When you go gluten-free, half the battle when adapting to this new way of life is trying to deal with other people and social situations. I thought I’d compile a list of 10 things gluten-free people don’t want to hear.
If you need help explaining how they can best support you, you’ll want to send them this article. Need help adjusting? Here are 15 steps to going gluten-free. Also, here is information about the difference between being celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitive. Learn how to be a good gluten-free guest, or use these tips for dining out to help you manage your social situation.
DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational/ entertainment purposes only. We do not provide specific nutritional or medical advice and always recommend you consult a healthcare professional for any symptoms or illnesses you may be experiencing.
10 Things Gluten-Free People Don’t Want to Hear
1) “Just scrape off the breading/ sauce”: Once food has been breaded or a sauce added, you can’t just scrape off the gluten.
2) “Just eat the filling”: The filling of a pie, cake, or even stuffed pasta has been contaminated. This is true even if the filling doesn’t contain gluten. Cross-contact is an easy way to accidentally suffer the consequences of eating gluten.
3) “But it’s brown bread”: Some people don’t understand that gluten is in all wheat. It does not matter if it is white bread, brown bread, pumpernickel etc… Check out alternative names for gluten for more clarification.
4) “A little bit won’t hurt”: If you are celiac or highly sensitive even small amounts of gluten (one bite) could cause a reaction. It is safest to decline even a little taste.
5) “Don’t eat beforehand. I’m sure there will be something you can eat”: People eating gluten-free can’t be sure that even naturally gluten-free foods will be available, or will be handled safely/not topped with something questionable. The easiest way to not be hungry at an event is to have a small meal or snack beforehand.
6) “But, I made it… have a bite”: Guilt does not alleviate the effects of gluten. No one is trying to be disrespectful. What is one bite to some, could be days of health issues/pain for someone else.
7) “Why can’t we just stop for (insert fast food restaurant, without a gluten-free option)?”
Options at many fast food places boil down to coffee, and possibly ice cream. Yes, you might want a greasy burger on the go, but you can find smaller chains (some are a little more gourmet) where you can safely indulge together. There are even gluten-free apps to help find restaurants.
8) “I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s safe”: Certainty is key. Offer to let someone read the packaging, or simply allow them to decline politely. While it might be safe, it is not worth the risk.
9) “Do you have to Google the ingredients list?”: Yes, when ingredients aren’t clear, or all you have is a brand name to go by, Google is a saving grace. You can use a search engine to quickly get accurate information on the food product’s safety.
10) “Do you have to ask the waiter/waitress so many questions?” Yes, when eating gluten-free, there can never be too many (polite) questions. Sometimes menus are vague, or they don’t explain how food is handled.
These 10 things not to say to gluten-free people, should help make things easier for both those of us who are gluten-free and those who are trying to help.
Did I miss anything in these 10 things not to say to gluten-free people?
Let us know in the comments below.
“When someone doesn’t understand your disease, tell them to be thankful they don’t need to know.”