Gluten free oats - Yay or Nay?: I have an... - Weight Loss NHS

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Gluten free oats - Yay or Nay?


I have an underactive thyroid, and gained 3 stone in 12 months due to it. I'm now on Levothyroxine and desperate to loss weight.

I've been advised to try a gluten free diet and I tried Paleo which was ok but I think I over did the nuts and calories and did not lose. I want to continue with the gluten and dairy free as I feel good on it health wise but I am going to add gluten free pitta bread for lunches and porridge at breakfast and calorie count.

I've bought gluten free oats but does anyone on a gluten free diet just use normal oats? I understand it's a process thing but I would love to hear what others use.

Any tips on gluten free would be appreciated xx

11 Replies

The gluten-free foods will hamper your weight-loss as they tend to be high-glycaemic foods that are digested into glucose faster than table sugar.

Often, soaking whole-grains improves their digestion.

I've just tried to slice the damn pitta bread and must have burnt 4000 calories huffing and puffing over it.

I just wanted something easy to take to work, besides meat / fish salads a couple of days a week. I swim ever morning before work so porridge would be ideal breakfast, I will see how next week goes.

Hi Redwine

If you had coeliac disease you would not eat ordinary oats because of possible cross contamination with wheat (you need separate processing facilities to ensure the oats are gluten free). Not all Coeliacs can tolerate oats because of oat gluten (not the same as the gluten in wheat, rye or barley). You may be ok with ordinary oats. I tend to eat eggs or full fat yoghurt for breakfast.

I don't eat many ready made gluten free products because they are over processed, lacking in fibre, and often full of sugar and additives. They certainly won't help you lose weight! Trying to find gluten free alternatives to ordinary products like bread tends to be difficult, as you have discovered. Quite a lot of coeliacs follow a Paleo type diet.

Have you looked for meal suggestions on line? The chef Phil Vickery does gluten free recipes.

An alternative to pitta bread could be to make some pancakes. You can use a gluten free grain like buckwheat (the French make galettes from buckwheat) or mash cooked sweet potato, add an egg or two, and fry.

Who has been advising you to go gluten free? If your doctor has tested you and you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease then obviously you have to go with it but if you have been advised by one of these people who has no real medical training and claims all the world's ills are based on food intolerances then don't waste your money on all this gluten free rubbish and follow a more balanced normal diet.

First make sure you are on the right dose of thyroxine, you need frequent blood tests in first year or so both of blood levels and of take up rates. If your dosage is right then up the exercise a bitand cut the calories. You may well need to cut a few more off than the average person but it can be done. Go on the nhs bmi calculator or onto my meal mate android app put in your details and try following the lower number of calories specified. If after 2 weeks you haven't lost weight and you have truthfully weighed and calorie counted every morsel that passes your lips then cut another 200 calories per day off your target. Get plenty of exercise too and gradually you will get there.

Good luck it can be done but won't be easy.


Hi Redwinegirl,

I'd agree with all of those.

Unless you need to be gluten-free, the alternatives to foods with gluten in them are likely to encourage you to put on weight.

As basically hormones control your body weight through controlling functions such as hunger, satiation, fat burning, fat storage, etc, then having an underlying issue with your endocrine system is likely to significantly impact upon your efforts to lose weight.

(Oh and if the monicker of Redwinegirl suggests that you drink signficantly, you may just like to look at the drinkaware site to discover how alcohol makes it more difficult to lose weight also).

Basically, and as always, those with underlying medical issues are advised to discuss with their GPs / consultant how their condition (including medication regimes) is likely to impact upon their weight loss efforts and vice versa.

Redwinegirl in reply to Hidden

Your post made me giggle...I love red wine however the onset of thyroid problems has left me intolerant to it....sadly! I used the moniker as wit rather from an alcoholic stand point.

I am not thinking of buying everything that is gluten free, just oats and the occasional pita bread...seems to have worked this week, I lost 2lb. As Penel has said not all GPs (mine especially) understand autoimmune disorders at the best of time, so I took advice from Thyroid sites and literature and ended up on the Paleo diet. I will see how it goes.

Whether or not to go gluten free if you have an autoimmune disorder is a difficult decision. Not all GPs/consultants know much about it, and blood tests do not always show coeliac disease even when you have it. There are studies which show a potential link between gluten and several autoimmune disorders. It is worth trying an elimination diet, as if gluten is damaging your gut you will not be absorbing your medicine or food properly. But don't eat the supermarket 'free from' rubbish.

Redwinegirl in reply to Penel

Hi Penel thanks for your replies. I don't have coeliac disease I'm sure, its just that I have been researching my condition and both medical and fellow sufferers point to a gluten free diet so I thought I'd try it and see how it went.

Its been difficult going from a very fit size 10 to an overweight size 14 within 12 months. I honestly thought having an underactive thyroid was an excuse made up by middle aged fat wrong can one be! My medication still needs tweaking but a lot of my symptoms (muscles ache being the worst) are slowing going.

I had to give up spinning and body pump due to pain, but I still swim every morning at 6.30am and I am back at the gym most evenings so I have the exercise covered....I just need make the diet work for me.

Constipation is a huge symptom with underactive thyroid and being gluten free has help me in that department a lot...yippee x

Penel in reply to Redwinegirl

Good luck with it all.

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