Gluten free diets may be recommended for a number of reasons, such as Celiac Disease or other gluten sensitivity, autism spectrum disorders, or autoimmune diseases.
But maybe in addition to being sensitive to gluten you have a problem with another food, or a preference. Or, like me, you’ve discovered that just eliminating gluten wasn’t enough. You are not alone. As a result there are many variations on the diet.
If a gluten free diet is recommended, take a deep breath. You don’t have to freak out about it. There are more and more gluten free products being developed and sold all the time.The good news:
There are lots of traditional foods from around the world that are gluten free, and ready for you to discover. And unlike commercial gluten free products, many gluten free traditional foods are not expensive.
For some ideas, check out my list of gluten free foods, which includes traditional foods from around the world.
If you have another health issue or preference you may need to combine your gfree diet with another special diet. If so, you are not alone.
A gluten free casein free diet, or the gfcf diet, may be recommended for a variety of reasons. Casein is the protein in milk, but is also used separately in processing other foods (watch out for it in many dairy free cheeses).
So the term “casein free” is used instead of “dairy free” .
Possible reasons to avoid casein and dairy products:
Read some success stories from parents here. These stories are anecdotal and don’t prove anything of course, but they are interesting and worth a look, especially if you are a parent looking for ways to help your child.
Reasons for a gluten free sugar free, or low carb gluten free diet:
There is a lot of evidence that shows that eating excessive carbs not only contributes to weight gain and makes it impossible for some people to lose weight, but it contributes to many brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Depression, anxiety, headaches, ADHD and others. There is a lot more to it than calories. Overeating of carbohydrates starts a chain reaction of events in your body that will surprise you.
If this piques your interest, be sure to read Dr. David Perlmutter’s book: Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers. Perlmutter is a neurologist who has seen many of his brain damaged patients improve on a gluten free diet, and thrive on a diet that contains plenty of cholesterol and other healthy fats. He explains why the low fat, high carb diet that has been recommended for decades is shrinking our brains and heading us down a path toward obesity and mental illnesses.
I’ve found that one of the advantages of being on a gluten free diet is that I haven’t had a weight problem, even when I was still eating plenty of carbs and sugar. Now that I’m eating as much as I want everyday, but not eating grains or starchy foods at all, I’ve trimmed down to my teenage size without even trying. And I’m 60!
If you have discovered that eliminating gluten helps, but your health is still not optimal, you may be interested in exploring The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.
Mark has helped me discover ways to change my lifestyle to get my whole system working better. I sleep better, I’ve lost extra weight without trying, feel sharper mentally, and just overall feel like I’m living like a healthy, confident, and much younger human being. For a shortcut version I highly recommend his book The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation: A step-by-step, gene reprogramming action plan. It’s helped me get on track with making changes I’ll never regret.
The Primal Diet is similar to the Paleo Diet, both based on eating as close to how our pre-agricultural ancestors ate as is possible in the modern world. They are both low carb, high protein diets that encourage plenty of healthy fats and lots of vegetables. Primal is less strict than Paleo in that it says dairy is OK if you don’t have a problem with it, especially if it’s from grass fed cows. I don’t tolerate dairy, so I’m probably more Paleo than Primal (if it really matters). But the lifestyle changes of Mark’s Primal Blueprint have been just as important, as they basically coax you to make lifestyle choices that are close to how those ancestors lived. You can check out Mark’s website/blog: marksdailyapple.com.
There are many Paleo and Primal foods in my list of gfree foods.