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Experts: Gluten Free Foods Not So Diet Friendly

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CLARKSBURG -

Millions of Americans struggle with weight loss.  Some blame carbs, others blame fats.

Every spring season, new diet fads emerge as the sun starts to shine and families head to the beach.

Some diets cut out sugars, others cut out fats. But most dieticians will tell you, eliminating all of anything isn't a good or even realistic goal.

One of the newest talkers in the diet world is "gluten-free."  

"There's been an increase of people thinking gluten free is a way to lose weight," said Becky Foster, dietician. 

More and more of those labels are popping up on grocery store shelves and in big chain restaurant menus.  But Foster said gluten-free products are not at all meant for the average person. Instead, it is to cater to those diagnosed with Celiac disease, an intolerance to wheat, barley and rye.

She said one of the biggest myths is gluten free means carbohydrate free.

According to Foster, those products simply replace one carb with another carb.

In general, Foster urges people to fully read the nutrition label. She said "fat free" and "sugar free" aren't always the healthy choice.

"Well generally, if you've cut out one nutrient, you beefed up another one," Foster said.

In short, Foster said "a cookie is still a cookie."

"If someone eats gluten free cookies, they won't be any more nutritious then a regular chocolate chip cookie," Foster said. 

Foster said a gluten free diet is hard to maintain, and puts dieters at a disadvantage when it comes to weight loss.

Foster suggested checking out websites like choosemyplate.com for credible diet and nutrition advice.