There was a time when having to eat a gluten free diet, meant a severe limitation of tasty choices. However, because of the rise in awareness for the need of gluten free products, manufacturers are stepping up their efforts to produce gluten free products. In fact, there are more gluten free products available now then there ever have been. Manufacturers will probably increase the numbers further as time progresses. If you do have to go on a gluten free diet, you don’t have to worry too much about giving up your favorite foods.
What is gluten?
Gluten is certain type of protein. Gluten is found in foods such as rye, wheat, and barley. Because most breads and cereals make use of these foods, they usually also contain gluten. Just because the food is a grain, doesn’t necessarily mean it contains gluten. For example, wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, soybeans and sunflower seeds don’t contain gluten. There is some controversy surrounding oats. There is conflicting reports about oats. Many processed foods contain gluten, because it is used as a food additive by many food manufacturers.
Who should be on a gluten free diet?
If you suffer from an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, called celiac disease, you will most likely be put on a gluten free diet. Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. Some people have the disease but don’t really show any outward symptoms. The most common symptoms of Celiac disease include: Chronic diarrhea, the inability to gain weight, unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, bone or joint pain, arthritis, depression or anxiety, tingling numbness in the hands and feet, seizures, canker sores, missed periods, itchy skin rash, and fatigue.
There are some people who suffer from fibromyalgia who claim a gluten free diet has helped alleviate some of their symptoms. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you should discuss this option with your doctor.
People with diabetes may benefit from a gluten free diet. You have to be careful about going on a gluten free diet if you have diabetes. A lot of gluten free products add extra sugar or extra fat to make them taste better. It is extremely important you talk about going on a gluten free diet with your doctor or nutritionist before you consider going on a gluten free diet.
If your doctor says you have to go on a gluten free diet, or you want to and your doctor says its okay, then you will have many food choices still available to you. You just have to look at labels carefully. Manufacturers are producing more and more gluten free foods. If you have a craving for something that isn’t gluten free, there are plenty of gluten free recipes on the internet. There are also many gluten free diet cook books available too.
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