The Secret to Safely Avoiding Gluten While Dining Out

Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN

  • How to thrive with gluten sensitivity
  • Practical resources for the gluten-free beginner
  • Overcoming the challenges of gluten-free dining
  • Navigating the grocery store for gluten-free options
  • Supporting the celiac child

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Comments

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22 Comments

    Kathy

    Congratulations, Melinda, on a great, fact-filled presentation that gives us many tools to use! Thank you for sharing your expertise.

    Bob Roth

    Great presentation, as always, Melinda!

    Janet

    Always <3 Melinda Dennis knowledge!

    Byouman

    Love the idea of leaving a card for manager thanking them and letting them know you will tweet about or post about their restaurant.

    Beth

    Fantastic presentation. I enjoyed every second and took lots of notes. Thank you Melinda & Dr. Tom!

    susan

    Thanks for the restaraunt tips for gluten free. I am just recently diagnosed with gluten sensitivity along with dairy and many others. I am very overwealmed yet. I don’t even understand why as I only have slight symptoms that are not really diagnosed yet.

    Evelyn

    Wonderful presentation with lots of great tips – really enjoyed this one! Melinda, you’re an excellent speaker!

    Cecilia

    I have enjoyed listening to this presentation regarding the safeguards of eating out in restaurants. Restaurants and all waitstaff are still decades behind in learning about Celiac or gluten allergies. After explaining to a waiter that I have Celiac and what I can or cannot eat, they then ask me if I would like bread or rolls! Please help us educate this community of food servers.

    Dr. John

    One thing that we learned about gluten free restaurant dining is to ask if the restaurant has a dedicated gluten free menu as opposed to a menu where they simply remove the gluten containing ingredients from a dish on the regular menu. This may be important because the issue of cross contact/contamination is of concern where an establishment just removes the gluten ingredient.

    Sprinkaan

    California Pizza Kitchen offer four gluten free pizzas.

    Katey Greene

    I’m disappointed Dr. O’Bryan did not mention his website (www.thedr.com) as a resource for Certified Gluten Practitioners (or did I miss it)??

    K Greene

    Another question: which test is best for tracking the nutrition status? Spectracell’s white blood analysis?? Or other suggestions?

    Karen Broussard

    For those of you who don’t know, Melissa Dennis also hosts periodic Wellness Retreats that provide a relaxing, nurturing environment to learn about health issues related to Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity and living a gluten free lifestyle. We have information about two of her upcoming retreats in 2014 on our website: http://glutenfreetravelsite.com/glutenfreegetaways.php

    Tori Carlson-Foscz

    Another fast food-type chain with a gf menu option is Pei Wei. Just ask for the gluten free menu. I am extremely gluten sensitive and have had good results with this gf menu all the times I’ve eaten there.

    Melinda Dennis

    Dear Listeners, Thank you for your comments and for being such passionate advocates for your own gluten free health. I’ll address a few of the questions/comments here. 1. Being careful in restaurants: I agree that we cannot assume a dish will be gluten free simply because we have chosen a “gluten free friendly” restaurant. Let’s keep asking those important ingredient AND cross contamination questions. 2. Vitamin D: Since there is only ~100IU of vitamin D in an 8 ounce cup of milk fortified with vitamin D, for most people, drinking milk alone would NOT be sufficient to correct a significant deficiency. We check the 25 OHD (vit D) level in the blood and base recommendations for gluten free SUPPLEMENTATION of vitamin D on that level. The person must also be getting adequate calcium intake (from diet and/or gluten free calcium supplements) and will greatly benefit from an overall, well rounded, healthy gluten free diet. Speak to your doctor about other lab tests and procedures that can be used to monitor bone health. 3. Nutrient deficiencies in those with non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS): While people with NCGS may not face all of the same vitamin and mineral deficiencies that often occur with celiac disease, if your diet is limited by even one food group, you can be missing important nutrients. For example (but not limited to), 1) calcium and vitamin D if you have lactose intolerance, 2) many of the B vitamins if you are not eating a variety of gluten-free grains or pseudo-grains, nuts and seeds, and 3) fiber. Actually, very few people get enough fiber in their diets.(from http://www.celiacnow.org) 4. What’s tTG? How is it tested?: IgA-tTG (otherwise known as tTG) is the most commonly used blood test to check for celiac disease. There is a lot more to say about the IgA-tTG test, as well as a similar test called DGP, the total IgA levels, and the small intestinal endoscopy with biopsy. To read more about how to diagnose celiac disease, please visit: http://www.celiacnow.org, click on Medical Management and then review the articles under Diagnosis. 5. Will the turkey label discussed in the session actually say “hydrolyzed wheat protein” on it or will it just say “broth” if it has been treated with a gluten containing substance? I can’t respond based on any particular label but it’s helpful to know that allergen labeling is VOLUNTARY for food products regulated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA does not need to follow the FALCPA law (even though it does follow it voluntarily well over 80% of the time). FALCPA states that food products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must clearly state when an ingredient in a food product contains protein (such as wheat) from the eight major allergens. The USDA regulates the following foods: meat products,( including processed meats), poultry products, including processed poultry (eg chicken, turkey), and egg products (meaning eggs outside their shell such as liquid eggs). If a food follows the rules of the USDA and is NOT labeled gluten-free, read the ingredients list and Contains statement for the following words and avoid all foods containing these ingredients: Wheat, barley, rye, oats, brewer’s yeast, malt (unless a gluten-free source is named, like corn malt), modified food starch (unless a gluten-free source is named), dextrin (unless a gluten-free source is named), and starch (unless a gluten-free source is named). Since the gluten free labeling law is a big topic with a lot of detail, you might enjoy reading a nice summary here: http://www.glutenfreedietitian.com/newsletter/ (Scroll halfway down the page). 6. Do you also recommend the low-Fodmap diet? Yes, I work with a lot of patients with celiac disease or non celiac gluten sensitivity who also need to follow the low fodmap diet. For those who might be unfamiliar, FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols – basically, specific sugar molecules that are not well absorbed in the small intestine. Very best, Melinda Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN Nutrition Coordinator, Celiac Center Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA

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