Saturday, 12 December 2015

Fruit salad and the coeliac

There's a really interesting discussion going on over on the Coeliacs Eat Out Board on Facebook at the moment about the dreaded 'fruit salad only offering' you get when eating out at some restaurants and hotels. And why it's such an issue. It happened to me a short time ago and I couldn't really put into words why it was such a big deal to me and why such a silly thing is upsetting. Everyone's responses have helped clarify it:

1. You don't go to a restaurant to have things you can easily make at home (well I don't),

2. Fruit salad isn't a treat in the way a dessert is supposed to be (same goes for ice cream or sorbet),

3. You're paying good money to eat out and only having one option makes you feel cheated when everyone else gets to tuck into cakes etc,

4. You have to accept it or be prepared to make a fuss, drawing unwanted attention to yourself and the fact you're different,

5. It's a reminder that you've got coeliac disease and that you have to manage it every day at every meal, and that you have to plan ahead, negotiate, discuss and hopefully then get something nice agreed and that what you've been promised actually turns up when it's supposed to. Consequently it leads to anxiety.

6. It happens a lot. The effect is cumulative.

It's not a choice, this gluten free diet, it's not something we can opt in and out of, a little gluten will do us harm we're not just following a fad to be difficult. If you're still with me through all of that, you might wonder how much gluten it takes to make a coeliac sick. The smallest amount of gluten which has been shown by a biopsy to cause damage to a celiac is 0.1 gram per day (Catassi et al.). This is approximately the amount of gluten contained in 1/48th of a slice of bread. About a thumbnail's worth.

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