Going Gluten-free at TGI Fridays

In the United Kingdom, TGI Fridays restaurants offer gluten-free items alongside the regular items. But keep in mind that just because gluten-free items are available doesn’t necessarily mean that you should adopt the diet! You have to keep these things in mind before exclusively ordering all of the gluten-free items in the restaurant.

Ditching Gluten May Be Unnecessary for Most People

Approximately .75 percent of the general population – or 1 in 130 people – have celiac disease, an inherited autoimmune disease known to cause symptoms of severe gluten allergic reactions in the small intestine. Yet another .40 percent of people have been diagnosed with wheat allergy, which affects the skin, respiratory and digestive systems upon the ingestion of wheat (i.e., it has gluten, too). But there’s also a large group of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a medical condition with symptoms similar to celiac disease but its mechanisms are still not fully understood by doctors.

Yet another .40 percent of people have been diagnosed with wheat allergy, which affects the skin, respiratory and digestive systems upon the ingestion of wheat (i.e., it has gluten, too). But there’s also a large group of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a medical condition with symptoms similar to celiac disease but its mechanisms are still not fully understood by doctors.

Yet another .40 percent of people have been diagnosed with wheat allergy, which affects the skin, respiratory and digestive systems upon the ingestion of wheat (i.e., it has gluten, too).

But there’s also a large group of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a medical condition with symptoms similar to celiac disease but its mechanisms are still not fully understood by doctors.

The bottom line: You don’t have to ditch gluten in your diet if and when you don’t fall into one of these three categories. You can adopt a gluten-free diet for health reasons but you should ideally consult with your doctor or with a nutritionist first.

You shouldn’t be adopting fad diets since these can have adverse effects on your health especially when you have an undetected underlying medical condition.

measuring scoops of gluten free flours (almond, coconut, teff, flaxseed meal, whole rice, brown rice, buckwheat) wit a text in letterpress wood type

Being Aware of the Consequences

When you decide to adopt a gluten-free diet upon the advice of your doctor and nutritionist, you have to be prepared for the positive and negative consequences of your decision. A few of these include:

  • Many of your family and friends will ask questions about it, perhaps even bug you about your choice. You are under no obligation to explain your dietary preference particularly when your doctor recommended it although you may give them a few basic facts. You can, fortunately, ask for the gluten-free menu at T.G.I. Friday’s without attracting censure from the wait staff and chefs.
  • Many questions must be asked before you will want to buy the gluten-free food item on the menu. This is because gluten can be found hiding in sneaky places, such as in salad dressings and veggie burgers. You should ask the wait staff about the specific ingredients just to be on the safe side – and you should be given satisfactory answers, too.

Going gluten-free is not all risks for there are numerous rewards, too. If you have been diagnosed with one of the abovementioned medical conditions, you will reap the rewards in the form of lesser severity, duration and frequency of your symptoms.

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