Special Diet Foods -- Do We Need Them?
When you first start a special diet, whether it's wheat-free, an allergy elimination diet, the Stone Age Diet for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), a low carb diet or any other diet which restricts a certain type of food, planning your meals can seem an insurmountable obstacle.
Unless you already make all your meals yourself and aren't fazed by trying new ingredients and recipes, your first thought is probably to seek out substitute products in your local supermarket, chemist or drugstore. The temptation can be very strong to settle for meal-replacement drinks, soups and bars, snacks, pre-prepared meals and other heavily processed, ready-made special diet foods.
Is relying on shop-bought special diet foods such a good idea, though? Take low carb diets, for example. The basis of true low carb dieting is eating healthily, avoiding processed and junk foods, and focusing on fresh, natural, unprocessed ingredients. Unfortunately, food manufacturers who have rushed to cash in on the low carb bandwagon with meal replacement products, snacks and other products claiming to be suitable for low carb diets all too often fill their products with artificial additives, preservatives and colorants. These products are not what true low carbing is all about, but many low carb dieters are sadly unaware of this.
If you are on an allergy elimination diet, it is even more important to avoid processed foods. And if you have been prescribed the 'Stone Age Diet' for allergy, IBS or candida-related problems, then avoiding man-made chemicals is a fundamental part of your new eating regime.
However, making your food yourself may seem like a terrible chore if you aren't used to doing this already. You may feel you are too busy and don't have time. But don't you owe it to yourself and your family to be healthy?
Besides, cooking doesn't need to take up a lot of your time. The most important thing is to find a cookbook containing quick and easy recipes which have been tried and tested by a cook with personal knowledge of your diet. The free recipes in internet recipe rooms and forums can rarely give this assurance and a good cookbook will reward your investment many times over.
When choosing your cookbook, check the contents list carefully. Many special diet cookbooks disappoint because they simply repeat recipes you could find in 'normal' cookbooks. To help you keep to your diet and make it a success, you need a cookbook which takes full advantage of the many substitute ingredients which are available. In this way, you get the motivation of enjoying your favorite foods (suitably adapted for your diet using alternative ingredients) while broadening your nutrient intake and eliminating man-made chemicals.
If you are following a wheat-free, allergy elimination, Stone Age or low carb diet and want to reap the full health benefits of this change in your way of eating, then two cookbooks which definitely won't disappoint are the Stone Age Diet is Easy Cookbook and the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook.