Did you know you can cut wheat and sugar out of your diet, and still eat varied and delicious meals? Eliminating sugar and wheat from your daily diet can increase your health and vitality, and is an attractive prospect when so many alternative grains and seasonings wait to be explored and tasted. Eating wheat-free and sugar-free is healthful and far from boring.
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Numerous people go on wheat-free and sugar-free diets, either for a short period of time or longer. No matter the reasons to go on a wheat- or sugar-free diet, you must look carefully at the foods you eat to determine whether or not they contain wheat or sugar products. Because the standard American diet consists of a fair amount of packaged and processed foods, a person on a diet restricting wheat or sugar must either cut out processed foods, or must carefully read labels to determine whether the product contains sugar or wheat.
Most people who go on a wheat-free diet are gluten-intolerant; their bodies react negatively to the gluten contained in wheat. Many people who reduce sugar in their diet do it for weight loss or for better overall health. Sugar in whatever form is nothing more than empty calories and, because refined sugar has no real flavour other than sweetness, we often consume much of it without realising how many empty calories we take in. A reduction of sugar in the diet can aid in weight loss, many general health and well being. Others eat a sugar-free diet to regulate problems associated with diabetes.
If you cut sugar out of your diet, you may replace it with artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, NutraSweet or aspartame. However, some people are as cautious about the potential health hazards of these chemical sweeteners as they are the adverse health effects of sugar. If your goal is to increase your overall health by cutting sugar out of your diet, do not lean on artificial sweeteners. Instead, change the way you season your food and see if your taste buds adjust. For example; if you used to heap sugar on your oatmeal, add a few raisins and 1/2 tsp cinnamon instead. You might be surprised how satisfying the dish is, even without sugar, with the complement of that slightly sweet heat of cinnamon. If you crave sweets, have a piece of fresh fruit. Although fruit does contain fructose, which is also sugar, the sweetness factor of fructose is higher than that of sucrose; additionally, when you eat fruit, you also fill up with important vitamins and minerals your body needs to function well.
Bread and bread products, pasta, crackers and dry cereals are an integral part of the standard American diet, and most of these products are made of wheat. Cutting wheat out of your diet can mean doing a complete overhaul. If you are cutting out wheat due to gluten intolerance, you must also cut barley, rye and oat products out of your diet. However, numerous other delicious grains can be sampled, and many of them are available at your local supermarket. You can easily vary your meals with grains other than wheat. Whole grain (brown) rice is very versatile, and is a staple in many non-Western cultures. Other grains similarly versatile, which can complement nearly any vegetable or meat dish include millet, quinoa (technically a grass rather than a grain), amaranth and wild rice. Many supermarkets, particularly health and natural food stores, also sell flours made from different grains. Experiment with rice flour and other flours in cake and bread recipes; you may not miss wheat as much as you thought you might.
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