As a Celiac, finding a good gluten free pizza restaurant to eat in Boise can be tough. Your diet might be one of the more difficult things in your life that you deal with day in and day out. Going out to eat can be a chore and stressful in itself. Many times you come across a restaurant menu or an advertisement in the local newspaper mentioning gluten-free foods. Restaurants, like ours, here at Smoky Mountain Pizzeria offer Gluten free pizza in their 2 locations in Boise as well as their 6 other Idaho locations and one in Sandy, Utah. Many people that can tolerate gluten are not aware of the reasons behind why gluten-free products should be offered in the first place. We’d like to help clear that up.
What You Need to Know About Gluten
Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is the “glue” that sticks food together to maintain its shape. For most people, this food additive is not a threat to their health and can eat as many different items as they wish that may include it. However, some people have a sensitivity to gluten and should avoid it, whereas some people have more than a sensitivity, they suffer from Celiac disease. While this disease has been around for some time, we know that it’s been slowly on the rise in the general population for the last couple of generations according to the National Institutions of Health. Thankfully word is getting out about this and more food establishments (like us; Smoky Mountain Pizza) are either creating gluten-free menus or are replacing items that have gluten in them altogether creating a virtually gluten-free environment.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is hereditary. It is estimated that it affects 1 in 100 people worldwide and 1 in 10 risk developing the disease if they have a parent or sibling with the disease. That’s 1% of an average American has this issue. 3 million people in the United States alone. When a person with Celiac disease eats something with gluten their body reacts by boosting an immune response that attacks the small intestine. These attacks will damage the villi inside the small intestine. These villi are what promote nutrients to be distributed throughout the body. When the villi get damaged nutrients cannot be adsorbed properly. Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently.
Top 5 Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Children
- Abdominal bloating and pain
- Pale, foul smelling or fatty stool
Top 5 Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Adults
Adults are less likely to have all of the digestive symptoms like children, with approximately only one third experiencing any diarrhea. The following symptoms are more prominent in adults:
- Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
- Bone of join pain
- Depression or anxiety
Gluten Intolerance Is Different Than Celiac Disease
Not everyone that has a sensitivity to gluten has Celiac disease. Gluten intolerance symptoms are very similar to those of Celiac disease but people who experience these symptoms may just be sensitive to gluten, but not have the disease that will cause intestinal damage. The best way to find out is to get a blood test from the doctor. Those who test negative for celiac disease antibodies do not have the disease.
Celiac disease if left untreated can lead to other autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes, MS (Multiple Sclerosis) osteoporosis, infertility, intestinal cancers and more. It is best to check with your doctor to see if a screening and blood test is necessary based on your symptoms and family history of Celiac disease.
What Products Can Gluten Be Found In?
There are many foods that contain gluten many times in hidden ways Be sure to read the labels of your food purchases if gluten free is not specified. Don’t be tricked by an item labeled as wheat free. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is gluten free. They very well may still contain spelt (a form of wheat), rye, barley or barley based ingredients, all of which are not gluten free.
Grains containing gluten:
- Malt (malted barley flour, malted milk, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar)
- Brewer’s Yeast
- Wheat Starch (which has not been processed to remove gluten to below 20ppm and adhere to the FDA Labeling Law)
Common foods containing gluten:
- Pastas – raviolis, dumplings, couscous, gnocchi
- Noodles – ramen, chow mein, egg noodles
- Breads & Pastries – bagels, flatbreads, cornbread, potato bread, muffins, donuts, rolls
- Crackers – pretzels, goldfish graham crackers
- Baked Goods – cakes, cookies, pie crusts, brownies
- Cereal & Granola – corn flakes, rice puffs
- Breakfast foods – pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, and biscuits
- Breading and Coating Mixes – panko bread crumbs
- Croutons – stuffings, dressings
- Sauces and Gravies – (may contain wheat flour as a thickener) soy sauce, cream sauces made with a roux
- Flour tortillas
- Anything that has “wheat-flour” as an ingredient
What Foods are Safe to Eat?
Cutting out gluten from your diet might seem very similar to the end of the world, however, there are several delicious alternatives to choose from. Actually, the most cost effective and healthy way to follow a gluten-free diet is to look for items that are naturally-gluten free! Listed below is an example of certain foods that are safe to eat for a Celiac disease sufferer or gluten intolerant person.
- Fish and Seafood
- Beans, Legumes, and nuts
Believe it or not, one of the greatest sources of hidden gluten is in soups and sauces. Many companies use wheat as a thickener so it is always a very good idea to read the label of pre-packaged or canned soups. If you are looking for gluten free substitutes health food stores usually carry a nice selection of gluten-free options. Commercial grocery stores are slowly starting to carry a large number of gluten-free products as well as the word continues to travel about the importance of understanding and being aware of gluten being a problem to many people.
We here at Smoky Mountain Pizza care very much about ALL of our customers. We pride ourselves on providing the very best gluten free menu so our customers can enjoy their favorite foods that they may normally not be able to. Gluten-free pizza is just one of the many delicious items on the menu. We take every precaution to prevent cross contamination of gluten and although it’s impossible to promise 100% gluten-free, we continually take all the necessary steps to ensure our Gluten intolerant customers have a great experience.
Thankfully, we take a lot of pride in being as convenient for all of our local customers in all of our locations. Our headquarters (and original stomping grounds) are in the Boise, ID area. Smoky Mountain Pizza was one of the first establishments to offer high quality (and tasty!) gluten-free food of any restaurant in the Boise area.
We consistently get great reviews from our patrons who are extremely satisfied with the gluten free menu choices, and are elated that they are able to eat items they normally wouldn’t be able to at a restaurant.
Let us know your thoughts below or feel free to read and/or leave a review for us on Yelp!