SAN DIEGO—At 10 years old, Mallory MacGreggor was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, a genetic intolerance to gluten, meaning she has to avoid popular foods like cookies and pizza.
"You feel really sick, and it's kind of instantly. You just want to be 'Oh, gotta go!'" Mallory said.
Because her body cannot digest certain nutrients, the disease has delayed her growth. Mallory is 16, trapped in a 14-year-old's body.
"Height is kind of important in high school, because everyone's like, 'Is she in 3rd grade, 2nd grade?'" Mallory said.
One in 100 people have Celiac Disease, forcing them to permanently pass on foods with wheat, rye, or barley. But according to Danna Korn, otherwise known as "the gluten-free guru," taking on a Celiac's diet is something everyone should do.
"Not only is it healthy, it's the best weight maintenance program around," Korn said.
She says going gluten-free is the key to losing weight, plus it helps relieve stress and fatigue.
"Our bodies were not designed to eat gluten, and wheat is not good for anybody," according to Korn.
She says people often turn to wheat products to shed pounds, but it's a mistake.
"These whole wheat products are very high glycemic-load products, meaning they make your blood sugar spike. They do all these crazy things to your body which just wreaks havoc on your weight maintenance program," Korn said
So instead of reaching for generic bread or pasta, go for gluten free alternatives like quinoa, a seed with a cous cous-type consistency; chebe, a gluten-free substitute for bread; or gluten-free pasta, Korn advised.