The term “gluten free” is now officially a part of the american culture. Gluten refers to a protein found mainly in wheat, rye, barley and other foods. If you are truly allergic to gluten, you have a condition known as celiac disease. In this condition, the gluten actually damages the villi of the intestines which causes malabsorption leading to a host of unhealthy diseases and conditions. It appears however, that you don’t necessarily have to have celiac disease to experience symptoms. It appears that some people are simply more sensitive to gluten which does also produce symptoms of poor health. One should always treat this as a medical condition and follow the advice of your doctor.
Paleo breakfast ideas
So how do Paleo and gluten free compare ? Both are diets based on autoimmune responses. To compare them can be a bit tricky. For the most part pure Paleo, is gluten free, and gluten free is not Paleo. One of the only ways Paleo can not be gluten free is by cross contamination. In other words, you may be eating a Paleo meal of animal proteins and vegetables, however if they have not been handled correctly, they could have traces of gluten that might produce symptoms in a celiac person. On the other hand, gluten free is not Paleo. The biggest difference here is that a gluten free diet can include rice and dairy products, which a Paleo diet cannot.
Is Paleo a better gluten free?
In a way, Paleo could be considered a better form of gluten free, as long as the food has been handled properly and does not contain gluten by contamination. It could be considered better because it eliminates all of the foods that commonly cause inflammation and autoimmune response. A person that is sensitive to gluten may not know whether they are also sensitive to dairy or other foods. Chances are they will never be tested for these proteins. Each individual is different, but many people with one allergy, will have many. In this respect, the Paleo diet could be considered a more hyp0-allergenic diet than gluten free. Paleo for example avoids legumes of which peanut is a good example. As you probably know, many people are highly allergic to peanuts.
Gluten free however is never Paleo. The gluten free diet allows consumption of rice, legumes and dairy. These foods are avoided on the Paleo diet. To summarize, for the most part, Paleo is gluten free, but gluten free is not Paleo.
As far as weight loss, Paleo again may have a slight advantage. The gluten free individual may inadvertently add a lot of dairy to their diets. These dairy foods could result in increased calories. The Paleo diet also emphasizes low sugar, where the gluten free diet may include more sugars. I am not aware of a specific test on which diet produces the most weight loss, but it would appear that Paleo has a slight advantage.
It is not unusual to see that gluten free dieters, have eventually switched to the Paleo diet. They may have found results with gluten free and wanted to try removing other common allergens from their diet by switching to Paleo. It is less common to learn of a Paleo dieter that switched to gluten free.
If you are experiencing allergy/inflammation symptoms, it is important to discuss this with your doctor and be tested for celiac. If you are merely trying to improve general health and have no serious health disorders, either diet may prove helpful. The Paleo diet is basically a self help diet that can be started on your own. You will be able to eat most of your favorite foods, as well as learning many new delicious recipes.