Gluten Free Diet
Gluten is a protein found in cereal grains including wheat, barley, and rye. A gluten free diet is one that aims to avoid all contact with foods containing gluten to prevent an adverse immune response. Symptoms associated with gluten intolerance include constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and bloating. Skin problems such as rashes and itching are also an issue for some sufferers. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is also a type of gluten intolerance. As CD damages the intestines, it can prevent nutrients from being absorbed by the body and lead to malnutrition. To avoid this possibility and stop the uncomfortable health effects, those adopting a gluten free lifestyle have to avoid grains containing gluten. Reading the food label can help dieters identify if a product on a grocery store shelf contains wheat or other grains. Products containing oats may also need to be avoided since oats are often contaminated by wheat. Thankfully, a variety of alternative grains and flours are available that offer unique and tasty alternatives. For instance, flour can be made from almonds, acorns, or flaxseeds and used to make gluten free breads and baked goods. Starches such as corn and potatoes can also be purchased or made at home.
Peanut Allergy Diet
Not a nut but a legume, peanuts and their by-products pop up in tons of commercially available products including the ever popular peanut butter. Despite their popularity, over 3 million Americans suffer from a nut allergy. Nut allergies can cause mild reactions like red and swollen skin along with the possibly deadly anaphylaxis, a full body allergic reaction which often causes wheezing, tongue swelling, and trouble breathing. Peanut allergies generally show up in childhood and usually are not outgrown. Instead, avoiding peanuts is necessary. Foods that may need to be avoided for those with peanut allergies include mixed nuts, nut pastes, salad dressings, cereals, chocolate, and cookies. Looking at the label of an item when shopping will provide more information on whether the product contains peanuts or was made in a factory where peanuts were processed. As peanuts are popular in a variety of ethnic dishes, those with peanut allergies will also have to be diligent when eating out at fast-food restaurants and fine dining establishments. Fast food restaurants, for instance, often contain ice creams and fresh salads sprinkled with nuts. At Chinese restaurants, peanut-centric dishes like Kung Pao Chicken and dishes made with peanut sauces are often on the menu.
Celebrities such as former president Bill Clinton and academy award winning thespians Forest Whitaker and Natalie Portman show the world that adopting a vegetarian diet can be a healthy lifestyle choice. Studies have also shown that adopting a vegetarian diet can help reverse diabetes, lead to weight loss, and improve cardiovascular health. Although all vegetarian diets eliminate meat, there are different types of vegetarian diets, allowing flexibility in what foods are consumed. Pescetarians, for instance, may sometimes add seafood or fish to their diets. The majority of vegetarians, however, are lacto-ovo vegetarians who give up all meat but still make dairy and eggs a part of their diet. According to the vegetarian food pyramid, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are the basis of the vegetarian diet. Healthy oils and fats, meat alternatives, low-fat dairy products, beans, nuts, seeds, and eggs should also be added to the vegetarian diet to avoid malnourishment. Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D, however, may not be possible with a vegetarian diet. The vitamin can be gotten through eating fortified tofu and soy products. The body can also produce vitamin D through sun exposure.
A Vegan diet is simply a stricter version of the vegetarian diet. Like vegetarians, vegans do not consume meats. Vegans further eliminate all meat by-products including milk, honey, butter, and eggs. Instead, vegans eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Although the elimination of meat means vegans are not consuming animal protein, they can continue to meet their protein needs through including a variety of nuts, seeds, and grains in their diet. Flaxseeds, soybeans, and the whole grain quinoa are all excellent sources of protein. Vegans will also have to monitor their diets to ensure they are not lacking in iron, zinc, calcium, and B-vitamins, nutrients typically consumed through meat and dairy products. Iron rich vegetables like spinach and legumes with adequate amounts of calcium and zinc can be consumed to ensure vegans maintain adequate levels of these nutrients. Although B-12 is only found naturally in animal protein, vegans can find products fortified with B-12 like soy milk and take B-vitamin supplements if necessary.
A raw diet is one in which foods are consumed in their natural and unprocessed stage. Raw food consumers are mainly vegetarians who believe that when heat is applied to food it becomes less nutritious. To get the full benefit of eating these items, they choose to consume organic ingredients, avoid processed items, and mainly stick to items which have not been cooked. In fact, strict followers of the diet plan will not heat any food or will not heat it above 115 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. This is because raw food consumers believe cooking affects the chemical structure of food, changing it in such a way as to destroy beneficial enzymes and lead to the creation of potentially harmful compounds like carcinogens. Raw and dried versions of nuts, fruits, herbs, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, and seaweeds are part of the raw diet plan. Pressed juices and raw nut milks can be drunk. Foods which have undergone minimal processing like unpasteurized sauces, maple syrup, and vinegar can also be eaten.