There are a lot of people with problems digesting food. Gluten intolerance is a food-related health problem which has gotten a lot of attention. This is usually caused by digesting food which has gluten, including wheat, barley, rye, triticale and in some oats. Malt, brewer’s yeast and wheat starch also contain gluten. Finding a gluten-free friendly restaurant is a great help for travellers who are not familiar with the local cuisine.
The Problem with Gluten
Gluten gained prominence due to its relationship to celiac disease. It is a group of proteins in wheat and other cereals which gives bread its distinctive shape. It provides bread with the elasticity to make it rise, maintaining its shape during the baking process. There are theories stating that the rise of incidences of gluten intolerance is due to the changes to wheat processing for mass market needs. The manufacturing changes resulted in flour for white bread. It has also led to the loss of nutrients, vitamins, minerals as well as micronutrients.
Slightly less than 1% of the total population of the United States has gluten intolerance. That may be a small percentage, but it means there are more than 3 million people who suffer from celiac disease. Researchers also estimate that only 13.5% of those who suffer from this disease have any damage to the stomach lining because gluten intolerance is only one symptom of the disease.
Finding a Restaurant
For those who suffer from gluten-intolerance, eating out becomes a risk. Not all restaurants advertise their menu listings as gluten-free. This becomes a problem because there are some cuisines where the gluten is due to cross-contamination. For instance, there are soy sauces which use wheat, in their manufacturing process and this is almost always never labelled.
Gluten-free restaurant listings are a boon and a blessing for those who are gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant. These listings are growing every day due to the help from people who are also gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant.