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Gluten-Free Restaurants and Small Appetite

August 23, 2011

Question:

Could you share a good source for restaurants that cater to celiacs? Also, is it common for celiacs to have no/limited appetite, nausea, and eat smaller meals? Thank you!

From,

Jean

Answer:

Hi Jean. Thank you for both of your questions!  I’ll answer your second question first.

If you are just getting started on a gluten-free diet, it is certainly possible for you to experience a lessened appetite, along with nausea and a desire to eat smaller meals, especially if you are now eating a lot of foods you have never eaten before.  A Registered Dietitian who specializes in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can help ensure that you’re eating a well balanced gluten-free diet and can also help with meal  planning frequency to make sure you are getting all your essential nutrients without having to feel full or nauseous.

If your nausea and limited appetite continue despite following a healthy, well- balanced gluten-free diet, I suggest you follow up with your physician to rule out any other medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.

As far as your other question goes, I have several good resources for finding restaurants that cater to celiacs!

One of my “go-to” gluten-free dining out guides is The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide by Triumph Dining.  The book has state-by-state listings of restaurants with gluten-free menu options. In addition, Triumph Dining also sells laminated dining cards that you can give to your waiter outlining the specifics of a gluten-free diet.

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) also has a state-by-state listing of restaurants that completed gluten-free training through NFCA’s GREAT Kitchens program. See the list of GREAT Kitchens.

If you have an iPhone or smart phone, a couple of apps to check out include the Gluten Free Registry app, as well as the Gluten Free Ultimate Solution by G-Free Foodie.  In addition, local celiac support groups often publish recommended restaurants for dining out gluten-free in your town.  Check out the Celiac Disease Support Groups page by NFCA to find a gluten-free support group in your area.

And finally, always remember not to make any assumptions when dining out gluten-free.  Call the restaurant ahead to inquire about their gluten-free menu options and food preparation techniques.  Also, if your favorite restaurant isn’t listed on any of these guides, it doesn’t mean they can’t accommodate your gluten-free needs. You won’t find my favorite restaurants in San Diego listed in any gluten-free guides, yet I always have a fabulous (and safe) experience when I dine with them.  I like to follow the motto, “You’ll never know unless you ask!”

In good health,

EA Stewart, MBA, RD

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