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Dr. Oz: Use gluten-free diet and protein powder to boost weight loss

Wheat may be on your list to avoid.
Wheat may be on your list to avoid.Photo by Michael Loccisano

If you have problems ranging from stomach pain to aching joints as well as weight gain, you might feel baffled as to the cause. Dr. Mehmet Oz says that all these symptoms may be alleviated by a gluten-free diet, as unveiled on his Wednesday talk show. He also revealed the best protein powders for weight loss.

You may not even know that gluten is harming your body, says Dr. Oz. But if you suffer from gluten sensitivity, your body reacts as if a foreign object has invaded it. Inflammation, weight gain, digestive problems, skin rashes and foggy thinking can result.

To help determine whether you may be sensitive to gluten, try an elimination diet for two weeks. Be sure to read nutrition labels carefully, as gluten can occur in foods ranging from cereal to soup.

So does this mean gluten-free grains are good for you? Dr. David Perlmutter feels that all grains should be avoided, he told Dr. Oz on a recent show. Author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers," Dr. Perlmutter contends that all grains are harmful to your well-being and waistline.

The reason for his rejection of grains? A neurologist, he cites studies showing that consumption of carbohydrates such as grains are linked to conditions ranging from dementia to depression to obesity. The blood sugar spikes resulting from these foods coupled with the relatively low nutritional values compared to protein and healthy fats make grains inadvisable for everyone.

Offering additional support for banning gluten, in particular wheat, from your diet is Dr. William Davis. He also recently appeared on Dr. Oz's show and discussed his belief as a cardiologist that wheat results in harmful belly fat, as documented in "Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health."

Both Dr. Davis and Dr. Perlmutter concur that eating more protein and healthy fats and eliminating gluten can provide you with a safe, effective way to lose weight and improve your health. But if you're tempted to fill the protein gap with protein powder, be sure to choose carefully.

On the same episode, Dr. Oz discussed the results of lab tests recently conducted to determine whether protein powders live up to their marketing hype. And the answer: Some contain questionable ingredients.

Consumer Lab analyzed the most popular brands of protein powder. Some contained more carbohydrates and calories than advertised, and others contained lead.

However, Dr. Oz does recommend protein powder. It can optimize your body's ability to burn fat while maintaining muscle and keep you full, helping you lose weight more easily.

The four types of protein in powders and shakes are whey, casein, soy and rice. Dr. Oz recommends limiting your use to one serving a day and choosing ones with 20 grams or less of protein.

Brands approved include EAS Lean 15 Protein Powder and Jay Robb Delicious Whey Protein. Vegans may want to evaluate brands made with soy, rice or peas.