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Gluten-Free vs. Paleo
Posted by Amber Littler, PA-C on 3/6/2014 to Gluten Free

"Where do you go for gluten-free ideas?" I get asked this question all the time. People want to know what my favorite gluten-free website is, what books I read, where I find recipes, and so on.

The truth is, I don’t have one. 

On the whole, I have been under-whelmed by a lot of “gluten-free” recipes and cookbooks. Many recipes are exactly the same as normal recipes except they say to use “gluten-free breadcrumbs” or “gluten-free flour”. I think I could have figured that out! 

What I look for, instead, is information on how to be naturally gluten-free without having to use all the gluten-free substitute products. 

Why? Two main reasons: 
  1. All the gluten-free substitution products can be very expensive, especially when you're cooking that way for your entire family.
  2. The glycemic index (or carbohydrate load) can actually be higher than their gluten-containing counterparts. This means you could actually gain weight (or at least not lose it) or your blood sugar could go up from using the gluten-free substitution products.
So, what do I prefer? I strongly encourage the paleo diet. Here are a few reasons why: 
  • You can find a ton of great resources. (I’ve listed a few favorites below.) 
  • It's affordable on any budget (You don’t have to buy everything organic, free range and grassfed like they talk about – just try to do the best you can.) 
  • It consists of very few processed foods so you don't have to sift through big, long ingredient lists.
  • The paleo diet is automatically gluten-free. 
  • It excludes a few food products that a gluten-free diet does not, such as dairy, which can also be bothersome to someone with food intolerances. 
What is the Paleo diet? Basically it is a diet that revolves around whole foods like meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. All of these are not only gluten-free, but are naturally grain-free, as well  Because some people with gluten intolerance react to other grains, too, I've found it to be a good fit for most of my patients. Also, as I mentioned above, it is dairy-free, as well, which could eliminate any other sensitivities you may be experiencing.

And finally, here are a few of my top go-to paleo/gluten-free websites:
Here are a few of my favorite paleo/gluten-free books:
Have you followed a gluten-free diet for a while now with little to no relief in your symptoms? If so, try the paleo diet and see if that might help you. 

Questions about gluten-free or paleo diets? Ask me below! 

Cyndi Date 3/6/2014
Thank you so much for answering! I will continue to enjoy beans with confidence now. :)
Cyndi Date 3/6/2014
I love paleo cookbooks and websites, and follow a pretty-much paleo diet, but I eat legumes. I haven't heard a convincing argument to not eat beans. Do you have any specific info on that?
Stephanie Howard Date 3/6/2014
Hi Cyndi, According to Amber, she completely agrees with you. She states, "I have not been convinced by the “paleo-ists” that legumes should be avoided so I eat them, too."
Shirley Date 3/7/2014
This is very helpful information, thanks Amber.
Laura Beth Jackson Date 3/13/2014
Wow love the webinar Amber. Haven't met you yet even though I have been going to HHWC since 2002. You are great. Pinned all your great info on my Pintrest.
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