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Foods used to be pretty straightforward. You'd go into a grocery store and see areas for dairy, fruits and vegetables, cereals, breads, meats and frozen goods. A FoodSaver promotion code could buy you all of the essentials. Now, stores are featuring all kinds of new items that include organic, low-fat, sodium-free, dairy substitutes, vegan and gluten-free foods. It's hard to keep track of what's what.
Gluten Over the past several years, gluten-free diets have been all the rage. It seemed like suddenly there was a new enemy in town: gluten. But what exactly is it?
"Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley," explains WiseGeek.com. "Therefore, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread." It's what makes bread chewy and elastic, giving it its unique structure. Not all grains have it, which is why it's easy to get confused. Foods like wild rice, quinoa, corn, buckwheat, millet, oats and soybeans don't contain any gluten, so they're safe to buy with anAlegroFoods.com promotion code for those who are on a gluten-free diet.
According to the news source, it's possible to remove most of the gluten from wheat flower, but impossible to get rid of all of it. As a result, The Food and Drug Administration considers foods to be gluten-free if they have a certain amount removed. Many of the items you see labeled "gluten-free" still contain a certain amount oft material. When it's removed from bread, the food loses a lot of its characteristic shape and texture.
History of the gluten-free diet Before gluten-free foods started showing up everywhere, diets without gluten were a medical staple for individuals suffering from celiac disease. This autoimmune condition makes people intolerant to gluten. If they eat something containing it, the lining of their small intestines becomes inflamed and damaged. Nutrients can no longer be absorbed, which can lead to malnutrition and weight loss. A number of uncomfortable symptoms are also associated with celiac disease, such as diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
After patients stopped eating foods with gluten in them, their intestines repaired themselves. As a result, doctors had no problem recommending gluten-free diets.
Recently, more people have been complaining about negative responses to gluten. Gluten sensitivity is seen as a separate condition from celiac disease because the intestines don't appear to be damaged. According to a study published in BMC Medicine, about 10 percent of the general population is sensitive to gluten - compared to the 1 percent of people who have celiac disease.
Celiac disease has been on the rise in recent years, and many doctors point to hygiene as the cause. Now that we generally live in cleaner environments, children aren't exposed to the same antigens while their immune systems are developing. If the intestines haven't been taught to deal with these antigens, the immune system won't tolerate gluten.
The fad Although gluten-free diets are becoming necessary for more people, others have embraced the diet without experiencing any sensitivity to gluten. For example, back in 2008, Oprah Winfrey went on a "21-day cleanse," reports USA Today. She eliminated foods like meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine and gluten to become healthier.
Going gluten-free has become synonymous with a healthier lifestyle over the past decade. Some people believe that eliminating gluten can boost their health and energy, help them lose weight and allow them to cope better with certain conditions like headaches, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, that doesn't necessarily mean it's true. You might be better off using a Modell's promotion code to save on exercise equipment, because working out is a proven way to get fit.
According to USA Today, many of these fad dieters simply feel better because they're eating less processed foods and fast foods, which typically contain gluten. It's not really the lack of gluten itself that's benefiting them - it's that they're eating more fruits and vegetables.
The consequences As a result of the gluten-free diet's popularity, many manufacturers have begun to make gluten-free foods. Back when the diet was primarily used for celiac disease patients, there weren't many products available that boasted gluten-free ingredients. This is a good thing for those who are gluten-intolerant, as aneFoodsDirect.com promotion code can now help them save money on a variety of gluten-free specialty items.
However, USA Today warns that a gluten-free diet can have its pitfalls. For one, specialty foods are often more expensive, much like organic fruits and vegetables cost more than their traditional counterparts. Also, many gluten-free manufacturers rely on fat to replace gluten, which can mean more calories. Those who don't eat gluten may also find themselves lacking certain vitamins, so a Vitamin Shoppe promotion code may be necessary to save on supplements. This is because gluten-free foods aren't fortified with vitamins the way grains are.
Your choice If you've been noticing stomach issues or have felt uncomfortable after eating foods that contain gluten, you might want to head to your doctor. You can get tested for celiac disease, but as of now there's no way to determine if you're sensitive to gluten. Going gluten-free might be a good way to make yourself feel better if you're experiencing symptoms, but it isn't likely to help you much if you're not intolerant to gluten.
If you're looking for ways to get healthier, you don't necessarily have to turn to expensive gluten-free foods. Instead, just focus on eating natural foods that aren't processed. Use a Sunfood promotion code to stock up on veggies and fruits to add to your meals. Remember that more often than not, the less ingredients a food has, the better it is for you.