Gluten Free NYC

July 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

I’m sure you’ve seen the words “gluten free” touted on food packages and maybe even on  restaurant menus. After all, gluten is THE buzz word in the health world now. We’ve been through low fat, then sugar free, then low cholestorol…and now we’ve arrived at gluten. But I assure you, gluten sensitivity is a very serious issue if it applies to you.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, gluten is a particular protein found in wheat products that many people are sensitive to. What can result (in varying degrees, from mild to extremely severe) is celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats that are not manufactured in a separate facility. The disease is also one of malabsorption, because as the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged and inflamed, nutrients are not able to be absorbed into the blood stream. This can lead to many problems as I’m sure you can imagine.

If you know anyone who has celiac disease, this is no joke. Gluten can be found almost everywhere and in everything, from pasta sauces, beer, broth, toothpaste and even some makeup. Check out this site for a more comprehensive list of where gluten can lurk…it’s pretty wild!

According to webmd.com, celiac disease is 4x more prevalent NOW than it was 50 years ago, and only 5% of people who have this disease are aware of it. Scary! Symptoms of the disease include gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, infertility, and osteoperosis, among many others. So it’s easy to understand why individuals might not think they have the disease.

There are many who do not get severe symptoms like the above, but nonetheless feel better when they don’t eat gluten. I know I do. The best way to find out for yourself is to experiment. For one week, cut out all gluten from your diet and see how you feel! If you suspect a gluten intolerance, please visit your doctor.

New York City restaurants, ever so trendy, have picked up on the growing gluten-free market. So now, it is not all uncommon to visit a restaurant and see a separate gluten free menu.  Go New York!  If you’re interested in finding these places, check out these links from the New York Times here.

Please post a comment if you’ve been to any of these restaurants and share your experience!

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Entry filed under: nutrition. Tags: , , , , , .

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