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Gluten-free dining: What to be aware of when you eat out

Once upon a time, very few people in the world would have had any sort of idea of what being gluten intolerant meant. Then, we saw a wave of interest, and before we knew it, the number of people who were found to be suffering from the condition has risen significantly.

In other words, it’s become more understood. For those long-standing sufferers, this is music to their ears, particularly when it comes to the topic of dining out. Dining out was nigh-on impossible, but now, as long as you ask the right questions, you can comfortably cope.

Whether you venture to Covent Garden or a completely different area for your meal, today’s guide will now take a look at some of the must-ask questions which can shape your dining experience when it comes to avoiding gluten.

The easy question: does bread come with your dish?

Let’s get one of the easiest questions out of the way first. You’ll probably know the answer to this when you make your order, but if you don’t, it’s worth asking the waiter.

Even if bread comes as a side dish, the good news is that more and more establishments are trying to offer a gluten-free bread option which can solve your problem immediately.

Don’t automatically assume French fries are safe

Out of all of the foods that you can come across in a restaurant, most would assume that French fries are amongst some of the so-called safest.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work like this. Some French fries are coated with flour, and as we all know, as someone who is gluten intolerant, this is asking for trouble. This is one of the reasons it is crucial to always read, and believe, any menu which details the nutritional information for each dish.

On the subject of potatoes

It doesn’t end there with potatoes, either. For example, you might think the mashed potato is one of the safest options you can turn to. This is completely true if you are opting for a naturally made option; which is usually comprised of milk, butter and yes, you guessed it, potatoes.

However, not all restaurants operate like this. Some will put their mashed potatoes together from a mix which can contain all sorts of added extras. Suffice to say, gluten can fall into this category.

Salads can be big threats as well

On the face of it, salads are as natural as you can get. As some of us know, these can get quickly become very dark when it comes to a gluten perspective, though.

For example, croutons and noodles are common extras and fall straight into the gluten category. Then, there is the salad dressing itself. You need to ask if this contains either wheat or flour, which are also enemies. Like everything, most restaurants will stipulate if each dish contains these substances, but it’s always worth keeping in mind.