Can I eat gluten on a ketogenic diet?

By Dr. Stephen Phinney and the Virta Team

A ketogenic diet is naturally very low in gluten, but if you do not have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, there is no need to avoid low-carb products that contain small amounts of gluten such as soy sauce (which is made from fermented wheat). However, for most people to remain in nutritional ketosis, they need to avoid almost all food that contains wheat, barley, or rye.

Gluten is a gastro-intestinal irritant that in the most prominent cases presents as celiac disease. It is also causally implicated in about 25% of people with irritable bowel syndrome. Prevalence varies by national origin, but in the US gluten intolerance has been documented in about 5-6% of the general population. However given that carbohydrate restriction benefits almost everyone with insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes (40-50% of US adults), the benefits of carb restriction may have a much broader application than a gluten-free diet.

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