Story written by Micah Karr, Dailyflipz Health Reporter
FAIRBORN, Ohio -- Gluten-free diets used to be just for people who had Celiac disease. Now, people have discovered the health benefits of going gluten-free, even if someone does not have Celiac.
For example, going gluten-free eliminates most cookies, cakes, pastries, and other fattening foods, which can help people lose weight.
The origin of a gluten-free diet is Celiac disease; an autoimmune disorder caused by gluten, which is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye, that causes damage to the villi in the small intestine, which prevents the absorption of nutrients and causes starvation.
While this is not the only reason someone might go gluten-free, Celiac disease is one of the more severe reasons to begin a gluten-free diet.
Why Go Gluten-Free?
Sarah Hopkins, a senior at Wright State, explained that about two and a half years ago, she had stomach pain that her mother tried to cure by feeding her toast. Because there was gluten in the toast, it only made her stomach pain worse. After blood tests and several doctors, she finally discovered she had a wheat intolerance. “I felt a lot better,” she explained.
Celiac disease can be an extremely strong deciding factor in deciding one’s diet, however, not every person who is gluten-conscious or gluten-free has Celiac disease. Some people have a milder allergy to gluten, or sometimes just wheat.
While a wheat allergy is different from gluten intolerance, a wheat-free diet and a gluten-free diet have similar components.
Dietitian Kathrine Tallmadge, an author on livescience.org writes in her article “Go Gluten Free? Most People Shouldn’t (Op-Ed)” that some may go gluten-free despite no intolerance of wheat or gluten. However, care must always be taken when starting a new diet to make sure you are still getting the nutrients you need.
Tallmadge recommends speaking to a dietitian before going gluten-free to make sure the diet change would be helpful.
How Do I Go Gluten-Free?
To go gluten-free, someone must stop eating foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, and other types of grain. Most food containing wheat, such as bread, pastries, and wraps, also contain gluten. While most people associate gluten with bready products, gluten can also be found in soy sauce and beer, however, there are gluten-free options for both.
“A lot more restaurants are gluten-free now,” Hopkins notes, she says that an important aspect of going gluten-free is to “try things.” She admits to being a picky eater, but trying new food is important when starting a gluten-free diet. “Some things are okay,” she said, but “Some things are terrible.”
What Gluten-Free Food is there on Campus?
Contrary to other diets, there is a page on Wright State’s food website detailing what to do if you are avoiding gluten or are completely gluten-free, since Celiac is a serious and sometimes life-threatening condition.
In most vending machines, there are gluten-free options, such as potato chips, corn-based chips, such as Cheetos, Fritos, and tortilla chips, and most candy bars, aside from Twix, which contain cookies. Additionally, fruit snacks, popcorn, and candy such as M&Ms and Skittles are gluten-free.
Hopkins explained that she is a commuter. “I never eat on campus,” she said. Even though she does not eat on campus, there are gluten-free options on campus.
At breakfast, eggs are gluten-free, as well as bacon and sausage. Some cereals, such as Cheerios, are gluten free.
The amount of gluten-free lunch food varies by day, but every day at Grill Nation, you can order a sandwich or hamburger with gluten-free bread. To see the ingredients included in each food item, you can roll your mouse over each item on the Wright State weekly menu.
Additionally, items like yogurt, salads, chips, and drinks are gluten-free. While the salad may be however, some salad dressings do contain gluten, so be sure to double-check labels before consuming.
Their sandwiches and pastries are not gluten-free nor are they on gluten-free bread. Their coffee and other drinks however, are gluten-free.
One of the main sources of gluten-free food at The Hangar is Zona Mexican. Rice is gluten-free. Additionally, ordering a bowl takes the need for a shell that might have gluten.
Espresso Lane’s sandwiches contain gluten in their bread, as well as all their pastries. Some snacks, such as chips, gummy snacks, and other drinks, do not contain gluten.
Starbucks in the Library:
All of Starbucks’ drinks are gluten-free. Additionally, the rice cereal treats are gluten free, as well as some of the other snacks like chips, and their rice and marshmallow bar.
Rey Rey Café:
Any sandwiches and pastries at the Rey Rey Café have gluten. However, all their drinks, as well as some of their snacks, such as yogurt and chips are gluten-free.
For serious dietary concerns, students can contact Hospitality Services at 937-775-5633.
Here's a detailed breakdown of the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of Celiac disease!
You can follow Wright State's Hospitality Services on Twitter for all the latest news on what's happening at the dining areas on campus!
Story edited by Health & Business Editor Taylor Whitney