- Gluten-free and low carb are closely related kinds of diet
- A gluten-free diet is mainly followed by individuals having celiac disease
- A low carb diet is mainly followed by individuals wanting to lose weight
- It is possible to follow a gluten-free and low carb diet
- There are particular setbacks to following a gluten-free diet to lose weight
Many individuals get confused on the use of a gluten free diet vs a low carb diet. So, is gluten-free low carb?
Individuals who follow a gluten-free diet may have medical conditions such as celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. In contrast, individuals following a low carb diet do it to reduce weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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About Gluten-Free And Low Carb
Most people think that a gluten free diet and a low carb diet are one and the same thing. But, is gluten free low carb?
There is a difference between a gluten free diet and a low carb diet. On one hand, individuals who follow low carb foods and low carb diets require to cut down their carbohydrate intake to reduce weight.
Scientific studies have shown positive outcomes between taking a low carb diet and losing weight. As a matter of fact, one may lose weight without counting the calories, and this strategy has been proven to be viable and sustainable.
The biggest beneficiaries of a low carb diet are the people living with type 2 diabetes. The National Health Institute (UK), has identified a low carb diet as an ideal food solution to people living with diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes must avoid making dietary mistakes in order to effectively manage their condition.
On the other hand, individuals who follow a gluten-free diet may either follow the diet as a choice or restriction. When it comes to a choice, some people will follow a gluten-free diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In contrast, those restricted to gluten-free diets have celiac conditions or other gluten sensitivity.
People choosing to follow a gluten free diet do so in order to avoid the negative health consequences of gluten. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the body treats the gluten protein as a foreign substance, and therefore rejects it. What follows is worsening symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating.
A keto diet refers to a type of diet where one consumes a low amount of carbohydrates thereby replacing the carbs. The main purpose of a keto diet is to help the body burn healthy fats for use as energy.
Health benefits of a keto diet include weight loss and a strong immune response against certain medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes.
Is Gluten-Free Low Carb
Even though gluten-free and low carb diets aim to eliminate elements of similar nutritional profiles, gluten-free is not low carb. Gluten free foods and gluten free diets typically avoid the protein gluten in grains, including rye, barley, and wheat.
A gluten-free diet is mainly for individuals with celiac disease or other gluten intolerance or sensitivities. Therefore, these individuals must adopt a strict gluten free diet and deliberately choose gluten free foods.
If an individual with celiac disease follows a gluten free diet, then he or she is able to heal from the negative experiences of celiac disease, damaged small intestines for instance. But as a long term health strategy, one must avoid eating gluten through taking gluten free foods and gluten free grains, otherwise, the same symptoms will keep on recurring.
What differentiates a gluten diet from low carb is that the diet does not forbid eating anything else. You can eat a different kind of food if it does not contain gluten.
The low carb diet focuses on reducing all forms of carbohydrate intake. Typically, this diet restricts individuals from taking high carb meals such as fruits, bread, cakes, and pasta, among other foods.
Additionally, a low carb diet differs from a gluten-free diet in terms of the objective. Unlike the gluten-free diet, which focuses on controlling allergies and diseases, the low carb diet focuses on eliminating carbohydrates to regulate body weight.
Scientists have also observed that a low carb diet enhances the health of the heart. Individuals who would regularly take a low carb diet have a lower chance of developing heart diseases. However, for this to work, the source of fats and proteins must be healthy.
Are Gluten-Free Foods Ideal For A Low Carb Diet?
Not all gluten-free foods are typically ideal for a low carb diet; some may lack gluten but still contain carbohydrates.
Therefore, when you consider following a gluten-free and low-carb diet, it is ideal for checking on the gluten information and the ingredient list to check for carbohydrates.
Remember that some health risks are involved in following a strict low carb diet. As much as you need to eliminate carbohydrates, it is still essential in the human diet. You will likely have deficiencies if you do not include carbohydrates in your meal.
Can You Follow Both A Gluten-Free Diet And Low Carb Diet
It is possible to follow both gluten-free and low carb diets as long as you are familiar with the variety of safe foods. Typically, you should eliminate all cereals and foods that contain carbohydrates to achieve the goals of the 2 diet plans.
Since you will need to substitute carbohydrates with other sources of food that contain energy, it is ideal to consume healthy monounsaturated fats and quality proteins to stay in ketosis.
For eating gluten free food and a low carb lifestyle, focus on consuming natural foods and snacks such as proteins and vegetables to help you consume fewer carbohydrates while maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle.
However, Even though it is possible to follow a gluten-free and low carb diet, it is not recommended because it will limit you in terms of the kinds of food to consume.
The Drawback Of Using Gluten Free Food For A Low Carb Diet
Most medical professionals advise people against using a gluten-free diet to achieve a low carbs diet since it can be expensive and challenging to keep up and may lack health benefits, especially if you do not have any medical conditions.
One of the reasons is that most food groups contain wheat, rye, or barley as the main ingredient found in frequently consumed foods such as bread, baked goods, and pasta, which are restricted from the gluten-free diet.
If you are to take gluten free diets, then you must carefully check the market to buy foods which are certified gluten free, eg gluten free bread and gluten free pasta. Whereas the gluten free market is still promising, challenges do exist on getting the exact products that you want. Some go as far as preparing food at home in order to meet their health needs.
Therefore, the diet might be challenging because it may restrict or limit your options for buying other foods. Furthermore, people with celiac disease and other gluten conditions do not benefit from a gluten-free diet; it only acts as a preventive measure to avoid getting adverse effects into the body due to gluten.
It is advisable to stick to a low carb diet only if you aim to lose weight. However, ensure that you include carbohydrates once in a while so as not to suffer from any deficiencies.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker