Comparing a Carb Free Diet and a Gluten Free Diet

People often confuse gluten free diets with carb free diets, and almost always with good reason. Gluten free products can’t haven oats, rye, barley and wheat. And given that such ingredients are carbohydrates, a lot of individuals think that by merely sticking to a gluten-free diet, then get to rid themselves of carbs, too. The truth of the matter is, carbohydrate-free and gluten-free are two distinct things.

Gluten refers to a protein that can be found in wheat, among many other grains. Of course, wheat has carbohydrates, but that’s the same story with a lot of other foods. Rice, starchy vegetables, potatoes, and fruits are among the foods that have carbohydrates, and they are commonly seen in your pantry. Simply getting rid of wheat products would not necessarily mean getting rid of carbohydrates, and a lot of times the opposite is even true.

On the other hand, sugar is the devil we think of when carbohydrates are mentioned, and it is among the main reasons a lot of us opt for low-carb diet. If you want to reduce your sugar consumption through cutting back on carbohydrates, don’t ever think that gluten-free foods are always the best choice for you. It’s a good choice, though, but yours is a different story.

Even the deemed “natural” sources of sugar are no good for carb-free diet. Sucralose, fructose, maple syrup, and honey, among other forms of sugar, often contain carbs. They are also naturally gluten-free. Just by stating this, you would know that gluten-free does not equal carbs-free.

Other carbohydrates can be found in gluten free foods, too. A lot of commercial gluten free foods are modified counterparts of old favorites wherein wheat flour was replaced with a gluten free alternative. Some usual alternatives even have more carbs than the regular. Say, rice flour, which does not contain gluten, but it’s higher in carbs than its wheat- or rye-based counterparts.

The bottom line is that a gluten free diet could be higher in levels of sugar and carbohydrates as compared to low- or no-carbs diet. Carbohydrate-free diets could have more artificial ingredients like fillers as well as sweeteners.

To sum it all up, gluten-free diets are far less restrictive, given that only carbohydrates which can’t be eaten are of the wheat, rye, barley and oat varieties Whereas with carb-free or low-carb diet, all carbs are off-limits. Hence, it makes for a less flexible menu with fewer choices.

Gluten Free Handbook