Joint pain, stomach pain, sudden weight gain: These problems are just a few examples of what experts have discovered about gluten allergy symptoms, says Dr. Mehmet Oz. On his Feb. 18 talk show, Dr. Oz revealed how gluten can harm your body and the diet to solve that problem. Plus: Find out the best protein powders for boosting your weight loss.
How gluten causes weight gain and pain: When you're allergic or sensitive to a substance such as gluten, your body reacts as if you have a foreign invader. Inflammation and imbalanced hormones cause the resulting weight gain and pain in areas such as your joints. You might also develop a rash, digestive problems or cramps.
To determine if gluten might be the culprit, remove all forms of gluten from your diet for two weeks. Keep a food diary of your symptoms when you add it back in so that you can discuss it with your doctor.
Worth noting: Dr. Oz has previously featured two experts who recommend eliminating gluten for health and weight loss, Dr. William Davis, author of "Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health" and Dr. David Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers."
Both those physicians emphasize that if you do decide to eliminate all forms of gluten, avoid processed foods marketed as gluten-free. The reason: Many of those products replace wheat with high fructose corn syrup and other types of sugar, which can actually make the gluten-free versions more fattening and cause weight gain. Find out about Dr. Davis' new cookbook of wheat-free recipes, including a sample recipe, by clicking here.
Do you use protein powder for smoothies? Dr. Oz talked with Tod Cooperman, M.D., founder of Consumer Lab about his recent analysis of different brands. Dr. Cooperman warned that some products have more carbohydrates, more calories, heavy metal contamination and even less protein than the labels indicate.
However, that doesn't mean that you should avoid protein powder. By choosing approved brands, you can boost your weight loss by using protein powder to make smoothies. The protein keeps you full, helping you consume fewer calories overall. For example, if you swap out your 750-calorie mega-muffin with butter and orange juice breakfast with a 150-calorie protein shake, you could cut 600 calories per day, resulting in significant weight loss.
Dr. Oz recommends limiting your use of protein powder to once a day and avoiding brands with extra ingredients such as sugar and caffeine.
The following brands are approved by Consumer Lab as the best: