If you are gluten intolerant or have coeliac disease then the chances are that you will have heard every one of these at some point in your life.
I believe that the awkward questions stem from people feeling uncomfortable because they don’t fully understand, but I have to admit that at times it’s difficult not to burst out laughing.
These are 8 things that will either infuriate anyone who’s gluten-free, or will have them in fits of laughter:
1. Oh! I was thinking of trying that diet too!
Although the gluten-free diet has attracted many people who don’t need to live a gluten-free lifestyle for their health, the majority of people on a gluten-free diet are not doing so because they think it’ll help them to lose weight. If anyone with coeliac disease or gluten intolerance eats gluten it’s typically a very uncomfortable and often painful experience. It is NOT a diet. It’s a lifestyle change because their bodies can’t tolerate gluten.
2. You’re such a picky eater!
This is possibly the most common thing said to anyone who is gluten-free because they always have to ask what ingredients are in recipes, or pack what might appear to be strange things for lunch. If they are asking for a 100% beefburger without the bun it is because they can’t eat bread. If they request salad without the dressing it’s because most sauces contain hidden gluten. It isn’t being a picky eater, it’s trying to avoid the pain that they experience when they’ve eaten gluten by mistake.
3. Why don’t you just try a bit and see how you get on?
If someone has been advised by a doctor to follow a gluten-free diet then it’s a permanent change. Your body can’t just suddenly stop being intolerant to something, particularly if you’ve completely stopped eating it. Once you cut something out of your diet it actually becomes even harder to reintroduce it, so yes, just one sandwich will hurt. In many cases even a crumb will hurt. No, they are absolutely sure they don’t want to just try.
4. But all of the best foods have gluten in them!
Yes, most of them do. All that this statement does is simply remind anyone who’s gluten-free of what they are missing out on…as if they weren’t already aware.
5. So what exactly can you eat? Just celery?
This always makes me laugh; celery is gluten-free yes, but there are many other foods that are acceptable on a gluten-free diet. Although it’s restrictive it’s not THAT restrictive. There are many gluten-free foods available and many foods are even naturally gluten-free.
6. Would you like some cake/a cookie?
People who are gluten-free are aware that this is often simply a slip-up because the person offering has forgotten they are gluten-free, and that’s totally understandable, but it doesn’t mean that it feels any less like a slap across the face. Although it gets easier with time, it is always hard to watch someone offer you something you can’t have.
7. I would literally die if I couldn’t eat gluten!
In some very rare but very severe cases of coeliac disease this could actually be a possibility if someone does eat gluten, so it’s not the best thing to say.
8. What actually happens to you if you eat gluten?
Most gluten-free people don’t mind being asked this, although it does become a little irritating after a while. If you want to know what happens when someone who is unable to tolerate gluten eats it, please Google it, because it’s likely the person you’re asking has already been asked that exact question countless times.
Check out my recent post debunking some gluten-free myths.
What is the worst/funniest thing anyone has ever said to you about being gluten-free?
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