How to Avoid Gluten When You Eat Out

Deciding to go gluten-free is a lifestyle change that can make you feel worlds better if you are sensitive to gluten.

Unfortunately, it may make eating out at restaurants more tricky. However, there are several things you can do to still enjoy an evening out while avoiding contact with gluten.

Gluten is a protein compound found in wheat, barley, rye and many processed foods. As we detailed in a previous article, about one percent of the population has celiac diease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten, which can lead to inflammation and the inability of the body to absorb essential nutrients. While celiac disease is receiving much more attention nowadays, it is estimated that only about 17 percent of those afflicted know they have it.

Many others who do not have celiac disease suffer from non-celiac gluten sensitivity. These individuals may experience a range of symptoms, from fatigue to digestive distress, that can be alleviated by avoiding gluten.

When choosing a restaurant, your safest bet is to select one with a gluten-free menu and a certification from organizations including the Gluten Free Certification Organization or the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Restaurants with these certifications have had their staff trained in avoiding cross-contamination for gluten-sensitive individuals.

If you choose to go to a restaurant without a specific gluten-free menu or certification, you will need to be very careful. Avoiding anything with flour, breading and processed sauces is essential. This, however, may prove difficult, as many restaurants use packaged sauces, which do not always have ingredient labels when bought in large, bulk containers.

eating outIn an interview , Dr. Tom O’Bryan shares a great tip that was told to him by Jaqui Karr, a certified nutritionist with celiac disease. She shared with him that when she goes to a restaurant, she immediately asks for the owner, explains she has celiac disease and cannot have anything with gluten, and asks him or her to personally ensure that there is no gluten in her food if he or she wishes to avoid a call to the emergency room from the restaurant.

Using this method, Ms. Karr reports that she eats at restaurants frequently with no issues.

-The Alternative Daily


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