“Gluten-free” may be the latest trend in healthy eating, but for many people eliminating gluten from their diets is more than a foodie fashion statement. Today, approximately 1 in every 133 Americans has Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease marked by the inability to process gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye). Researchers believe that an even higher number of Americans may be sensitive to gluten, meaning their bodies respond poorly to the protein even though they don’t have full-blown Celiac Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Sapone, A., Lammers, KM, Casolaro, V., et al. Mucosal Biology Research Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine. BMC Medicine, 2011 Mar 9;9:23 . To call attention to these high rates of gluten sensitivity and intolerance, the month of May heralds Celiac Awareness Month.
We won’t sugar-coat it: Celiac, like other food sensitivities, can suck. But there are tons of resources out there for folks who need to go gluten-free in order to improve their health and happiness. Here, we’ve rounded up a bevy of info about Celiac, from what to eat (and avoid), to how to handle social situations on a gluten free diet, to bloggers who share their experiences with living life gluten free.
Celiac and Going Gluten-Free
Offering background information on Celiac, a gluten-free “mall,” gluten-free recipes, news updates, and a special information section for Celiac “newbies,” Celiac.com is a great site for anyone wanting to learn more about ditching gluten.
2. Celiac Central
Developed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, Celiac Central is a comprehensive resource for all things Celiac Disease and gluten-free eating. The site is chock full of educational materials tips, from a gluten-free menu-planning Webinar to tips on surviving college while gluten-free.
3. Celiac Disease Foundation
The Celiac Disease Foundation has been around since 1990, and its mission is to improve awareness, education, advocacy, and research pertaining to Celiac Disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy rash that’s often linked to gluten sensitivity. Its website offers background information on Celiac and provides tips and support for maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle.
4. Gluten Intolerance Group
The Gluten Intolerance Group aims to provide community and support for people living with gluten intolerance. To that end, the organization offers news updates, a certified gluten-free product database, and a gluten-free restaurant awareness program.
5. Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic offers simple, easy-to-understand information about the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of Celiac disease.
6. What’s Up with Modern Wheat?
From our own editorial team comes an article outlining how modern wheat differs from historical varieties, and what this does and doesn’t have to do with the striking rise in gluten sensitivity and intolerance.
Eating and Socializing, Minus the Gluten
7. 27 Gluten-Free Recipe Substitutions
Trying to figure out how to eat your favorite meals now that you’re gluten free? You probably don’t have to stop eating them entirely. Just make some gluten-free swaps and you should be good to go.
8. 17 Healthy Grains You’ve Never Heard Of
We love quinoa (a gluten-free grain that’s loaded with protein), but we can still get sick of it sometimes. If you’re looking to add some diversity to your grains while still cutting out the gluten, look no further than this hand guide to less well-known varieties. (Note: Not every grain on this list is gluten-free; check the descriptions to learn which are safe and which to steer clear of.)
9. 62 Healthier Gluten-Free Desserts
Going gluten free doesn’t have to mean cutting out the baked goods. Check out this list of healthier gluten-free desserts — when you see the wondrous variety of treats available, you’ll stop thinking about your food sensitivities as “restrictive.”
10. 26 Healthier Ways to Cook with Beer
That’s right—even gluten-free folk get to cook with beer (well, gluten-free beer). Most of the recipes on this list call for gluten-filled beer varieties; just sub in your favorite gluten-free brew and get cooking.
11. Going Out Gluten-Free
Yup, going out gluten-free can be tough. But this guide (from gluten-free blogger Erin Smith), which covers how to navigate restaurants, bars, and parties while gluten-free, can make things a little bit easier.
12. Health and Fitness in Relationships: Eating Within the Rules
One couple shares their experiences with eating and being in a relationship while simultaneously coping with serious food sensitivities.
Sometimes eliminating gluten from one’s diet can feel like a lonely road rife with the terrors of non-GF-friendly restaurants and family members who just don’t get it. And sometimes, all we need to feel less alone is to know that somebody else out there understands. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most prominent voices in the gluten-free blogosophere. Happy reading!
A Girl Defloured
A Gluten-Free Day
Art of Gluten-Free Baking
Gluten Free Girl and the Chef
Gluten Free Mommy
Gluten Free on a Shoestring
The Spunky Coconut
Tasty Eats at Home