Gluten-free diets are those that are completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein that’s found in a variety of grains and is standard in the majority of prepared foods available today.
People who suffer from Celiac disease must eat a gluten-free diet. Celiac disease interferes with absorption of nutrients from food and can lead to a wide array of health problems.
Those with gluten sensitivity can also benefit from a gluten-free diet. These people might have wheat allergies, inflammatory bowel syndrome and minor digestive issues. People with more severe sensitivities might develop full-blown Celiac disease.
Some studies have linked gluten to obesity and diabetes, but some people argue that prepared foods often are made with processed wheat flour and also often contain sugar. Because the incidence of gluten intolerance has increased in recent years, those who support a diet that’s in line with what our ancestors ate argue that our bodies aren’t designed to eat grains with gluten in them and that’s why so many people suffer from so many health problems.
Where is gluten? In general, any product that contains rye, barley or wheat will contain gluten as well. Traces of gluten can often be found in products that are manufactured in a plant that’s also processing glutenous grains.
People who switch to a gluten-free diet can use many foods as substitutes for gluten. These include oats, corn flour, soy flour, coconut flour, bean flour and potato flour. These days, there are wide arrays of gluten-free foods available that make eating gluten-free easy.
Living a gluten-free lifestyle is more than a diet. Making these dietary changes can be challenging and requires a true commitment to the new lifestyle. People who eat gluten free will have to avoid pastas, breads, crackers, some candy and candy bars, beer, cakes, some medications, frozen dinners and much more.
It’s important that people who eat gluten free have a varied diet. It’s easy to eat healthfully this way. Followers of a gluten-free lifestyle can enjoy a variety of meats, rice, fruits, fish, and fruits. They can also purchase gluten-free prepared foods.
Pros and Cons
- Followers report feeling healthy and energetic
- Gluten free diets can help to reverse some conditions and prevent others
- The gluten-free diet is healthy and varied
- Popularity of gluten-free lifestyle has resulted in availability of a wide array of gluten-free foods
- Can be hard to follow this lifestyle when traveling or dining out
- Can be more expensive than a traditional diet
- Not a weight loss diet; while some will lose weight eating this way, others won’t
- Can be redundant if caution isn’t taken to create unique and interesting menus
There is no specific cost associated with this diet. Followers might like to buy a book or two to help them come up with menu plans and to understand the basics of the diet, but the only real expense will be the cost of food, which could be more than the follower previously spent on food.
Sample Of The Diet
Gluten-free breakfast cereal
1 apple, sliced
Cup vegetable soup
Hummus and crisp vegetable sticks
Ham and cheese on gluten-free bread
Chicken cooked in fajita seasoning and olive oil
Vegetables, cooked in fajita seasoning
Gluten-free tortilla chips or tortillas
1 c. Strawberries