Today we have a guest post by Robert Lobitz. I’m busy working on recipe develop for my upcoming Gluten Free/Low Carb/Dairy Free book of treats that you are going to love and Rob offered to guest post. I took him up on the offer. He’s a foodie that loves to eat takeout food.
How to Identify Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance is on the rise. Some statistics say that some form of gluten intolerance affects 15% of the adult population, and 1% of the adult population are highly sensitive to gluten. But how do you know if you are gluten intolerant?
Unfortunately, the symptoms are so broad that it is difficult for one to diagnose. Here is a short list of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance:
- Aching joints
- Gastro-intestinal issues (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, or diarrhea)
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Irritability and behavioral changes
- Cramps, tingling and numbness
The best method to identify gluten intolerance is to eliminate all gluten from your diet for two to four weeks. This means no wheat, oats, rye, barley, anything made with flour. Also watch for ‘hidden sources’ such as soup mixes, sauces, salad dressings and stamps and envelopes!
After two to four weeks eat a slice of bread or a muffin, if you immediately feel ill then you know you might be gluten intolerant. Speak to your doctor about tests to confirm your suspicions and avoid ingesting gluten in your diet.
Don’t despair, there are many wonderful diets that are gluten free and will satisfy all your nutritional needs and your taste bud needs!
Many restaurants have recognized that gluten intolerance is a problem affecting a large portion of the population, and have developed ‘gluten free’ menus. My favorite restaurant in the world serves Italian cuisine.
For months when dining out with friends and co-workers I ate salad. Finally one of the servers asked me if I didn’t like Italian food because I never ordered it. When I told him I was gluten intolerant, he smacked his forehead, ran off and then returned and handed me a gluten free menu. I was in heaven!
I know now that I can safely use a restaurant delivery service because I know what to order. This is great for me because I am a restaurant delivery junkie. Some nights I’m tired and don’t want to cook but by using restaurant delivery I can eat in and have a great gluten free meal.
Take away from Rob’s experience:
- Always ask the restaurant if they have a gluten free menu.
- If they do not, ask if gluten is in any of the food you want to order. ie. I love sweet potato fries but I learned the hard way that restaurants often coat them in flour to add a little crunch.
- Make sure to ask for no croutons on your salad even if the menu does not indicate croutons are part of the salad.
- Be careful with any sauces, such as gravy, often these are made with flour as a thickener.
- Don’t be embarrassed about asking. This is your food, you are paying for it, and you will be eating it. Treat your intolerance the same way a peanut allergy is treated.