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Miley Cyrus' Gluten-Free Diet Encouragement Met With Backlash From Experts

April 11, 2012, 1:10 am GMT

A registered dietician argues that 'following a gluten-free diet can result in a diet that's low in key nutrients', and another expert says, 'I don't endorse cutting gluten as a weight loss strategy.'

Miley Cyrus

After explaining the real reason behind her recent weight loss, Miley Cyrus encourages her Twitter followers to try a gluten-free diet. A number of dietitians and nutritionists, however, are quick to express their disagreement with one pointing out the downside of such diet for those who are not genuinely allergic to gluten.

Karen Ansel, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, first told Today's Health, "There's absolutely no evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes weight loss." She added, "However, there is data that indicates that following a gluten-free diet can result in a diet that's low in key nutrients - especially iron, zinc and B vitamins such as folate and niacin."

Another registered dietitian Rachel Begun noted, "People who go gluten-free may gain weight if they rely mostly on highly-processed gluten free foods, many of which tend to be higher in fat, calories and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts." Agreeing to Begun's statement, Ansel chimed in, "Gluten-free foods also tend to lack fiber that fills us up and can help us manage our weight."

Also refusing to encourage gluten-free diet was Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. "It's a protein that has been in the human diet since the dawn of agriculture," he explained before stating, "I don't endorse cutting gluten as a weight loss strategy. I think it is advisable only for those with genuine sensitivities."

Cyrus urged her fans to try a gluten-free diet after denying rumors she's battling anorexia. Having said that she has "a gluten and lactose allergy" and that gluten is "crapppp", she told one Twitter follower, "everyone should try no gluten for a week! The change in your skin, phyisical and mental health is amazing! U won't go back!"

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