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Gluten-Free? Here are Five Tips for Dining Out

Update Date: May 11, 2013 12:33 PM EDT

Gluten-free diets have recently gotten more attention as famous celebrities, like Miley Cyrus who credits her weight loss on giving up gluten, state that gluten-free diets have improved their lives. Although gluten is not bad for people without celiac disease, which is a condition in which the body cannot eat foods with gluten, many people have still adopted this diet craze. However, eating gluten-free outside of the controlled environment of the home can be difficult. Here are five tips for people who want to dine out but do not or cannot eat gluten.

Tip #1 - Research

Tip number is to simply call the restaurant you have in mind. This tip might seem like the most obvious recommendation, but surprisingly, not a lot of people do this. Aside from calling, one can also look up the menus online beforehand to see if the restaurant has a gluten-free menu. There is also a website,, that tells people where there are gluten-free restaurants.

Tip #2 - Types of Food

If you find yourself at a restaurant without a gluten-free menu, it helps to order dishes that tend to be very basic. For example, roasted chicken or broiled fish most likely did not incorporate gluten in the preparation process.  Also, it helps to know what types of restaurants to avoid. For example, Italian cuisine would most likely have gluten in several of its options.

Tip #3 - Ask

If the basic dishes are not catering to your appetite at the moment, always ask the waiter/waitress for more information about the dishes. The server could even ask the chef directly if there is gluten in a particular dish.

Tip #4 - Dessert

Keep in mind before dining about the dessert options that tend to be gluten-free regardless of where you get it. For example, ice cream and sorbet tend to be gluten-free. Furthermore, some restaurants offer flourless cake that would also be gluten-free.

Tip #5 - Prepare

It is always good to prepare the mind for alternative options that might not have been your first choice.  Remember that a gluten-free diet was your choice and stick to it. If a restaurant does not offer any options, be prepare to ask for vegetables and/or a simple piece of grilled meat, chicken, or fish. 

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