10 Things to Never Say to Someone Who Can’t Eat Gluten

Posted On Thursday, 27 February 2014
10 Things to Never Say to Someone Who Can’t Eat Gluten
You may have read my last rant about the differences between someone who physically can not break down gluten (the protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye) and will get terribly sick if gluten ends up on their plate, to those that think gluten is for some particular reason an ingredient that once not consumed anymore will help them lose weight and eat healthy.

At the three year anniversary of my diagnosis coming up, I wanted to share to those who still don't fully understand why I can't just pick the brownies out of an ice cream sundae.

Let me help you so you won't embarrass yourself and annoy your friend.

1) Isn't gluten-free like a zero carb diet?


2) Wait, why can't you eat here with us?

It's not like I'm avoiding you, but if a restaurant doesn't have a separate menu, let alone a separate prep station in their kitchen, I'll pass.

3) It's okay to eat here, just order Eggs.

Even though I could just order something that I know contains zero gluten, that doesn't mean that the chefs in the kitchen know that it can't be cross-contaminated with the utensils they use for all their other delicious, gluten filled foods. It's a risk that I do not want to take. Would you risk a plate of eggs for the chance of throwing up all day and night? Didn't think so.

4) Here, I'll just pick off the croutons to your salad. Now, it's gluten-free.

Sadly, it doesn't work that way. The croutons have seriously ruined the salad and just a tiny bit of gluten will set me back a couple weeks.

5) Don't worry, you never have to worry about getting fat.

Yes, someone actually said this to me. It was a pizza party during finals week in one of my grad classes and as I had to explain several times to my teacher, classmates and guest speakers why I couldn't eat the pizza, my professor said that I never had to worry about gaining weight. I started to engage in a debate on why she thought that, but realized I was wasting my time.

6) Your Food Tastes Like Sh*T

Believe me, it's not the best tasting but I don't need to hear that every time I go to take a bite of something that I have to eat to avoid getting ill.

7) Gluten-free food is way too expensive.

You don't even know. Are you buying it every week? Here's a funny story: I was visiting my brother in Milwaukee and we decided to pick up some groceries while I was there. I urged him (even though he kept refusing) that I was going to pay for my food because of the price.

I wanted to show him how different the prices were, so we both bought the same amount of things but mine was obviously gluten-free. His total was under $20, mine was $50.

8) I'm sure that just a little bit of gluten wouldn't be bad.

This may be true for some gluten-intolerance people, but for those who have celiac (like me) absolutely cannot. Seriously, just a tiny spec of gluten will instantly make me wish I was never born as the pains in my gut set in and I heave between constantly throwing up.

9) You lost SO much weight, I'm not going to eat gluten either.

Wait a second. As I remember being called "sickly looking" by all my family and friends... that's what you want to look like? I also lost weight because my body was unable to absorb the nutrients that I was eating! Please pick up a book and educate yourself.

10) Wow, that really sucks. I feel so bad for you.

Please, just keep that to yourself.

11) I think what I made is gluten-free.

I think I'll just skip this meal then.

Lauren Allen

Lauren Allen (Scialabba) is the Assistant Director of Operations and Producer at Doctorpodcasting where she helps marketing departments in healthcare organizations grow their podcast library and assist their needs on a daily basis. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with family, eating pizza, and soaking up Chicago's summer weather.

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