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What is the cost of being on a gluten-free diet?

Depending on how long ago you were diagnosed you will or won’t be as familiar with the real cost of having to be gluten-free. Someone diagnosed say in 1994 would have had to scour the markets and send away to Canada for gluten-free products. Two decades later the same person would be able to find products much closer to home and even in their favorite restaurants in a lot of cities.

When all is said and done, Americans will spend an estimated seven billion this year on foods labeled gluten-free according to research firm Mintel. A family of four with a non-gluten-free diet spending $90 dollars a week is now spending about $130 per week on a gluten-free diet.

It can be twice as expensive to eat gluten-free according to president Bast of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness-“Our surveys tell us this is the number-one stressor for celiac patients, especially the newly diagnosed.”

Consumer research firm Nielsen reports that the proportion of households reporting that they buy gluten-free products has risen to 11 percent, up from five percent in 2010.

Large consumer brands such as Anheuser-Busch and General Mills are betting that the demand for gluten-free products will only grow and have introduced several gluten-free versions of some of their best selling products. The market is expected to grow to four billion by 2017 at a high cost to the consumer.

On the bright side, more products on the market will create competition and with big box stores like Wal-Mart and other discount chains offering more gluten-free products it has helped bring down costs a little.

Of course the easiest and healthiest thing to do for not only your body, but your wallet is to try and eat fruits, vegetables, dairy and non-processed meats which are all naturally gluten-free.

For those who do want to or have to use gluten-free products there is a tax-deduction you can apply to equal the playing field a little. Check out this article for more on that.

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