There was a time when having to eat a gluten-free diet, meaning a severe limitation of tasty choices. However, because of the rise in awareness of the need for gluten-free products, manufacturers are stepping up their efforts to produce gluten-free products. In fact, there are more gluten-free products available now than 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. Chances are you’ll be able to find a gluten-free substitute. If you can’t, there are a lot of quality gluten-free recipes on the internet.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a certain type of protein. Gluten is found in foods such as rye, wheat, and barley. Because most breeds 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 are 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. You may get some resistance from your doctor because, at this time, there hasn’t been any major research into the effects of a gluten-free diet on fibromyalgia. If you really want to try it, ultimately, it will be your decision. You just have to make sure with your doctor that you have no health issues that would preclude you from going on a gluten-free diet, clear it with your doctor first.

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 it’s 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 cookbooks available too.

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