Unfortunately, the standard Western diet relies heavily on wheat, which means that a gluten-free diet in the United States or Europe can be significantly more expensive if one consistently seeks out gluten free versions of things like bread and pasta. Alternative grains are more expensive for manufacturers, and gluten free versions of products may require more steps in production — both drive up the cost of gluten-free products.
However, if a person avoids breads and pastas and instead focuses on the large variety of foods and grains he or she can eat, their grocery bills are unlikely to significantly increase. Gluten-free versions of pasta and baked goods can also be made at home, which costs less than buying them at the store.
Research differs on how much more a gluten free diet actually costs in comparison to a non-gluten free diet but the expense is now being taken seriously by the IRS. Those with a medical diagnosis of Celiac Disease can claim the additional expense of gluten free foods on their taxes. Individuals should keep all their receipts, cancelled checks, and credit card statements in order to show proof of purchases. It should also be noted that only the difference in cost can be claimed. This means that if wheat flour is $0.89/lb and rice flour is $3.25/lb, then only the difference of $2.36/lb can be claimed. Also, a note from a medical doctor is needed.
Unfortunately eating healthy does cost a bit more than average processed, packaged foods that are lower in cost, but higher in fat, carbs, calories and sodium. However, stores like Walmart and Giants (located on the east coast) have recently begun offering organic, natural, gluten-free options for those looking to eat healthier.
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