Clarifying Misconceptions About “Paleo” and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

I cannot believe how MUCH I have learned since going gluten free! It has been almost four years, which compared to some people’s lives, is no time at all. I’ve met women who learned that they had Celiac disease over thirty years ago, when there were literally no safe gluten free products on the market. We are so lucky today and should feel grateful at the breadth and variety of junk food and flours available.

The Paleo Diet–Honestly–shouldn’t this be what the USDA  should be advocating instead of the old Food Guide Pyramid or the current My Plate?

As I have had to further limit the types of flours and starches I can eat, I have begun to experiment with grain free or “paleo” baking. Every once in a while I post a link or recipe related to paleo on my Gluten Free in Vermont Facebook page or my personal page and I am surprised by the mocking tone of the comments, mostly related to questioning if paleolithic people REALLY ate coconut flour or peanut butter or some other ingredient found in a recipe. And it’s true–calling the diet “paleo” does sound silly. As a historian, I realize that it is nearly impossible to date when the growth and consumption of ancient grains began, but new research shows that it is earlier than we had thought. The real reason to forego grains is if they cause digestive distress. As detailed in my last post, the small intestine can become damaged over time and it is necessary to eat a strict diet of “safe” foods to help heal it. Most of these foods just happen to be part of the paleo diet. Forget about the label–I’ll try to rename it “grain-free” to avoid confusion.

List of allowable foods for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. It is slightly different than Paleo but much less well known, so of course it is easier to refer to Paleo and search for Paleo recipes online.

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