Gluten free diet | How to cut out wheat, barley and rye

Gluten Free

Gluten free foods are becoming more common in the grocery store. Image: Flickr/whatshername

For some, eating a gluten free diet is a matter of avoiding foods that cause a severe allergic reaction. For others, a gluten free diet is a way to try to lose weight. Either way, gluten free foods are becoming more prevalent and easier to find, if still very expensive.

The basics of a gluten free diet

It is estimated that about one in every 133 people or so has some level of gluten allergy. The most severe, celiac disease, is a full allergy to gluten that causes a whole host of intestinal distress. A gluten free diet simply cuts all wheat, barley and rye out of what a person eats. Wheat is found in just about every baked item or pasta, as well as many processed foods. Gluten can be found in everything from soy sauce to beer to imitation crab. A gluten free diet cuts all of this out.

Gluten free diet friendly foods

Recently, with the number of people cutting gluten out of their diets, gluten free foods have been showing up in the marketplace. Gluten free flour made up of rice, tapioca, chickpea and multiple other grains can usually be purchased in many grocery store. Gluten-free bakeries and baking mixes are also appearing in most cities. In short, eating a gluten free diet is much easier now than it was 10 years ago. In 2010, the market in gluten free foods is estimated to be worth about $1.7 billion.

Gluten free diet options

If you decide to cut gluten out of your diet, your least expensive option is to simply cut all wheat, barley and rye out of your diet. No more bread, no more Pop-Tarts, no more beer and no more pasta. This can leave a huge hole in your diet, though, which you can replace with fruits and vegetables. If you choose to “replace” rather than “remove” gluten from your diet, it’s time to get a little more creative. Rice and corn are two of the most common gluten-free grains, and they can be used to replace many of the starches that you already eat. If you want to spend a little extra money, then gluten-free flour mixes and baked goods can usually be found for $5 to $15 apiece either online or in local health food stores.

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