Grain-Free is the elimination of all grains including wheat, rice, corn, barley and oats. A grain-free diet has been proven through the personal experience of hundreds of people worldwide who have experienced significant relief from symptoms of crohn’s disease (and many other illnesses of the digestive system) and also for chronic fatigue. Main-stream medicine disputes this due to the fact that the so-called evidence is anecdotal in nature, and cannot be backed up or substantiated by clinical trials or studies. They will tell you that there is no evidence that diet can play such a pivotal role.
Quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat are technically not grains and so (technically) they are allowed. However according to the SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet) and Paleo rules, these are still not permitted. I feel that whether you would have these or not would depend on your own personal experience of these non-grains and whether you felt you could tolerate them or not. Everyone is different.
Being grain-free is NOT low carb as it is rich in healthy, complex carbohydrates including starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots (once again, the SCD/GAPS/Paleo does not allow some or all of these starchy vegetables but we have tolerated them fine and so include them – once again, everyone is different so listen to your body). All fruits & vegetables are allowed except for corn, which is actually a grain.
Meat, fish, eggs, legumes, beans, nuts, seeds & dairy products (Legumes, pulses, beans and dairy are not OK on a paleo diet) are also acceptable. However, the qualifier to all this is (and again) everyone is different. Obviously, if you are lactose intolerant, or react badly to dairy products, you shouldn’t have them. Likewise, if legumes or beans produce a bad reaction, such as excess wind, then that is also a signal to not have them. The moral of the story is – take personal responsibility for your health. If your body is telling you that ANY food is not tolerated, then DON’T HAVE IT – I am constantly amazed and horrified at how often people will react really badly to foods and yet continue to have them….
To have a more in-depth look at some of the main grain-free eating philosophy’s go to my links page.
To see a basic list of foods sorted by what is a grain and what is grain-free go to this page.