Why Carb-Free Diet Is Different From Gluten-Free Diet

People often mistake gluten free diets for carb free diets, and it’s for good reason. Gluten free products cannot contain oats, rye, barley and wheat. Considering these ingredients are carbohydrates, many of us think that just by sticking to a gluten-free diet, we get to avoid carbs, too. Truth be told, carbohydrate-free and gluten-free are two different things.

Gluten is defined as a protein found in wheat, among other grains. Certainly, wheat contains carbohydrates, but that’s the same case with many other foods. Rice, starchy vegetables, potatoes, and fruits are included in the list of the foods that have carbohydrates, and they are typically found in your pantry. Simply avoiding wheat products does not imply getting rid of carbohydrates, and a lot of times the opposite is even true.

Sugar is the devil we think of when carbohydrates are brought up, and it is among the primary reasons many people are going for low-carb diet. If you like to lessen your sugar consumption through reducing carbohydrates, don’t ever think that gluten-free foods are always the best choice for you.

Even the “natural” sources of sugar are not ideal for carb-free diet. Sucralose, fructose, maple syrup, and honey, among other forms of sugar, often have carbs. Also, they are naturally gluten-free. Just by having said this, you would instantly that gluten-free does not mean carbs-free.

Carbs can be found in some gluten free foods, too. Many commercial gluten free foods are modified alternatives of old favorites in which wheat flour was replaced using a gluten free alternative. Some typical alternatives even have more carbs than the usual. For example, rice flour, which does not have gluten, but it’s higher in carbs than its wheat- or rye-based counterparts.

It drives home the fact 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 contain more artificial ingredients such as fillers and sweeteners.

To conclude, gluten-free diets are way less restrictive, considering only carbohydrates which can’t be eaten are of the wheat, rye, barley and oat varieties, while with carb-free or low-carb diet, all carbs are a no-no. Thus, it is a less flexible menu with fewer choices.

Gluten Free Handbook