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Going gluten-free without celiac disease

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By now anyone with wheat and/or gluten intolerance know exactly how much their food budgets have gone up, but there is also a growing population of people just wanting to eliminate gluten and/or wheat from their diet for general health reasons, and it's a good idea.

Many experts in the industry believe that wheat is more the staff of death than life these days. Here you can see what the scientists have done to “fix” wheat during the 1960’s. And since it is in just about everything processed in some capacity, Americans are seeing more and more serious health concerns particularly with autoimmune diseases and inflammation.

The issue is that gluten-free food is a billion dollar industry and ever-growing, and the prices for these “specialty” items can really rack up the grocery bill. Frankly, it’s outrageous to pay double if not more for foods not containing wheat.

Udi’s bread while popular will cost you about six dollars a loaf, and it’s considerably smaller and has fewer slices than its traditional counterparts. This is especially expensive if you have kids who actually like to eat pb&j sandwiches or heaven forbid toast.

Oh you want pasta for dinner? Have you priced out quinoa pasta lately? You’ll very likely be paying $4 dollars for spaghetti dinner vs. traditional pasta at $1. Big food as it’s referred to, is cashing in on this trend. The gluten-free market is expected to hit $4.2 billion dollars this year and at this rate hit $6.6 billion by 2017.

Now for the good news, it doesn’t have to be that way. You just have to change how you eat. The problem is that people with celiac or those who don’t want to consume massively GMO’d wheat products are still wanting to consume the same things they did before, just without wheat, and that won’t work, at least not in a healthy way.

Gluten-free products are filled with a lot of additives to give people the same taste and textures that they’re used to in order to simulate the “airiness” that comes with using wheat gluten combined with a leavening agent.

In order not to spend your last dollar on old food habits you really have to change your mindset. If you love your carbs, you can still have them but eat them by cooking them yourself, not in a processed gluten-free package.

Fill up on: quinoa, rice, amaranth, buckwheat (which is entirely different despite the name), millet, gluten-free oats, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and sweet white sorghum. Depending on your consumption and/or love of carbs this list can fulfill your cravings without emptying out your wallet.

Broaden your horizons by looking outside your own culture. There are a lot of countries that don’t grow wheat historically and therefore their diets are naturally lacking in wheat based foods. Just to name a few are:

Mexico: Beans, rice, meat, vegetables, corn tortillas

India: Rice, vegetables, lentils, potatoes, yogurt

Middle East: Vegetables, nuts, rice, beans, seeds

You get the point, don’t buy the “replacements” just adjust your mindset accordingly and eat whole foods, be a little adventurous, and you will spare your waist, and your wallet!

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