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The Gluten Free Diet

By: Kelly Mellott

What it is: It’s all in the name – the Gluten-Free Diet means avoiding all gluten products in your meals. This is not a weight-loss program but more a lifestyle meal plan for those who are allergic to gluten or voluntarily choose to stay away from gluten. Gluten is a type of protein found in many grains of which many people are highly intolerant, known as Celiac Disease, which may cause weight loss, cramping, damage to the small intestines and insufficient vitamins and minerals in the diet.

How it works: To keep a Gluten-Free Diet, one must avoid things containing gluten, especially barley, wheat, rye and products that are processed with grains, such as soy sauce and beer.

What you do: Become a food label expert if you intend to follow the Gluten-Free Diet. Prepared foods should be eaten cautiously after labels have been consulted. Gluten-free, approved grain choices include corn, oats, potatoes, soybeans and rice and most fruits, vegetables, meats (including fish), and dairy products are okay as well. Some sneaky gluten-filled products often seen on food labels are vegetable gum and/or protein, cereals, maltodextrim, starch and/or modified food starch, flavoring, glucose syrup, and hydrolyzed plant protein. Regular cardio and resistance exercise is suggested as well.

Benefits: This diet is necessary for a happy and healthy well-being for those suffering from Celiac Disease.

Downside: This is not a weight-loss plan and is not necessary for those who do not have gluten allergies. Regardless, those who chose to follow the diet as well as those who need the diet plan for health reasons should always consult a physician before beginning.

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Most True Celiacs cannot eat oats, and soy is many times a deterent.


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