What Was Dr. Oz Thinking??

dr oz gluten free


Two days ago, Dr. Oz had a special episode called “Fast Diet Tricks That Work”.

(Dude note: Hey Dr. Oz, here’s a fast diet trick: eat less and exercise more. Can I get a TV show now?)

And who is his guest of honor on the episode? None other than our good friend Dr. Agatston of The South Beach Diet. Yes, the same Dr. Agatston who once said if you have celiac disease, you “canโ€™t have almost any gluten.”

If you’re new to this site, I’ve talked about his new book “The South Beach Diet: Gluten Solution” here and here. My issue is not with the original South Beach Diet book but the fact that he has jumped on the gluten free bandwagon, spewing false statements, simply to line his pockets.

The video above is just an intro to the show which pretty much sums it up perfectly. Scare tactics backed up by false statements.

Here is the official description of the Dr. Oz episode, as taken from the show’s website:

Want to lose weight effortlessly without going on a full-time diet? The creator of the South Beach Diet reveals the tricks that will help you slim down instantly! Plus, stop eating this one thing and lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks!

Can you guess what the ONE THING is? Do I need to say it? Or as Springsteen would say when introducing Clarence (RIP)…”Do I have to say his name??”

It’s gluten of course.

If you want to watch the entire episode, help yourself.

Did Dr. Agatston back up any of his figures with proof? Of course not. He continues to spew that the majority of people are gluten sensitive, even though the experts claim it’s roughly 6% of the population.

Did they mention celiac disease in the entire episode? Nope…not one single time. Can you imagine a full segment on gluten and not mentioning celiac disease just once.

Did they recommend getting tested for celiac disease before giving up gluten? Of course not…that would make too much sense.

Did Dr. Oz challenge him on the 10 pounds in two weeks claim? Nope…again not that I saw, although oddly the end of the episode is cut off on his website so if anybody out there saw the whole thing, perhaps you can enlighten me.

Just imagine, according to Dr. Agatston, not only can you cure yourself of all of your ailments by giving up gluten, but you can lose 10 pounds in two weeks.

It’s odd, I lost so much weight when I was sick, when I gave up gluten you’ll never guess what happened? Of course, I gained weight because my intestines began to heal. But now that doesn’t sell books, does it.

What a sham. What a shame.

And Dr. Oz…you’ve got a huge audience. Including a segment on gluten on an episode titled “Fast Diet Tricks That Work”?

What were you thinking??

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43 thoughts on “What Was Dr. Oz Thinking??”

  1. I do not care much for “TV doctors” and I never watch daytime TV, so I do not know what his appeal is, but he seems to reach a large audience.

    For all we know, the guy may well be right that a large majority of the people in the world are gluten sensitive (and I kind of agree with him, Dude but that’s a discussion for another day LOL )

    HOWEVER, if people do not get tested before they go on a GF diet, they are making a big mistake.

    Now, if people DO lose that weight initially (and they will because they are cutting out mega-carbs and dense calories with the gluten) , will they make the connection that it is actually a loss of bloat and inflammation as a result of gluten intolerance…. or will they just think it is the new miracle “fad diet”?

    ANYONE will lose weight if they give up all the starchy carbs they shove down their pie holes every day in the form of bagels, pizza, donuts, pasta and junk from the vending machines .

    Therein lies the problem.

    1. Hey…it’s totally possible the percentage of gluten sensitivity is much higher than 6%, but until the facts back it up, a doctor should not go on national TV treating it like it’s fact…which he does constantly to help sell his book.

      1. Nodding my head i agreement here, Dude.:)

        I do not like it either when people give a random percentage like that w/o proof.

      2. (snert) – Irish, thanks for giving me a chuckle. “ANYONE will lose weight if they give up all the starchy carbs they shove down their pie holes every day in the form of bagels, pizza, donuts, pasta and junk from the vending machines. Therein lies the problem.” So SO true!!!

    2. I was an unhealthy 106 lbs (5 feet 2 inches tall) when I got diagnosed with Celiac Disease last July 2012. Today, I am eating just as healthy, exercising just as frequently and weigh a HEALTHY 115lbs. I am still trying to gain the muscle I was forever struggling to gain though. I, by no means, starve myself–nor have I ever. I love food and I love sweets…but I know my limits and being healthy and happy are my number #1 priority. Eating processed foods, is a thing of my past. You may lose if you go GF; however, it’s like a rebound effect…you’ll gain it back and plus some. Not to mention, those that are jumping on the GF-diet bandwagon are stocking up on all the NEW processed chips, cookies and sweets just because they think it’s “better for them”. The ignorance of people just amazes me.

      1. I lost 90 lbs. when very ill before my DX. It took me a few months to put a little weight back on…and then, I zoomed up in weight ONCE my gut started absorbing again at around 15 months post-DX.

        I put weight on at a rapid clip. Why? I overdid the CARBS, I am thinking.
        I craved them.Like mad. I had been starving for so long and I could not eat because of a damaged GI tract and then, food started to taste good, stay in me and I was a happy camper once more :).

        It took 2.5 years before I could go to the gym and use weights because my muscles were so damaged, but it feels good to be back at it, doesn’t it? I am so thrilled. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Now, I am 25 lbs. overweight but when I bemoan how thin I was and now I am “fat”, the hubs shoots back “yeah, well, you were dying then. I like you better this way”.
        I can live with that for now, I guess.

    3. I agree with you IH and you as well GD.

      I believe that gluten is a huge issue for many people who may not even have celiac disease. I also believe that people should be tested first.

      I think Dr. Oz reaches a huge audience that do not have the doctors who care or know about celiac or gluten sensitivity. I work with the elderly daily. Most who have stomach issues along with a million other issues that brings them into rehab or long term care. Thus far … I don’t see where any have been tested for celiac disease. I have even asked a few on occasion and they have no idea what celiac disease is. From this stand point, I can not discount the work Dr. Oz is doing with bringing this into the lime light. I do believe they are on to something. I do believe a large audience respects him and listens to him. I do believe he is helping many that have crappy doctors that are either not in the know or not acknowledging that gluten could be the culprit. I am afraid there are too many doctors out there who either one: don’t want to bother patients because they think they want a quick fix (meds to cover symptoms) or two: don’t want to loose their business by really fixing their patients.

      For this reason I can not discount what Dr. Oz does other than he needs to give more information. Testing for Celiac Disease has a long way to go in my opinion. People need to know about it, but they also need to know that testing is not fool proof. Get tested and if you test negative cutting gluten out of your diet 100% for several months may truly be a Life Saver.

      1. Wendy said:
        “Testing for Celiac Disease has a long way to go in my opinion. People need to know about it, but they also need to know that testing is not fool proof. Get tested and if you test negative cutting gluten out of your diet 100% for several months may truly be a Life Saver.”

        AMEN and like button, like button, like button!

        People over 50 are the fasting growing population of diagnosed celiacs, but by then, most have acquired other AI diseases, heart disease, cancer, etc. The problem lies in convincing doctors that these problems could very well have a treatable, underlying cause.

        1. I find your comment interesting because I had a celiac friend who died last year of heart disease at age 44. He had also been a vegan for 15 years before that. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002, but decided that being vegan and gluten-free was too much work, so he ate gluten anyway. He was thin and objectively healthy, except that something shut his heart down.

  2. Dr. Oz should have zero credibility by now anyway – he jumps on every bandwagon to lose weight. He contradicts himself constantly.

  3. Dude-

    Dr. Oz is basically grasping at straws at this point. Pathetic attempt with “Dr. A” (keeping it PG here, would love to insert some choice letters after that A) to sell yet another diet book. They are both a couple of dopes.

    Jersey Girl

    “I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.”
    -Dan Quayle

  4. Nearly all diets are fads and gimmickry anyway. It’s repulsive. True, I am a part of the celiac/NCGI population who *did* lose weight following going gluten free (96 lb and 4 pants sizes) but I NEVER recommend this diet solely for that purpose. But that’s also a part of the concern. People see the gluten free diet as a lifestyle choice like going vegan – not as a medically therapeutic intervention. If you believe gluten is a part of your problem, then FIRST you should get checked out and THEN if you STILL think it’s an issue go GF to check for NCGI – under the guidance of a physician who gets it.

    This bullsh*t borders on malpractice.

  5. If I hear one more time that eating gluten free will help you lose weight I am bound to throat punch someone. I dont get why the media and just humans in general can be realistic.

    Any processed gluten free food runs a chance of having more calories than its wheat based counter part. If you have to eat gluten free due to an allergy, sensitivity or celiac I understand but if you want to lose weight your best course of action is eating a processed food free diet.

    If wheat/gluten doesn’t harm you the realization should occur that a slice of bread has more nutritional value than a Coke or Pepsi. So maybe Dr Oz should have said “stay away from processed foods and go for whole foods”

    Its obvious to most people if you cut out or lower carbs you’ll lose weight (if you are not normally active) the same goes for if you cut out sugar. But you cant just tell people to be Gluten Free. I would bet money that the people that dont need to be gluten free are still eating Campbells Tomato soup and negating the fact that wheat flour is a thickening agent.

    Again stuff like this makes me want to throat punch someone.

    1. Hey Dude… for comments like this I think we need a thumbs-up or thumbs-down button like on Facebook. Two thumbs WAY UP here…

  6. WOW! I am glad I didn’t see this because it would have made me mad. It’s hard enough people thinking you eat gluten free because of a fad diet and not understanding that your body just can’t tolerate it or process it (depending on your individual case). There should be a special show titled “The Truth about Gluten” in which Doctors who treat those with Celiac and Gluten intolerance or sensitivity address what all of these others fail to address.

    If you lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks by not eating gluten where is my weight loss? By now I should be in the best shape of my life!

  7. Really? all I have to do is give up gluten and I’ll loose weight!!!
    Be right back- going to throw out all my gluten– wait, I already did that and gained 35 lbs in the first month of being gluten free- all I did was eat tons and tons of potatoes, rice,GF free bread,GF cookies and corn chips They are all gluten free..shrugs.. what did I do wrong ?? :/
    I hate how they are using gluten free as a reason to make money because now it’s trendy- and no mention of celiac disease ..what the heck?. But I happen to agree that gluten is posion not only to celiacs and gluten intolerant folks. We are just the ones who are lucky enough to know it is poison.. I also agree that most of the population has some sort of sensitivity to wheat but they don’t know it. But anyway Dr Oz and others like him get under my skin! He supports a different diet trend every week . It makes going gluten free look like a quick fix and seem trivial and stupid. Thanks Dr Oz that helps us so much!

  8. This is reminding me of going to my favorite Indian food place with a gluten-free menu, and asking for a gluten-free entree–at which point they asked if I wanted the “vegan chicken”, which is seitain, or wheat meat. I could just see the clerk thinking, “If you’re trendy enough to be gluten-free, you must be vegan, too.”


  9. I remember watching an episode of his show about a year or so ago where he explained celiac disease and what a serious medical condition it is. I was impressed that he seemed to know what he was talking about. It’s sad to see that he’s jumped on the “gluten-free for weight loss” bandwagon.

  10. When I read the headline of this article in my local paper and saw the photo of Gwyneth, I thought oh crap, not another one of these articles extolling the virtues of gluten-freeness for weight loss. Now, I have a problem with the article not acknowledging that many people have a very real medical reason to avoid gluten. But it does argue that going gluten-free is not the weight-loss panacea that so many people make it out to be, and that people really just need to eat a balanced diet and exercise more.


    1. I just read (yet another) article about Gwyneth today at the hair salon
      and she says she “does the GF diet for a few weeks a few times a year” because she is not going to be so strict and cannot adhere to it. “everyone needs brownies”, she said..

      but, she also says, she does it …. to “cleanse” her system and she wrote a cookbook for us! (gag).

      She is not a celiac nor is she a true gluten intolerant or she would not “dabble” in it.

      She claims she has “anger issues” on gluten…..well, stop eating it, dope!

      make up your mind, lady!!.

      you are either on the bus, or you’re off the bus.

      1. Bitter irony… brownies are probably the one baked good that gluten actually destroys. GF brownies are so much more tender than gluten-laden ones. Someone needs to shut the **** up…

        1. I completely agree with you. Gf brownies were such a joy for me after my diagnosis. I wouldn’t want regular ones now if I could have them. I can’t believe the ignorance of so so many people.

  11. Miss Dee Meanor

    I never got over the “evil gluten” show that Dr. Oz did a while back featuring two doctors that weren’t specialists in the topic, had a featured “gluten-free” recipe expert who made everything with oats, and never once stressed the importance of being tested for Celiac Disease before going gluten-free.

    1. Did they say anything about making sure the oats are GF? Oats are a culprit in many a cross contamination scenario. Of course, if one is on the diet as a fad thing it wouldn’t matter…….

  12. See, as a celiac who also happens to be a human biology major, this really pisses me off, because if this man is actually a doctor who has even the most basic knowledge on the subject, then he is knowingly harming people. If he knows nothing like he is clearly demonstrating, then he should just not talk. A large portion of the population has the POTENTIAL to have a gluten sensitivity, however it doesn’t manifest in the majority of the populations who consume a large portion of it (like North Americans) because a lot of people have grown tolerant of it because it’s in a Hell of a lot of foods. The 6% are those who drew the short stick and didn’t have the ability to adapt to our wondrous crossbred-grain diet that put gluten into everything we grow. Now here comes the kicker: if a person who does not have an intolerance stops eating gluten, they become more sensitive to it the longer they go without it.

    Meaning that that diet is going to make the hypothesis of a huge percentile of undiagnosed people with gluten intolerance a reality.

    1. ” if a person who does not have an intolerance stops eating gluten, they become more sensitive to it the longer they go without it.”

      I have never heard of any studies done on this, and I would really love to read them, if you can point me to them, please. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I am asked this question often and I usually say I do not see how it is possible, since an intolerance to something usually comes from flooding the system with it, not taking it out. (removal of the offending food protein results in symptom-resolution, yes?).

      My husband went GF with me voluntarily when I was diagnosed 2.5 years ago. He has had gluten on occasion with no ill effects. And he is healthy as it gets.

      Seriously, if you have some studies available on this, I’d be thrilled to read them. Thank you, Jace! Cheers.

      1. It was something one of my professors told the class, I will ask him if he has any papers on it. From what I understand, it works essentially the same way that lactose intolerance does. If a body doesn’t have the necessity to produce the enzyme which breaks down lactose, the body stops producing it. It won’t cause celiacs disease because it isn’t an autoimmune response, but it’ll cause a sensitivity until your digestive system starts regulating the production of the correct digestive enzyme again. You’ll have a nasty initial response that’ll decrease over time.8

        1. “If a body doesnโ€™t have the necessity to produce the enzyme which breaks down lactose, the body stops producing it.”

          I have never heard of this either. Lactase is produced in the tips of the villi. Healthy villi will produce this enzyme, regardless of whether it is “used” or not…at least that’s the way I understand it.

          Lactase deficiency is caused by several factors, but no longer consuming lactose is not one of them.

          Primary lactase deficiency – genetically inherited. It is the most common type and usually develops when the patient is under 20 years of age. As soon as the individual’s diet includes less milk, lactase production drops. In most cases, this occurs when the baby is weaned from milk to solids. Although lactase levels may drop at such an early age, it may be a few years before lactose intolerance symptoms develop.

          Secondary lactase deficiency – there is a problem with the small intestine that results in inadequate amounts of lactase production. Possible causes are intestinal surgery, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, chemotherapy, CELIAC c disease and gastroenteritis. If the underlying condition is chronic (long-term), the resultant lactose intolerance tends to be long-term too.

          Congenital lactase deficiency – the person is born with a genetic mutation which means they produce very little lactase (or none at all). The condition is inherited from the patient’s parents.

          Familial lactase deficiency – lactase production is fine, but it does not do the job. It does not break down the lactase into glucose and galactose so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. This condition is also inherited from the parents.

          1. I am simply basing this off of what we are being taught in our biology classes. My teacher is from an area where dairy products are simply not consumed, and for the first few years after being introduced to milk products, he had nasty reactions to them, as did his family members because they had never had the need to break them down before. As time passed, the sensitivities waned.

            I also have friends who never had gluten sensitivities until they stopped eating it, and now that they’ve been off of it for a few years because it was trendy, they get violently ill if they eat it.

            I’m not saying that a two week crash diet will make you sick, I’m saying that trying to use it as a long term diet plan will have negative effects.

            1. I think you are missing what I am trying to say, hon.
              This is how a food intolerance is determined. Take the offending food protein out and reintroduce it. If there is a “reaction” of some kind, then, there was an intolerance to it all along.

              If someone gives up gluten for a long time and then resumes it and gets sick, they have a gluten intolerance of some kind.(and possibly celiac).

              This is the basis of a “gluten challenge” for diagnostic purposes.

              You do not develop an intolerance just from omission.
              For example, I do not eat corn on the cob, watermelon, strawberries or lobster all year long. When I do indulge in those foods
              (rather heavily ) every summer, I do not suddenly have an intolerance to it.

              See what I am saying? ๐Ÿ™‚

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

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