A very specialized plan for those with celiac disease.
The Gluten-Free Diet is eating plan that is followed by people who actually have celiac disease, which is an intolerance to gluten or for those who have a wheat allergy. There have also been a handful of studies that show that the Gluten-Free Diet may reduce the symptoms associated with autism.
Gluten is a protein naturally found in a number of starches. Most notable are wheat, barley, rye, triticale, spelt and kamut. Gluten can also be found in other hidden food additives like vegetable protein, food starch, malt flavoring and other thickeners. In addition, some medications and supplements contain gluten as a binding agent.
Therefore, those who follow the Gluten-Free Diet for health reasons must be very well-educated on the many sources that gluten can be found in.
Those with celiac disease are unable to properly metabolize gluten, which causes an inflammatory reaction in the large intestine that inhibits the proper absorption of vital nutrients. Diarrhea, cramping, weight loss and fatigue are some of the most notable side effects. The only current treatment for celiac disease is following a lifelong Gluten-Free Diet.
- Effective for people who need to avoid gluten
- The recent awareness of celiac disease has spurred the development of many gluten-free products
- Can be a very healthy eating plan when followed correctly
- Certain starches are allowed
- New product labels now clearly list "wheat" as an ingredient
- Small studies show that a gluten-free diet may reduce the symptoms of autism
- Not necessary for most people
- May be hard to follow because of how ubiquitous gluten is in so many foods
- No other treatment other than avoiding gluten
Gluten is found in many grains, especially barley, wheat and rye. Many times, foods and grains are processed together, creating instances of cross-contamination. Becoming well-educated about gluten and learning how to read food labels will greatly help you avoid products containing gluten.
Current federal labeling laws require that wheat be declared on the product's label, even if it is contained in an ingredient like modified food starch.
When committing to a gluten-free diet, you should not eat any grains containing gluten. Gluten-free choices include corn, rice, potatoes, soybeans and grains like quinoa, teff, amaranth, flax, buckwheat and wild rice. Most fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products are free of gluten. Prepared foods should be eaten with caution, and labels reviewed carefully.
More recently, many bakeries are promoting themselves as gluten-free, to accommodate the needs of these individuals. Also, many health-food and organic grocers are carrying more gluten-free products.
Beer should be avoided as it is almost all brewed with some form of wheat or barley. There are some specialty beers available and most wines and liquors are acceptable.
The Gluten-Free Diet is primarily followed by those suffering from celiac disease. Both those with the disease and those considering a voluntary gluten-free diet should consult their physician before beginning.EXERCISE
The Gluten-Free Diet recommends regular cardio and resistance exercise.CONCLUSION
The Gluten-Free Diet is the only treatment option available for those who suffer from celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. While avoiding gluten in foods requires vigilance and astute label-reading, as the awareness of celiac disease has increased, so have gluten-free products. A person who cannot process gluten can still eat bread, pasta and cereals as long as they are made with alternative starches.
If you suspect that you may have a gluten intolerance, talk to your doctor about having some simple diagnostic tests which can confirm or deny the presence of the disease.
Recent research has also suggested that those who are sensitive to gluten can benefit from following the gluten-free diet.Common Misspellings
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