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The gluten free diet was developed for people who have celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or an allergy to wheat. Gluten is a common protein in the American diet found in grains that include wheat, rye and barley. It is also found in many foods that contain these grains, such as breading mixes. For people with some diseases, gluten can damage the intestine resulting with difficulties in absorbing adequate nutrition and lead to nutritional deficiencies and other conditions. Understanding and sticking to a gluten free diet can be a challenge. People need to develop good label reading skills and also need support and guidance from a licensed health care professional and a registered dietician.
People with symptoms of celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, or wheat allergy, such as digestive problems or rashes, should have a complete medical evaluation to ensure an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan is developed for the individual. If it is determined that a gluten free diet is an appropriate treatment, it is very possible to ensure good nutrition while avoiding wheat, barley, and rye in the diet. Other forms of grain and flours, such as rice, millet, soy, flax, and potatoes can provide variety and adequate whole grain carbohydrates in the diet. A gluten free diet should also include a well-balanced selection of foods from all the food groups, including fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed dairy products, fresh meats, and vegetable oils, such as olive oil. As with any diet plan, optimal results for health are achieved when a well balanced diet plan is combined with a sensible exercise program and healthy lifestyle changes. All diets have the potential to be harmful for some people, so consultation with a licensed health care provider before starting a diet plan and exercise program is recommended.
Conditions associated with Gluten Free Diet include:
The following foods may be restricted or excluded from Gluten Free Diet:
The following foods may be focused on as part of Gluten Free Diet:
The following are potential risks or complications of the diet (Gluten Free Diet):
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