After six months gluten free, I couldn't believe the effect it had on me after one piece of pizza, thanks to a poor decision late at night while drunk. To think I spent 45 years of my life habituated to that. Frightening.
I have celiac disease, and a good friend who does not have celiac disease, but has had enormous improvements in her life after going gluten free and sticking to it, so I have to say gluten.
Any starches turn into sugar in the body. Dairy in milk form has a lot of sugars. I have issues with lactose than can be combated with a lactase enzyme pill very successfully, and no problems with hard cheeses.
An area of contention not mentioned so far is soy... some claim benefits from the phytoestrogens, others say that's bad (but rarely why) and lots of other people are allergic or have some other issue with it. Is that because of soy's innate properties, or genetic engineering, or pesticides used in its growth? Too many questions to sort out, and the scientific literature hasn't narrowed any of those factors to a degree I'm comfortable with.
Maybe it's just that all the stuff we think of as "food" is so royally buggered that it disagrees with us in some way or another. We're very far from truly living off the land, even those of us like me who have home gardens because the crops are so distorted from when our ancestors ate them in their wild growing state.
for obesity, i think it's a tie between industrial seed oils and fructose because those two have more of an impact on leptin signaling and hypothalamic inflammation. if you're a celiac, have severe gluten intolerance or have an autoimmune condition, gluten could be worse.
I think sugar is far worse. I feel like its impact is a lot more direct on insulin production.
Not too concerned with dairy. I know its not strictly Paleo, but I don't know where else to get calcium without the oxalates. And lactose doesn't have much of an effect on insulin either.
I think that's a question that going to have a different answer, based on the individual. :)
I find I have no problem with full-fat dairy, raw or fermented (I try to avoid the pasteurized or skimmed stuff), but that's me. A good number of people who have problems on the grocery-store stuff can tolerate raw milk much better (still has all the natural enzymes and everything to help your body break it down). I also don't find that I have a problem with small amounts of white rice or oats (by small amount I mean a serving a few times a month).
For me, gluten is the worst, followed by excess refined sugars, and then the nasty oils (soybean, canola, corn oils, that sort). I've never really eaten many non-fermented soy products, so I don't know what kind of effect they would have on me personally, but I'm happy to continue avoiding it as much as possible.
gluten and dairy 2 Answers