People have been eating food with gluten in it since the beginning. It’s not bad in and of itself. The problem has come about because we have been consuming too much too fast. With the advent of the industrial revolution and the ability to harvest and process food in mass quantities, our bodies have not been able to keep up with the amounts of gluten that we intake. And for many people, excessive amounts of gluten cause health problems.
So in recent years, as research and technology continue to evaluate and reveal the effects of various foods on our digestive system and other parts of our bodies, it’s come to light that a gluten-free diet could help some people overcome ailments related to what is called celiac disease. And with these new developments have come the advent of gluten free fast foods since they are so much a part of the American diet and lifestyle.
Considering our propensity for fast foods, it was only a mater of time before adjustments had to be made, as more and more people are being affected by the large amounts of gluten in their diets. While only about three out of every 100,000 people were affected in the 1990s, new testing in 2005 shows that has grown to almost 21 out of every 100,000.
Gluten is certainly one of the hottest topics trending across America these days. And it’s not a simple issue to understand. Learn the facts about gluten, its prevention and management. You might find that you should start now implementing a gluten-free diet into your lifestyle, especially if you fall to the temptation of fast foods on a regular basis.
Indeed, most fast food chains have stepped up to the challenge of providing gluten free fast food items, or at the very least, explaining to consumers how to still eat their food while toning down their intake of gluten. But it is a dangerous path and not an easy decision to make.
But before we get to the details of gluten free fast foods, let’s help you out a little more on understanding gluten, how it affects you and how you can make adjustments now. A gluten-free lifestyle is made easy when you learn how to cut back on gluten at home, when you dine out and cook at home.
And if you are hungry for more information, build a step-by-step plan to help take you to a gluten-free existence.
Some of us will be prompted to go cold turkey. Actually, there are a number of turkey products on the market now that are gluten free. But back to cutting gluten out of your diet…
Part of the problem with the fast-food craze is that too many of us do what it called binge eating. We eat to celebrate, we eat to mourn a break up and we eat in the place of love. And because of our crazy schedules, it’s easy to just pop into a fast food restaurant and grab a bite to ear. But it’s important to develop a healthy relationship with food and don’t rely on binge eating as an outlet.
Let’s fact it, with TV, billboards and even the Internet blasting pictures of juicy hamburgers, dripping sweet concoctions loaded with sugar and sexy people devouring these foods, it’s hard to resist. So please enjoy this list of gluten free fast foods but in moderation.
The Gluten Free Fast Food List
This is the top 25 fast food chains in the U.S., ranked by sales, as of 2013. A glimpse into their gluten free options:
- McDonald’s – does not have a gluten-free menu. Can opt for salads, except avoid sesame ginger dressing.
- Subway – all of its salads are GF, as well as the dressings. Testing for GF products in is progress.
- Starbucks – not a good choice for those looking for GF items. Starbucks just can’t guarantee that any of its products are clear of glutens.
- Wendy’s – does have several GF items on menu, such as the apple wood smoked bacon burger (sans bun), chicken grill fillet, bakes potatoes and the chili. Frosty is also OK or the apple slices and the fries are cool if they are cooked separate from any other fried items.
- Burger King – although BK says its hamburgers, chicken fillet (grilled) and certain breakfast items are GF, there’s not guarantee its food items won’t come in contact with items containing gluten during preparation. Salad with grilled chicken may be best bet.
- Taco Bell – it’s hard to believe, right? But yes, the Bell does have GF items, such as the Cantina bowls, pintos ‘n cheese, black beans and rice, cheesy nachos, XXL steak nachos and chips and salsa.
- Dunkin’ Donuts – only if you are having just coffee. But stay tuned, as DD is working on a GF menu.
- Pizza Hut – introduced gluten free pizza in 2013. Just watch your toppings. Pepperoni is OK, as is spinach, garlic prawns and numerous veggies.
- Chick-Fil-A – can have the bub-free chicken fillet, chargrilled chicken salad, fruit salad, fruit cup, side salad, coleslaw and yay – waffle fries!
- KFC – don’t bother, as only thing gluten free is salads, and you don’t go to KFC for salad. However, you can have the corn, potato salad, green beans and three-bean salad.
- Panera Bread – ask and you shall receive. For some reason, this place has a gluten-free menu, but you have to request it. But what it does offer is some tasty GF dishes, such as the power steak lettuce wrap, power chicken hummus bowl, as well as a variety of breakfast items.
- Sonic – offers some GF items, such as bunless hamburger patty, bacon, breakfast sausage ham, pork and beef hot dogs, the Philly steak (no bun), tator tots, fries, apple slices and corn chips.
- Domino’s Pizza – was the first major pizza chain to offer GF. The thing is if you can’t have any gluten whatsoever, there’s no guarantee that its GF pizza hasn’t come in contact with item with gluten in them. As for toppings, avoid non-tomato sauces, the boneless chicken and the Philly meat.
- Jack in the Box – bunless burger or grilled chicken, grilled chicken salad, chicken club or SW chicken salads. Sauces OK except Teriyaki.
- Arby’s – all of its meats and cheeses are gluten free, except for breaded items. Salads are always good choice, sans the croutons.
- Chipotle Mexican Grill – this is a very GF choice. Just about all its items are GF… just avoid the tortillas. The corn tacos and corn chips are OK.
- Papa John’s – not much here for those looking for gluten free. All of its pizza crusts have wheat products in them. The chicken wings are gluten free, but is a pizza place where you go for chicken wings?
- Dairy Queen – you can have the bunless chicken, hamburger and grill burger, hot dogs, vanilla and chocolate soft serve ice cream, and a lot of its dairy treats, including the Blizzard, as well as slushes and fountain drinks.
- Popeye’s – if you want chicken, don’t bother, as only things GF are apple sauce, Cajun rice, red beans and rice, corn, coleslaw and the jalapenos.
- Hardee’s – bunless beef patties, turkey burger and roast beef. Stay away from the sauces, though. However, you can have the chili, coleslaw, bunless hot dog and ice cream (without the cone).
- Panda Express – another one to stay away from unless you want some tea or a fountain drink.
- Little Caesar’s – stay away, unless you should want to stop by for a beverage.
- Whataburger – nothing specifically advertised as GF, but you can have bunless burgers or grilled chicken, apple and cranberry salad, garden salad, apple slices and a vanilla shake. Fries and hash brown sticks are OK if that’s all that’s cooked in that fryer.
- Carl’s Jr. – offers GF burgers, sausage patties, cheeses and sauces, and believe it or not, the chili is OK. Only garden salad is OK, as the rest of items in them that have gluten.
- Jimmy John’s – interesting thing here is that JJ’s will wrap its sandwiches in lettuce instead of bread. Good place to put together a gluten free sandwich.