Sunday, March 18, 2012

5 myths about the Gluten-free diet

This is a nutrtion label for
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1) It’s a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve read news articles online that say going gluten-free is a healthier lifestyle, and that’s not always true. While 1% of the population has Celiac Disease and another 6-7% have gluten allergies people who have no issues with gluten could be limiting their diet of vital nutrients. Cutting out wheat can lead to decreased fiber intake and folic acid, a B vitamin found in whole grain breads.Also, gluten-free packaged foods contain a lot of salt, fat, sugar, and increased calories than regular packaged food. So if you are going to go gluten-free you need to understand how to supplement your diet to make up for the loss of a food group. The gluten-free diet is by no means a miracle diet. You still need to make healthy food choices and keep a healthy lifestyle.

2) Going gluten-free is cheap.

Though the rise in gluten-free products has helped to reduce some prices, the price of gluten-free bread compared to white bread is quite significant. The gluten-free lifestyle is not a cheap way of living because you get less food for more money. Even if you use this diet change to add more fresh vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates to your diet, it can be costly. For ideas on how to cut down the costs of a gluten-free diet, check out Nicole Hunn's book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring

3) Going gluten-free is easy.

Going gluten-free requires effort, time and vigilance. Sticking to a strict gluten-free diet requires constant awareness of what one is eating and where one is eating. It requires effort to stay gluten-free and fight urges to eat gluten-filled foods. It requires vigilance to know what is gluten-free, which places are gluten-free, where it is safe to eat and where it isn’t. Going gluten-free is no simple task, and it is not something that comes easily. You have to work at it until you get it right. The Celiac Disease Foundation has an excellent free resource that can help you stay disciplined. Gluten-free Resource Directory

4) Gluten-free can be done all by myself.

Going gluten-free and living a gluten-free lifestyle become much easier when you have someone backing you up and pushing you through it, even when the going gets tough and you have an urge to eat gluten. I was lucky to have my mother, who was diagnosed around the same time, help me begin. My little sister was tested after my diagnosis and it was fun to explore recipes with her. After I was married, it took me six months to figure out how to cook foods that my husband would enjoy (and eat) that were gluten-free. If you do decide to go gluten-free, forming a support network with at least one partner is important and then letting your friends, family, and co-workers know so they can support you will help keep you vigilant and decrease temptation. Also, finding a support group can be helpful to find others who know what you're going through and have ideas on restaurants, recipes etc.
5) There is no information out there about Celiac disease.

The community is growing, and the amount of information is increasing, too. There are magazines, websites, articles, doctors and much more. One should not get lost with all this information. Click here to go to the National Foundation for Celiac Disease's website.

Take gluten-free living step-by-step until it becomes part of your everyday thing. Start slow and simple. You'll get there!

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