How to have a great Gluten-concern free trip:
I was in my office and met a friend after a long time. After catching up I told her about TravelFolio. I shared how I am trying to emphasize on 3 things.
vegetarian travel – because we are vegetarian
Traveling with family – My sons who are 19 & 15 now, have been traveling with us since their birth. We have seen the benefits and challenges of family travel and feel we are a good resource for family travelers.
Visit Calgary – Since I live in Calgary, who can understand and share more about Calgary than I do?
When she heard my plan, she shared some interesting facts about younger generation. Feels like vegetarian is one thing of the past, now there are new hurdles to deal with. Such as vegan and Gluten and celiac and what not? One of her friend’s family member had problem with Gluten and they faced a lot of troubles on their last trip. Just to give you an idea, eggs gave her a hair loss and dental problems. Can you imagine you try to eat what you like and suddenly you start to loose hairs as a result. You don’t realize why the hair loss until a lot of hairs are gone and you think, it is because you traveled to a different climate. Assuming you are back home and you will be fine, however there is no change in your condition. What do you do? You go to the doctor and after some tests and consultation you find out you have problems with Gluten. What is this Gluten? You’ve never heard about it. You never thought you or a family member will have this problem. Things have suddenly changed now. All those questions and worries start to pop up in your mind. So what to do? Let me first share with you some information below on these topics.
What is Gluten:
Gluten (is a Latin word “Glue”) is a mixture of different proteins that you can find in wheat and related grains. These grains include barley, rye, oat and all their species and hybrids. Gluten can cause a lot of health problems. One of those well-known disease, you know is Celiac Disease.
What are Gluten’s effects:
Gluten shows up in many whole grain foods related to wheat. some Celiac Disease experts warn patients to steer clear of Oats as well. Gluten itself doesn’t offer special nutritional benefits. But the many whole grains that contain Gluten do. They are rich in an array of vitamins(B Vitamins and Iron) and minerals (Fiber). Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease and type – 2 diabetes and some form of cancer. To be sure a few whole grains don’t include Gluten. However they are far less common than Gluten-containing grains. Meeting the dietary guidelines goal is very tough if you have to remove wheat, barley, rye and other Gluten containing whole grains from your diet.
Risks of going Gluten-free
Because wheat is an important part of our diet, completely eliminating Gluten requires adopting a whole new diet. Many times if you cut whole categories of food you’ve been used to eating, you run the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Remember this, Gluten free products are low in a range of important nutrients including Vitamin B, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and fiber. There is little point in taking that risk unless you genuinely have celiac disease or Gluten sensitivity. Eating a healthy Gluten-free diet means paying constant attention to what you eat. One can not do something like this easily. You be very careful when you follow this strict diet.
Just so you know, people who are sensitive even small amounts can cause damage to small intestines. Which means if you have a problem, Gluten-free diet is not the solution. Choosing these foods can cause another dilemma. Most Gluten-free alternatives such as pasta and bread are much more expensive than their conventional counterparts.
The bottom-line is that if you think you may have a problem with Gluten, just get tested instead of assuming anything.
What is Celiac disease:
Celiac disease is a problem with digesting Gluten. By now you know where Gluten is found? Symptoms of celiac disease is gas and bloating, weight loss and constant fatigue.
Symptoms of Gluten intolerance:
Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation etc.
Chicken skin on the back of your arms. This is a result of a fatty acid deficiency and Vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat mal-absorption caused by Gluten damaging the gut.
Brain fog or feeling tired right after eating a meal that has Gluten.
Dizziness or feeling of being off-balance.
Inflammation, swelling or pain in joints such as fingers, knees or hips.
Mood issues such as anxiety and depression etc.
My topic of this article is still unaddressed.
How to have a great Gluten concern free trip:
Now that you know a bit about Gluten and it’s effects on our body, hopefully you can understand the problems a trip can cause for someone who has concerns about Gluten. I am not a Doctor and please don’t take this page as a resource for Gluten related knowledge. I just want to share my thoughts on Gluten and travelers with Gluten concerns. If you have Gluten concerns, should you stop traveling? Absolutely not, you should travel. Instead of staying away problems, you should face them. I have same opinion about this problem. So what can a traveler do if they have Gluten concerns?
Find out if you have Gluten troubles (confirm it is not a concern it is a disease)
Before booking your trip, research the airlines and the destination, in addition to other information
Make sure to call the Airlines to confirm they have Gluten free food in the flight and order them
Call the hotel/resort and confirm they are able to offer you Gluten-free diet.
If planning to go out of the resort/hotel, research where to find Gluten-free food?
Make sure to know if resort can pack Gluten-free food for you if you took an excursion
Talk to your family Doctor before you go on the trip
Research on internet and use your best friend “Google’s” knowledge giving abilities
Carry some Gluten-free food with you all the time
Make sure to plan short days not long days (read my article here about not having long days)
Don’t worry, stay happy, stay healthy, enjoy the trip, ignore food options with Gluten
Share with us any good Gluten-free stories by leaving a comment
For your further reading pleasures: