Gluten free commentary: Gluten Free Myths Volume II (re-post)

mythsTime for another round of my gluten free myths buster series. It proved so popular the first time around that I decided to add a QA discussion as well.

Feel free to join this discussion with your thoughts in the comments on this post and share more myths you would like debunked. As always be kind, polite, and respectful when responding to and leaving comments. Everyone has a voice and a right to an opinion. Spirited debate and passionate discussion is encouraged however impolite comments or personal attacks will be moderated.

Common Gluten Free Myths, Questions, and Answers Volume II

1. Question: Do the gluten cutter pills actually work?
Answer: No. Many false claims have been made by the makers of the Gluten Cutter digestive enzyme product. It makes claims to allow gluten to be digested due to it having a complex blend of enzymes that stop the negative effects of gluten. Unfortunately this product has not been approved or tested by the FDA or the U.S Food and Drug Administration. There is no scientific data or case studies to prove the claims made by this product. This product does not cure celiac disease therefore even if it does in fact mask the symptoms of gluten in the body it does nothing to stop the destructive effects of gluten. Basically those who take this product are purposefully damaging their own bodies. So far the only foolproof prescription for celiac disease is maintaining and adhering to a strict gluten free diet.

2. Question: I’m visiting Nashville on an upcoming trip. Can you recommend restaurants that are gluten free friendly?
Answer: Nashville is a diverse city full of life, energy, culture, and top notch world cuisine. I lived there for three years and was able to dine out in a healthy and gluten free way. There are many restaurants peppered all over the city that cater to vegan and gluten free diets. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Ginger Thai, 2861 Logan St, Nashville, TN 37211 P: (615) 679-9555. Read my review here
  2. Thai Kitchen, 738 Thompson Ln, Nashville, TN 37204 P: (615) 385-9854
  3. The Wild Cow, 1896 Eastland Ave, Nashville, TN 37206 P: (615) 262-2717
  4. Kahn’s Vegan Bakery, 733 Porter Rd, Nashville, TN 37206 P: (615) 915-4972
  5. The Turnip Truck, 970 Woodland Street, East Nashville, TN P:615-650-3600
  6. Whole Foods, 4021 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215 P: 615-440-5100
  7. The Old Spaghetti Factory, 160 2nd Ave N Nashville Tennessee 37201
  8. Crumb de la crumb, 160 Belle Forest Cir, Nashville, TN 37221 P: (615) 673-2223
  9. Taco Mamacita, 1200 Villa Pl, Nashville, TN 37212 P: (615) 730-8552
  10. Las Maracas, 2704 Gallatin Pike, Nashville, TN 37216 P: (615) 227-8000
  11. Mitchells Deli, 1402 McGavock Pike, Nashville, TN 37216 P: (615) 262-9862

For more gluten friendly restaurants in Nashville and beyond visit Gluten Free Guide HQ

3. Question: What is semolina? Is it gluten free?
Answer: Semolina is basically the by product or substance created during the milling (processing) of durum wheat. It is a course binder used in pasta, puddings, breakfast cereals and other processed wheat products. Since semolina is a direct by product of a wheat grain it is NOT gluten free. Wheat semolina contains gluten. But semolina can also be derived from the processing of corn and rice.

4. Myth: It is difficult to maintain a gluten free diet when traveling.
Truth: With careful planning and foresight it can be relatively easy to maintain a gluten free diet when traveling. Many celiacs purchase and/or make their own snacks, pack fruits, veggies and other naturally gluten free treats. The biggest thing to avoid in general are fast food and processed snacks. However many national restaurants and chains are beginning to offer gluten free selections. These include Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Tim Hortons and Red Robin. Still it is important to read labels, menus, and to always ask questions regardless of what a menu reads. Ask how foods are prepared and where since cross contamination from prep surfaces can spell trouble. Calling ahead to restaurants and speaking with the cook or chef is a great way to plan ahead and know what type of substitutions are available. There are also a ton of guides on the web that list gluten free friendly chains one being Gluten Free Guide HQ. Additionally take a look at my blog feature Gluten free on the go for more tips and suggestions on how to be gluten free when you travel.

5. Question: Is there gluten free wheat flour?
Answer: No. Simply put, gluten is the protein found in grains such as wheat, barely, rye, and spelt. It is what gives bread its elasticity, chew, and pull. A grain of wheat is binded by the protein gluten and therefore cannot be gluten free. Grains such as rice, corn, oats, and buckwheat are naturally gluten free.

Most processed foods contain some trace of wheat which makes it so difficult to find gluten free products on the market. There can be hidden traces of wheat in everything from salad dressing to ice cream. Ingesting even trace amounts of gluten can be a matter of life and death for some. I bake using certified gluten free products.

Jump in in the comment section and let me know your thoughts. For more information on celiac disease visit the links below:
Celiac Disease info

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