What is a Grain Free Diet?

by Lisa Bishop

A grain free diet is one without any rice, corn, wheat, barley, rye or oats. This diet is also a gluten free diet. The grain free diet is a return to a diet that existed before the advent of agriculture and the cultivation of rice and wheat, when humans consumed simply meat, fruit and vegetables. Since then, we have increasingly consumed larger and larger quantities of grains, especially the cheap-to-produce wheat and corn, which are now found in almost all prepared foods.

Is a Grain Free Diet Low Carb?

Grain free should not be confused with low carb because there are no restrictions on carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, and alternate flours or psuedo-grains. However, you can make it low carb if you wish by eating only meat, low carb dairy, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds.

Is a Grain Free Diet Difficult?

A grain free diet need not be difficult if you take the time to plan in advance exactly what you are going to eat.

Wheat is difficult if not impossible to avoid unless you cook from scratch because it is found in bread, cereal, pasta, flour, sauces, biscuits, and most desserts – pastries and cakes.

Corn is also prevalent, most often in the form of corn syrup, which is used as a sweetener in sauces and many foods – even salad dressings and ketchup. You have to read your labels!

Most prepared foods, restaurant fare and take-out meals contain wheat, corn or rice and are therefore off limits. You can make pizza and pancakes, bread and muffins, but you have to learn to use new ingredients like quinoa and amaranth, almond flour and flaxseed meal.

You can find many free, grain free recipes on this site. Breakfast can be difficult on a grain free diet, so I wrote Fun & Fabulous Grain Free Breakfast Recipes – How to Enjoy Your Old Favorites in a Brand New Way! It is available as an e-book or in paperback on Amazon.com.

Benefits of a Grain Free Diet

The main benefits from a diet free of grain are weight loss, reduced allergies and an increase in general wellness.

You also get a much greater variety of foods in your daily intake instead of just wheat at every meal, which makes up the bulk of most diets in the developed world. This heavy concentration of a single food source is the cause of many dietary problems because the body is very likely to develop an allergy.

Wheat allergies and gluten sensitivity are growing problems, attributable to the over dependence of wheat in the modern diet. In fact, wheat and corn are two of the most common foods allergens.

Many people don’t realize that they have a sensitivity to grains – they just know they are tired and don’t feel well. A grain free diet may allow you to feel an improvement in health and an increase in energy in as soon as four to five days.

The grain free diet forces variety and creativity. It is an exciting challenge if you enjoy cooking and trying new recipes and the rewards are priceless – an improved quality of life.

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