The G-Free Diet was written by a TV personality best known for her stint as a co-host on The View -- Elisabeth Hasselbeck. It’s a gluten-free (that means no wheat, rye, barley) plan that’s meant to relieve the symptoms of celiac disease.
Her diet is all about quitting gluten (that means no wheat, rye, barley), which is a must if you have celiac disease. If someone who has celiac disease eats gluten, their immune system damages their small intestine.
Hasselbeck self-diagnosed her celiac disease after years of being told by doctors that she had irritable bowel syndrome. She researched it and eventually realized that she had celiac disease. A doctor later confirmed that.
The G-Free Diet has tips for avoiding gluten when you’re dining out, at a party, or enjoying an evening at home. Hasselbeck guides you through the ins and outs of going gluten-free, unearthing surprising gluten sources, teaching the best way to decode food labels, and more.
What You Can Eat and What You Can't
On the G-Free Diet, you’ll avoid all foods that contain gluten, which means anything made with wheat, rye, barley, and certain oats that have been processed in the same facility as wheat.
Some sources of gluten may surprise you, like beer, fried foods, soy sauce, and some dairy substitutes. Wine, champagne, sake, and tequila are generally gluten-free and are allowed on the G-Free Diet.
Level of Effort: Medium to High
It's a commitment to go gluten-free, but it's becoming more common -- there are many gluten-free products available.
Limitations: It’s restrictive, in that you have to remove all gluten from your diet.
Cooking and shopping: You'll need to shop, cook, and eat out in a gluten-free way. While Hasselbeck does a good job showing how to live life to the fullest without gluten, her book doesn't include weekly meal plans or more than a few recipes.
Packaged foods or meals? None required.
In-person meetings? No.
Does It Allow for Dietary Restrictions or Preferences?
This diet focuses on gluten. You can adapt it to fit a vegetarian or vegan diet. It could also work if you're cutting down on salt and fat.
What Else You Should Know
Cost: You will probably spend a bit more on groceries if you buy gluten-free convenience foods.
Support: You do this diet on your own.
What Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, Says:
Does It Work?
A gluten-free diet is key for people who have celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, but there is no evidence to support it as a weight loss diet.
If you cut out gluten-containing grains and don’t replace them with gluten-free grains, though, you'll lose weight by cutting calories. Removing all grains from your diet is not recommended.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
A gluten-free diet is intended for people who have a diagnosed intolerance to gluten. Otherwise, it's not recommended for any other conditions.
If you think you're gluten intolerant, talk to your doctor about proper testing and diagnosis before you attempt to go on a gluten-free diet.
The Final Word
Highlighting the importance of the gluten-free diet and raising awareness about gluten intolerance and celiac disease are the greatest contributions of the G-Free Diet.
But take note: There is nothing magical about eliminating gluten that will improve your health or boost your weight loss unless you're intolerant to gluten.
Gluten-free products can be higher in calories, sugar, fat, and carbs than products that contain gluten, which could lead to weight gain. Be sure to check labels.