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Preparing For a Gluten-Free Diet

 There are many things to consider when going on a gluten-free diet. Firstly you will need to identify if it is necessary for you to go on this type of diet. Gluten is found in many products including bread, cakes, and pasta. If you have Celiac disease, this may mean that you cannot eat foods that contain this ingredient. It can be very difficult to follow such a strict diet as your body will need to know what food items you can and cannot eat.

The second thing to consider is whether or not you will benefit from a gluten-free diet. For some people, it can be quite difficult to adjust to the absence of gluten in their diet. They may experience various symptoms that they may believe are related to gluten. These include depression and mood swings, bloating, joint aches, tiredness, weight gain and muscle pain. If you have these symptoms, you may find that going on a gluten-free diet is very difficult.

Another thing to take into consideration is whether you will be able to afford the dietary changes. People often think that going on a gluten-free diet is expensive but in fact, it isn't. You may be able to buy pre-packaged foods at health food stores or your local supermarket. Alternatively, you could look around and try to find something similar. In fact, you may find that once you start eating gluten-free foods you will end up going back to your old habits because you like the taste of the new foods.

Thirdly, you need to ask yourself if you can deal with having to give up certain foods that you enjoy. This will be one of the biggest challenges that you will face when going on a gluten-free diet. You will probably need to avoid things like cheese, bread, pasta, and cookies. Even though you will not be eating them regularly you will need to give up some of your favorites. You may also need to find substitutes for other items.

You also need to think about how the diet will affect your current diet. It's OK to use gluten-free foods to replace some of your favorite foods, but you also need to have plenty of other sources of nutrients. Don't just stop drinking milk, tea and bread. As well as having enough of the right vitamins and minerals your body will need protein and carbohydrates as well as fats and fiber. Don't just cut out all food that is made from wheat, barley and rye, but also take a good multivitamin daily and make sure you get plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily food pyramid.

Finally, you need to make sure that you are ready to give up a number of your bad habits. Caffeine is a big culprit when it comes to people who are going on a gluten-free diet. You don't want to have "the crash" after you have followed a gluten-free diet for a few weeks. The crash can come from eliminating certain foods from your diet (particularly starchy ones) and it can also be due to withdrawal symptoms if you haven't eaten gluten-free products for a while. Remember that there will be times when you might feel sluggish or fatigued but it's not serious and with a little patience you should start to notice improvements in your health and energy levels.

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