Low-gluten, high-fiber: A gut-friendly diet for weight loss

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In recent years, many have begun favoring a low-gluten diet, and it’s not just those with gluten allergies making the switch.

It has sparked a public debate, questioning if a low-gluten diet can be beneficial even for those without gluten intolerance.

This led a group of scientists from the University of Copenhagen to dive deeper into the effects of a low-gluten diet on our bodies.

The Study Explained

The researchers, led by Oluf Pedersen, studied the impact of a low-gluten diet on 60 middle-aged, healthy Danish adults.

The participants followed two different diets for eight weeks each. One diet was low-gluten, containing just 2g of gluten per day, and the other was high-gluten, with 18g of gluten per day.

The researchers ensured that both diets had the same number of calories and nutrients, including the same quantity of dietary fibers. The key difference was the source of these fibers.

The high-gluten diet drew fibers from wheat and rye, while the low-gluten diet incorporated fibers from vegetables, brown rice, corn, oat, and quinoa.

Effects of the Low-Gluten Diet

The results of the experiment showed that a low-gluten, high-fiber diet could bring about several positive changes.

Participants reported a decrease in bloating, a common gastrointestinal discomfort. They also noticed a modest weight loss.

These effects were not simply due to the reduced gluten intake, but were closely tied to changes in the gut bacteria composition and function, as well as a shift in dietary fiber sources.

The altered gut bacterial functions seem to increase body combustion, contributing to weight loss.

The Low-Gluten Diet: Not Just for Gluten Intolerance

Previous studies have suggested that a low-gluten diet can alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms in people with inflammatory bowel diseases and irritable bowel syndrome, conditions affecting up to 20% of the Western population.

This new research suggests that a low-gluten diet may also help healthy individuals who are looking to manage intestinal discomfort or shed some excess weight.

While the study’s findings highlight the potential benefits of a low-gluten diet, the researchers warn against jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon without proper research.

They caution that most gluten-free foods available in the market are significantly lacking in dietary fibers and essential nutritional ingredients.

People choosing a low-gluten diet should focus on consuming fiber-rich, minimally processed foods like fresh vegetables, brown rice, corn, oat, and quinoa.


The study from the University of Copenhagen provides new insights into the effects of a low-gluten, high-fiber diet.

It suggests that such a diet, if appropriately planned and balanced, can benefit gut health and contribute to weight loss, even in those without gluten allergies.

As always, moderation and balance are key, and any significant dietary changes should be considered with care.

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