but there is a medical need, a dependency on being careful about not eating gluten and having meals properly prepared to prevent cross-contamination for the millions of people [who] have to deal with celiac disease.
I’ve experienced odd looks at me from wait staff when I say I need my meal to be completely gluten-free with a “yeah right” kind of attitude now. People are becoming cavalier about gluten-free, because they believe it’s the new quick fix to getting skinny. Well for the people whose lives depend on it to live, lets just say we are not too happy about this.”
Interview can be found here:
Thanks so much Irish for posting this … I read the article and it was refreshing to hear how she approaches a lot of the issues … I have marked her blog, Twitter, and Facebook as someone to follow – I believe she has a lot of good advice and reading on there.
And give me another great example of what I want to nudge my own blog into … wish I was a celebrity ha ha … I just never seem to have enough time between working, living and trying to read all the information out there on how to get healthier and properly deal with being a Celiac … so eye opening to really realize that staying “GLUTEN FREE” is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak …
glad to have another good reference that realizes this. 🙂 Thanks again for posting this article 🙂
I especially love that she says that recovery isn’t immediate when gluten is taken out of the diet. I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions. I wish I had read this when I first went gluten-free.
Great article! Thanks for posting.:)
I like that she was “real” about it. She said almost the same things we did about going out to eat and having waitstaff not take her seriously because of the “GF fad”.
She told the interviewer the ugly parts of celiac (admitting to panic attacks is not easy as there is a stigma attached to it) and that she still struggles with symptoms. Despite all that, she has returned to her acting work, opened a bakery, wrote a book and established a non-profit. I wondered where she had disappeared to after I saw her on Spin City years ago. Poor girl probably could not work much. 🙁 At least while teaching college courses, I could leave the room if I had to while they worked in groups (famous trick for those of us teachers with gut problems). Eventually, I had to resign my post because I was missing so many days.
People just do not understand the ramifications of this disease.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have typed/said this phrase to others during the last year and a half :
“Healing takes time. Try to be patient. Hang in there. It takes 6 months to 2 years– or more– for the gut and other issues to resolve.”
I hate telling people that because it seems discouraging. Someone told me the same thing right after my DX and I thought “I can’t do this; I can’t stand to be this sick and in pain one more minute.” But, I also hung my hope on that thought because for me, it was an answer! And I am not the sick, dying woman I was nearly 2 years ago. whoohoo!!
I look at at the BIG picture: It’s a whole lot easier to look forward to feeling better than to be stuck in the the hell hole we were in for so many years. Things do get better and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (and it is NOT an oncoming train……..) 🙂
So, hooray for Jennifer Esposito for shedding light on celiac and using her “celebrity status” in a positive way.
That’s funny because I’ve been doing a lot of research on gluten and all the experts I’ve listened to ALL SAY gluten CANNOT be digested properly by ANY HUMAN and most animals as well. I’ll stick to avoiding it based on my own findings but you let me know how things go for you 20 years down the road.