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Gluten Free - Gluten Free Diet A Must For Some

Aug 17, 2007
We need to consume carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and even some fat to remain healthy and active. However, once certain diseases set it we may have to cut down or eliminate certain foods from our diet. This is a difficult process both because we need to control our urge to eat and because we need to be cautious not to mistakenly consume forbidden foods.

A gluten free diet involves the avoidance of gluten containing cereals like barley, wheat, rye, and oats. This kind of diet must be followed by those with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis. It is also recommended for those suffering from multiple sclerosis, autism, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, and attention deficit disorder. The bad news is that if you suffer from any of these diseases, you cannot have ordinary bread, pasta, and many junk foods. The good news is that you don't have to give up on starch altogether even if you suffer any of these diseases. Rice, maize, tapioca, millet, arrowroot, potato, and sweet potato are some gluten-free sources of starch. Therefore, you can have specially prepared gluten free pastas and breads.

Gluten free meals should be prepared very carefully because many packaged products bought from the market may not have gluten free written on the label. Therefore, go through the list of ingredients carefully. Many foods contain glucose syrup, wheat or barley starch, and malt flavoring. Such foods must be avoided. In addition, you may not find certain gluten containing foods listed on the label because they are used in the preparation of certain foods.

If you must have alcohol, go for products like wine, port, sherry, rum, and tequila. Avoid beer as it contains traces of barley and, may be, wheat. Buckwheat-based beer is safe for consumption, but is not commonly available. Other types of gluten free beer are, however, becoming increasingly available and can be safely consumed. Just keep your medical practitioner updated about your food habits and watch out for adverse reactions on eating new foods.

Research indicates that autistic children showed significant improvement in general mood, eye contact, and attentiveness when put on a gluten and casein free diet. They also showed marked reduction in aggressive behavior and tantrums.

As the adage goes "Better safe than sorry." Therefore, if you suffer from any of the above diseases avoid gluten. Consult your doctor regularly and find out the about all the alternative foods you can consume to make up for the loss of starch, protein, and dietary fiber in a gluten free diet.
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