If someone you know has Celiac or a gluten intolerance, here is a list of things that you probably should stop saying before they lose their mind.
- Oh so you can’t eat ____________? Does it have wheat in it? Rye? Barley? Flour? No? Then nope, I can’t eat that delicious food, but I really appreciate the reminder.
- Does that mean you’re a vegan? I can’t even believe that it’s 2015 and I have to explain that wheat (also rye and barley) is not an animal bi-product? They’re plants?
- At least you’ll lose weight. Okay like, rude? Who says I’m trying to lose weight? If this is an attempt to make me feel better it certainly isn’t working. I’m not trying to lose weight, I’m just trying to eat without getting sick.
- Wow, that sucks. I hadn’t noticed actually, thank you.
- You could just get a salad, right? Salads are delicious, and yes I can eat them for the most part, but making me go out to eat with you while you enjoy a great course and I get a small salad is freaking rude okay.
- I might try going gluten-free because I need to lose weight. Do not tell someone who can’t eat foods that they used to enjoy that you’re just going to swear them off for a couple of weeks to lose an extra pound or two. Losing weight is about eating healthy and exercising, not about some fad diet that you think is going to work. Seriously.
- This place has vegetarian options, so you should be fine- right? Again, I can eat meat.
- Do you miss eating cake (or cookies, cupcakes, muffins, etc). They actually make gluten-free baked goods, believe it or not; Trader Joe’s actually has really yummy gluten-free cupcakes (and cookies)!
If you don’t know what gluten is at all, it’s okay, asking someone who has a gluten intolerance what it is isn’t offensive. They will tell you. But for your knowledge, gluten is found in wheat, rye, and barley products. Please try to understand the situation before you say something that could be taken as offensive. The diagnosis could have been emotional or difficult for the person, and reminding them might make them sad. Be sensitive towards your friends and loved ones.