Sales of gluten-free foods are expected to reach more than $5 billion by 2015, reports the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. A protein found in wheat, rye and barley, gluten is blamed for the symptoms – including diarrhea and weight loss – of Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. If you have celiac disease, which occurs in one out of 133 Americans, you suffer from an autoimmune disorder in which your body's defense against gluten damages your intestine. Reports of gluten sensitivity are more common. Complete avoidance of gluten is the only available method to control these conditions.
South of the Border
Taco Bell Cantina bowls – veggie, steak or chicken – are reportedly gluten-free. Top them with hot or mild Border sauce or Avocado Ranch dressing. You can also enjoy black beans and rice or Premium Latin rice with guacamole, pico de gallo or salsa verde. As long as you choose corn tortillas instead of flour, you can indulge in Chipotle's barbacoa, carnitas, steak or chicken tacos with cheese, black or pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice and fajita vegetables.
Wendy's offers gluten-free salads, condiments, meats and their signature Frosty treats. Enjoy an Apple Pecan Chicken Salad – hold the candied pecans – with Lemon Garlic Caesar dressing, a Chili and Cheese Baked Potato and a Caramel Frosty Shake. Craving McDonald's French fries? You're in luck – they're made without gluten and fried in a fryer separate from other foods that may contain gluten. Bring your own gluten-free bun and add a beef patty and an American cheese slice. If you happen to be at Kentucky Fried Chicken, your choices are more limited: You can make a meal out of a house side salad with buttermilk ranch dressing, corn on the cob, green beans, potato salad, coleslaw and applesauce.
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Celiac Disease Facts and Figures
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Glossary
- Taco Bell: Food Allergens and Sensitivities
- Chipotle: Allergens and Gluten
- Wendy’s: Gluten-Free Menu Items
- McDonald’s: McDonald’s Gluten Free
- KFC: Allergen and Sensitivities Guide