Is the plant based diet the new gluten free diet?

I think a lot about various diets. I’ve done them all – Whole 30, AIP, Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, Clean eating, Weight Watchers, SCD, low FODMAP, and just about anything else you can think of. I have not done the Blood Type or Plant Based (Vegan) diet, so maybe I haven’t done them all. 😉

Now, those of us with celiac or other food issues must eliminate certain foods without question. We don’t have a choice. Eliminating those foods mean the difference between life and death. Understand, I’m not talking about life threatening food issues here, I’m talking about the ability to make a choice about the foods we get.

But the key thing I’m seeing is that most of these diets involve eliminating one or more food groups for the sake of health. Many of these diets eliminate major food groups or types of foods. And this can get a little crazy.

I worry about people who only get down to a few food items because they believe that most food items cause issues. I’ve seen where people get down to eating chicken and rice only or only fresh veggies or any variety of a few foods. There may truly be an issue for some, but eliminating nutritious foods can be dangerous. It can decimate your microbiome and really exacerbate malnutrition.

I like to argue that the gluten free diet is simply an extension of the low carb and paleo diet craze. While the great celiac diagnosis renaissance was coming into being in the mid to late 2010’s, paleo was really popular. Paleo eliminates most grains and minimizes complex carbohydrates. If you eliminate most grains, then you are already most of the way to a gluten free diet and it is a pretty easy leap.

I’m not saying plant based dieting is bad. As a matter of fact for many people it is a great option. For me, it wouldn’t work because of some other issues – but I do try to eat lots of veggies.

My point is that if you are going to attempt a plant-based diet on top of having celiac disease, please consult with a registered dietician. Making sure to get enough calories, vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fat in the diet will help make you feel better than being nutrient deficient.

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