However, readers are drawn to the book title, which specifically focuses on the gluten-free diet for achieving peak physical and mental performance. This is where Djokovic falters. Serve to Win has too many inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and statements not supported by scientific literature, thereby adding to consumers’ confusion about the gluten-free diet.
I’m concerned by Djokovic’s interchangeable use of the terms wheat-free, gluten-free and grain-free, because these terms are not synonymous. In some parts of the book he talks about the benefits of eliminating all grains, specifically saying that more grains means more health issues, including obesity, diabetes and heart problems. But then he also shares the list of gluten-free grains that he does eat (as he should); considerable evidence shows a relationship between whole grains and a reduced risk of these diseases.
Several statements in the book are either not supported by scientific literature or are downright inaccurate. For example, when writing about the gluten-free diet, it is not okay to refer to celiac disease as a gluten allergy when it is an autoimmune disorder—something quite different.
Djokovic states that eliminating gluten can lead to rapid weight loss for the general population. However, leading authorities on gluten-related disorders will tell you that evidence does not show that removing gluten from the diet in and of itself is effective for weight loss. I’m disappointed that Serve to Win fosters the confusion on this much discussed matter.
The biggest issue I have with this book is that its overall message implies that the general population—those who don’t have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or another condition in which the gluten-free diet can alleviate symptoms—will benefit from removing gluten from their diet. Right now, there just isn’t any evidence to show that this is the case.