Gluten is a protein found in barley, wheat, rye and triticale grains. It can cause systematic inflammation, intestinal problems, skin disorders and even mood disturbances in sensitive individuals. Gluten sensitivity can be caused by a number of factors, but the primary reason that most people go on a gluten-free diet is celiac disease. Medical professionals are not sure exactly what causes celiac disease, but genetics are thought to be a factor. As long as those with celiac disease stay on a completely gluten-free diet, symptoms are usually manageable.
People who do not have celiac disease can still sometimes benefit from going on a gluten-free diet. Removing gluten also removes most processed flour, and experts believe that this is the primary reason many people experience noticeable weight loss and health improvements when first starting the diet.
Many of today’s most popular diets happen to be gluten free. If you’re interested in going off gluten, you might want to consider following one of these diet plans.
1. Paleolithic Diet
The “Paleo” diet is based on the concept that we should eat the way our cavemen ancestors did. The basic idea is that humans were not intended for a diet of processed grains and legumes. Those who have faith in the Paleo way of life believe that an improper diet is at the root of conditions like cancer and diabetes. The Paleo diet focuses on organic meats, fish and non-starchy vegetables. It’s grain and legume free, so those avoiding gluten should feel comfortable trying a Paleo recipe.
2. Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD)
The SCD is used to treat intestinal problems and a host of other illnesses. It allows you to eat simple carbohydrates but limits the ingestion of complex carbohydrates, focusing instead on foods like fish, honey and certain types of cheese. Made known by Elaine Gottschall, author of the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet, the SCD has become popular amongst support communities for celiac disease, autism, cystic fibrosis and more. Many of those who follow the SCD claim it can do wonderful things to help the digestive system heal from stress, food allergies and other damage.
3. GAPS Diet
The GAPS diet is similar to the SCD. It was created by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, who studied the SCD and adapted it to make her own protocol designed to not only heal digestive disorders but also other health issues as well. In her work, she has found that people with behavioral or learning disorders often benefit from following an intestinal-healing program. GAPS is 100 percent gluten free, focusing on fruit, vegetables, eggs, fresh meat, seeds, olive oil and garlic instead of grains.
4. The Raw Vegan Diet
Raw vegans not only avoid all animal foods and products, but they also do not eat foods that have been heated. Raw veganism is one of the more extreme diets that are popular today. The allowed food includes raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, nuts, sprouts, fresh juices and fermented foods. Although some raw vegans eat sprouted grains, this diet is gluten free for the most part.
Since veganism can obviously be quite limiting, it’s important to talk to your doctor or nutritionist before attempting to follow a raw diet strictly. Different diets work for different people, and many find that they don’t feet satiated on such limited fare. However, others thrive on the raw vegan diet.
5. The NU Skin TR90 Diet
Transform in 90, also known as TR90, is a lifestyle program designed to build a better you from the ground up. Built by Nu Skin. The Ageloc TR90 Fit shake features whey protein to keep you feeling full and strong. Whey has also been shown to improve immune function and even fight depression, making it a great addition to any gluten-free diet routine and lifestyle.
The TR90 diet also features a few other supplements that can boost energy and help to heal your body. Many of them are gluten free, and the philosophy of the diet itself encourages participants to replace gluten and white flours with healthier alternatives, such as quinoa, buckwheat and rice. These grains and seeds are less inflammatory and offer more nutrition that will keep you healthy.
All of these diets are a great way to simplify starting your gluten-free lifestyle. Try each of them to see which is best for body type.
Image Credit The Gluten Free Aisle by Memphis CVB