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Surviving the holidays gluten-free

By: Spencer

More and more people are eating gluten-free diets these days. And with the holidays around the corner, sticking to a gluten-free diet can be tough.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Most people digest and tolerate gluten without any issues, but people with gluten sensitivity can experience digestive problems when they eat foods with gluten. Those with the autoimmune disease Celiac disease experience more severe digestive disruption and illness.

That means that many common foods like bread, crackers, pastries and anything containing flour is off-limits to people with these health problems.

So how can you stay gluten-free this holiday season?

·         Be creative. Look for substitutes for your holiday baking favorites like flourless cake, stuffing and pie recipes. Many grocery stores now carry gluten-free alternatives.

·         Come prepared. If you’re going to a friend or family’s house, bring a couple of dishes that you are sure you can eat. Don’t forget about gluten-free beverages!

·         Do research. Call restaurants or caterers of parties you’re attending ahead of time to ensure they have gluten-free options.

·          Be assertive. Don’t be afraid to ask your host or waiter about what’s in the food you’re eating, and ask for alternatives.

·         Be alert. Look for hidden sources of gluten like gravy, sauces, spices or drinks.

Remember – when in doubt, go without! If you have a severe gluten intolerance, it is best to avoid foods you think might have gluten.

As always, talk with your physician about the best diet for you.

Need a primary care physician or an endocrinologist? Find one at www.AdventistMedicalGroup.org.

Find more family health tips and resources at www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose.

Source: Celiac Disease Foundation

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