Gluten is Good For You

As an event planner, I am super sensitive to food allergies. There's always a dairy, peanut, uncooked tomato, shellfish intolerance in the crowd and it's something I ask about at every single event I book.

If you have a gluten allergy, I treat this just as carefully as another other potentially life-threatening dietary restriction. If you are just trying to be gluten free, in order to be skinny, then please please stop. If you want to avoid bread, be my guest.... if you want to keep the desserts to a minimum, go for it.... but if you truly understand restaurant food and the exuberant traces of gluten in almost all items, then you will not explain to me you have a gluten allergy. You're most likely going to inadvertently order lower quality food.

Some things you may not know contain gluten:

Soy Sauce: found in most marinades, especially for meat, if someone is paying close enough attention, you're going to receive an unmarinated piece of steak and therefore a major downgrade.

Anything Fried: if you're truly sensitive to gluten then you shouldn't eat anything that touches a fryer, battered or not. Since other items that do contain gluten have been fried in the same oil, traces of gluten are inevitable. (You'd think someone who is avoiding gluten to be healthier would also avoid fried foods, but there's clearly some inconsistency here).

Most Poultry Dishes: many chicken dishes - even if they're "roasted" are dredged in flour at some point in the process. You don't need to be eating battered, fried chicken in order to be consuming gluten. That shit hides everywhere.

Things you may think do contain gluten:

Rice: carbohydrates and gluten are different things. Gluten-free has become trendier than carb-free, but is often treated the same way. Carbs make you feel full / bloated which is one of the reasons people avoid them for weight reasons. Rice is your biggest culprit here since it expands in your stomach. If you're avoiding bloat, then avoid simple carbs, not gluten. If you avoid all carbs, I'm sorry your life sucks. Brown rice is better for you than white rice, multigrain bread is better for you than white bread. It's not rocket science and it's not about gluten.

Cider: this is a great alternative to beer for gluten free-ites. Hint: beer doesn't contain that much gluten though, so if you're faking, it's cool.

Posted on February 18, 2014 .