With so many diet options being promoted to decrease weight, improve body function and reduce health issues, it can be hard to keep track. As the number of digestive and degenerative disease increase, so too do the diets to combat it.
Unlike a traditional diet, these diets are not focused on weight loss, but rather, correcting the root cause of disease using food as our medicine. And it can be tough to know what is better between the Paleo vs Low FODMAP Diet.
Two of the most popular, the paleo and low FODMAP diet, are both tough to fully understand. Here is a breakdown of these diets:
The Paleo Diet
This diet is based on the belief that the human body functions best on the “hunter and gatherer” foods of the Paleolithic era. The idea is that our modern diet, which is full of processed foods, added sugar and trans fat is the root cause of many degenerative diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even infertility.
The diet guidelines allow for whole foods that could be hunted & gathered by cavemen. Things like (grass-fed) meat, fish, fruits, leafy greens, eggs, veggies, nuts & seeds all fall within the guidelines. That means the more modern foods that didn't exist back then like grains, sugar, dairy and processed foods are off limits.
By eliminating these foods, theoretically, our bodies will function better, have a lower risk of disease and be made of leaner muscle.
The Paleo diet requires you to remain on the diet indefinitely. This is considered a lifestyle change and many who start this diet are seeking a way to lose weight and feel better without counting calories or feeling restricted.
The Low FODMAP Diet
This is an elimination diet based on the belief that our gastrointestinal issues are being caused by an undetected food sensitivity. Similar the paleo diet, the thought process is that our bodies are not meant to be consuming such high quantities of these more modern foods. Unlike the Paleo diet, the FODMAPers goal is to eliminate short-chained carbohydrates. This is the major difference between the Paleo vs Low FODMAP Diet.
These carbs can be found in dairy, gluten, fructose. The low FODMAPer does not have the luxury of knowing that the “whole” or “organic” food they are about to consume will be within the guidelines since a ton of fructose is found naturally in fruits like apples, pears and dates, and veggies like cauliflower & asparagus.
The low FODMAP diet requires you to eliminate the high FODMAP foods for a minimum of 2 weeks but up to 8 weeks. This elimination phase will help “reset” the gut and should reduce the IBS symptoms. Slowly, you will begin to reintroduce the high FODMAP foods to determine which ones and in what quantities you can tolerate them and have control over what is causing the symptoms.
So What's The Difference - Paleo vs Low FODMAP Diet?
So why is the Paleo diet so often compared to the low FODMAP diet? Both diets are newer, have complex guidelines and are based on a functional approach to the body. Additionally, both diets require you to eliminate dairy, grains (gluten) and processed sugar. While the parameters are not the same, they do follow a similar format, and both are extremely hard to follow and find definitive info on.
Unlike the Paleo diet, the low FODMAPer is not looking to lose weight but instead, eliminate their IBS symptoms through diet.
So what is the winner between the Paleo vs Low FODMAP Diet? Both diets are designed to help eliminate health risks and promote a body that functions at its best! For more information on how to start and stick to the low FODMAP diet, check out The Gut Program!