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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    South Beach Diet Doctor: Go Gluten-Free

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 10/31/2011 - Dr. Arthur Agatston, the doctor who created the bestselling South Beach Diet, is now claiming that many of the non-weight-loss benefits claimed by people following his diet are due to the elimination of gluten.

    Agatston says that “the South Beach gluten solution is to eliminate all wheat products, rye, barley. That means you can't drink beer for about a month."

    Photo: CC--tabula_electronicaFor the first two weeks of the diet, dieters eat only lean protein, nuts, beans and plenty of vegetables, and consume no wheat, barley or rye products. For some people, giving up gluten has caused more than weight loss. Some people have claimed extra energy, elimination of acid reflux, or even clearing of psoriasis after going gluten-free.

    Agatston points to Novak Djokovic as a famous example of someone who has benefited from eliminating gluten from his diet.

    “Djokavic turned around his career. He was always great but he would fade in the fourth and fight set until he went off gluten,” said Agatston.

    This year Djokovic went on a huge winning streak that resulted in victories at Wimbledon and the US Open.

    Dr. Agatston's own nurse practitioner Clarissa Gregory noticed a dramatic difference in her acid reflux after just a few days of gluten elimination.

    Gregory admits to being skeptical when Agatston first encouraged her to give up gluten for a few weeks. However, she said she felt so bad at the time that she gave it a try, "and literally within two days, it was unbelievable."

     In what Dr. Agatston sees as another gluten-related success, he tells the story of a patient “…who went on phase one primarily for weight loss had horrible psoriasis and was about to go on a very toxic medication to clear it , and on the first phase of the diet which is wheat free her psoriasis completely disappeared.” 

    The rapidly rising number of gluten-free breads, pastas and other products now on the market make it easier than ever to enjoy a delicious, nutritious gluten-free diet.

    Agatston adds that avoiding items made with white rice and sugar is a good way to avoid gaining unwanted weight during the transition.

    Lastly, Agatston notes that gluten intolerance affects many children. He advises parents of children with stomach issues, skin problems or allergies, to talk with their pediatrician about how a gluten free trial might help symptoms improve.


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    Great post! Finding tasty, nutritious alternatives used to be very difficult. I've personally experienced the benefits of starting my days with a balanced gluten free breakfast. More energy and less drag!

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    Hi...I am 72...have spent my whole life with stomach pain, fatigue, bowel disturbances, several other symptoms; several diagnoses...my grandson was diagnosed with celiac so I decided to try the SB diet and within days symptoms started to disappear...grateful...thank you.

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    Great post! Finding tasty, nutritious alternatives used to be very difficult. I've personally experienced the benefits of starting my days with a balanced gluten free breakfast. More energy and less drag!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Great post! Finding tasty, nutritious alternatives used to be very difficult. I've personally experienced the benefits of starting my days with a balanced gluten free breakfast. More energy and less drag!

    Share this comment


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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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