The G-Free Diet
The G-Free Diet: What It Is
The G-Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide is an easy-to-read,
upbeat guide to understanding and adopting a gluten-free diet. Anyone who has
ever thought they had celiac disease will be enlightened about this disorder
and about how to eat healthfully while avoiding gluten (a protein found in
grains such as wheat, barley, spelt, and rye).
The G-Free Diet was written by Elizabeth Hasselbeck, former
Survivor contestant and co-host of The View talk show. In
the book, she shares her personal journey of her struggle with celiac
disease. She says she wrote the book to help raise awareness about the
digestive disorder and to help the legions of people who live uncomfortably
because they have not been properly diagnosed.
"Approximately 95% of sufferers go undiagnosed, and I want to help shine the
spotlight on this condition," says Hasselbeck.
When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, they experience
an inflammatory reaction that can damage the small intestine and inhibit
nutrient absorption. Symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal discomfort,
weight loss, and fatigue. The National Foundation for
Celiac Awareness says celiac disease is sometime confused with other
conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome. According to the latest estimates
from Mayo Clinic researchers, about 1% of adults in the U.S. has celiac
Though The G-Free Diet advises against diagnosing yourself with
celiac disease and encourages people to see a doctor for testing, it also
promotes a gluten-free diet for other reasons, including managing autism and weight,
controlling IBS, counteracting ADHD, boosting energy levels, improving
attention span, and speeding digestion. "Even people with no health
issues have a great deal to gain by giving up gluten," Hasselbeck writes.
But experts point out that there is no evidence a gluten-free diet helps to
promote weight loss or control any other condition besides celiac disease.
"There is nothing magical about eliminating gluten that will improve your
health or enhance weight loss unless you are intolerant to gluten," says Dee
Sandquist, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association who has
In fact, she says, a gluten-free diet can be high in calories and contribute
to weight gain if you're not careful.
Sandquist says it is too premature to suggest a gluten free diet is capable
of more than managing celiac disease. “Roughly 10% of people with IBS may
have undiagnosed celiac disease. But more research is needed to show a benefit
of a gluten free diet with other conditions such as autism and ADHD.”
The G-Free Diet: What You Can Eat
The G-Free Diet is similar to most gluten-free diets, which eliminate all grains containing gluten.
While this may sound simple, the tricky part is that small amounts of
gluten-containing grains find their way into a huge number of foods. The
G-Free Diet highlights just how extensively gluten is found in prepared
foods, from thickening agents to fillers in foods ranging from ketchup to ice