Anytime you're new to following a different dietary preference, it may feel confusing about what is safe and what isn't. Maybe you're confused if your new meal plan preferences will also fall under different dietary guidelines as well?! Today, we'll be answering "is Paleo Gluten Free". We'll be discussing the rules you'll need to follow to follow a paleolithic diet and the guidelines to follow when eating a gluten free diet.
Choosing to follow a gluten free or paleo diet isn't always just a personal choice, sometimes you'll find that you have to follow one, or both, of these diets due to medical diagnoses, like celiac disease, a general gluten intolerance, a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, irritable bowel syndrome, or to help control side effects from an autoimmune disease.
Many who follow a paleo diet also find it helps aid in the promotion of weight loss and find that they feel better overall or see a decrease in symptoms that they're trying to manage.
Gluten Free vs Paleo
Let's get down to business and learn about both of these diets that you can certainly follow together.
Following a gluten free diet does not mean you're eating a Paleo diet. However, following a Paleo diet, does inherently mean you're eating a gluten free diet without even trying to.
Many scientists believe that eating food containing gluten or wheat containing foods will cause chronic inflammatory illnesses and chronic digestive problems for the human body. Those who study the immune system and the science behind nutrition and our bodies tend to also be a firm believer that many humans are lactose intolerant, so that's why following the Stone Age diet means you need to eliminate anything dairy related.
What is a Gluten Free Diet
To start simply, gluten free means you're avoiding any and all kinds of food that contain gluten. Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat and other grains. Generally, this means you eat more whole foods, and only gluten-free processed foods or gluten-free grains or grain products, in place of regular wheat containing ingredients.
Generally, this means you follow a grain-free diet.
What can a person following a gluten-free diet eat?
Eating gluten free is a lot simpler than eating a full Paleo diet. You're allowed to have a lot more things, just avoiding gluten containing products. If you'd like some gluten-free friendly recipes, here are some of our reader favorite recipes.
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Scones- you can also serve these as a dessert!
- Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts- these can also be served as a dessert or for a snack.
- Gluten Free Biscuits and Gravy- an old fashioned breakfast that's hearty and filling
- Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins- a classic muffin recipe turned gluten free
- Gluten Free Yeast Donuts- another breakfast, dessert, snack combo
- Gluten Free Eggs Benedict - a classic breakfast that's safe for the whole family
- Gluten Free Pancake Bites - a fun kid friendly breakfast that is perfect to take on the go
- Gluten Free Lemon Loaf- a slice of this loaf is great for a sweet breakfast treat, or serve it for dessert!
- Gluten Free Chick-fil-A Nuggets - who doesn't love CFA nuggets?! Now you can enjoy a gluten free version
- Gluten Free Chick-fil-A Mac and Cheese - the mac n cheese from CFA is always a fan favorite, now it's gluten free with this easy recipe
- Vegan Gluten Free Pasta - a hearty dinner dish that's both free of gluten and vegan friendly
- Guten Free French Onion Soup - the perfect soup to whip up on a chilly day
- Gluten Free Risotto for Two - date night dinner idea that is the perfect serving for 2
- Gluten Free Dairy Free Cookies - perfect to satisfy that sweet tooth
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cookie. - fall favorite treat
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies - when you just want a safe classic cookie recipe, this is what you make
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownies - another classic recipe that's gluten free and safe for all to enjoy
- Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting - perfect for holidays, birthdays and special occasions
These are just a few of our gluten free recipes we have on our site. We have a LOT more, simply hit the search bar and type gluten free to find more gluten free breakfast, gluten free dinner, and gluten free dessert recipes.
What is a Paleo Diet?
You may have heard of Paleo, the stone age diet. Basically, when you follow a paleo diet, you're only eating a caveman diet, what the caveman had available to them or foods that could have been obtained by hunting or foraging. This means your diet consists of seeds, nuts, fruit, vegetables, fish, and lean meats. This has various health benefits by eliminating processed food in your diet.
You'll also be passing on anything with legumes, like soy beans, soy sauce, peanuts, and any and all beans. Paleo is also dairy free and refined oil free since any dairy products and products containing refined oils like canola oil, soybean oil, or cottonseed oil are prohibited. Finally, all alcohol and processed sugars are not allowed on a Paleo diet.
Following the Paleo way of eating is perfect for anyone to follow who suffers from food allergies or is looking to find a diet to help them clear up any gut health issues, and find out about any possible food sensitivities. Since you'll be eliminating many things, you may find that your body tends to feel better when avoiding certain food groups not found in a Paleo diet.
But you do not have to have allergies or health reasons to follow a Paleo diet. You can simply wish to follow a Paleo approach to benefit from any of the possible health benefits you may receive after eliminating all of the things not safe for this diet protocol.
Many of the modern foods we eat in the Western world are not allowed on the Paleo dietary plan.
Why is paleo gluten-free
Since you're eating whole foods and no processed foods or any grains at all, you'll be eating more whole foods and naturally gluten-free food.
Following a Paleo diet means you're excluding anything that contains gluten or other grains such as oats, rice, or corn. Since you're avoiding these things on a strict Paleo diet, naturally you're not allowed to eat any gluten-containing foods.
Are gluten-free products safe for the hunter-gatherer diet?
In many cases, the answer is no. Many gluten-free products are processed type foods which aren't allowed on the diet. Unless you're looking at a natural lean meat, fish, nut, seed, fruit or vegetable, which are naturally gluten free, than most things labeled gluten free are still not allowed since they're processed.
What types of ingredients are safe for those on a gluten-free diet?
When you're looking. to make gluten free recipes, some common choices to use are:
- almond flour or rice flour instead of wheat flour
- white rice is naturally gluten free
- white and sweet potatoes are safe for those avoiding gluten
- there are some oats that are naturally gluten free
- the important thing to do is find brands that are certified gluten free to ensure that there is no possible cross contamination in the factory where it's packaged
The good news is, eating gluten free is a heck of a lot easier now than it has been in the past. There are a lot more options at the grocery store and we also have many gluten-free recipes around this site.
Another important thing to remember. is that the ingredients we just shared above that are safe on a gluten-free diet, are actually NOT safe for those following a Paleo diet. So, if you are one who is following both, ignore those suggestions and try a few of these recipes instead!
What must you avoid on Paleo?
Here are the most common things you must avoid when following a Paleo diet:
- Peanuts (and peanut butter)
- Refined vegetable oilsRefined sugar: white and brown sugars, agave, corn, syrup, artificial sweeteners, candySoyCornRefined sugarPotatoesProcessed foods including frozen or processed dinners, packaged foods and snacksSalty foodsSodaSweetened beveragesDrinks sweetened with artificial sweetenersWineBeerPeanutsPeanut butter
What can Paleo eaters eat?
- grass-fed meats
- lean meat
- fresh vegetables
Don't let all of these restrictions hold you back from starting a Paleo diet journey. Even though this may seem like a restrictive diet, there are still plenty of meals and recipes you can whip up that will satisfy your every food craving. In this next section, I'll be sharing some of our favorite Paleo recipes for all the different meals throughout the day, even including desserts. All of these recipes follow the Paleo diet proponents and are tried and true recipes that you can feel confident in adding to your weekly meal plans.
- Paleo Crepes- these thin and flexible crepes are a wonderful breakfast to whip up when you're looking for somethign different than your usual Paleo breakfast. They. canalso double as a snack or dessert!
- Paleo Pancakes- Yes, these pancakes are made with only 6 ingredients and are wheat and sugar free! Nothing else is added that is't Paleo compliant, so feel free to surprise the family and whip up some pancakes all while sticking to your gluten free and Paleo friendly diet.
- Make Ahead Paleo Fried "Rice"- this fried "rice" is a great recipe to make a double batch of and enjoy all week long! Healthy and Paleo appropriate leftovers for the win.
- Paleo Nachos - feel like your treating yourself with these platain chips pilled high with all the best paleo-friendly nacho toppings. You'll be surprised how satisfying these are!
- Paleo Pho with Turkey- this delicious Pho is made with veggies, rich bone broth, and is seasoned with all the best pho seasonings to craft the perfect bowl with a generous portion of turkey.
- Paleo Taco Bowl- never feel like your missing out on any of your favorite Mexican again with this tasty taco bowl. It's especially great for Taco Tuesday!
- Paleo Coconut Stew- here's a hearty vegetable and meat packed stew to enjoy on a chilly day when you just want something warm and filling to fill your belly.
- Cashew Cream Sauce- this is the Paleo cheese sauce alternative we all need in our lives! Trust me, you'll be making this cashew cheese sauce for so many recipes. Never feel like you're missing out on any cheese sauce ever again. This is a great recipe to have on hand when you're wanting something cheesy to add to your dinner.
- Paleo Coconut Custard - just the perfect treat to indulge in when you have a sugar craving but are still looking to stay on the Paleo path.
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts- what we can have donuts on Paleo?!? Yup! I said what I said friends, these tasty Pumpkin Spice donuts are a family favorite around here.
- Paleo Pumpkin Cake with Coconut Caramel- see, you really get to enjoy all the yummy's on a Paleo diet! This cake is the perfect amount of sweet and brings out some fantastic fall flavors.
If you want even more recipes that can be made friendly, just search this site. I have many recipes that offer gluten-free and Paleo swaps or variations to make what wasn't a safe meal now an appropriate recipe that you can follow!
If you're considering following either of these diets, always consult your doctor first.
Now that you've learned about the similarities between a gluten free diet and a Paleo diet and, of course, the differences between them, I hope it's easier for you to decipher between the two diet options. I also hope you feel more prepared to start your dietary journey off on the right foot with some of our best gluten free recipes and some of the most delicious Paleo friendly recipes from our site.