Special Diet: Gluten-Free

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What it means

Bagels, pizza, pasta, bread – five months ago all of these images flew through my mind when I found out that I had gluten intolerance. I didn’t think I could do it. Give up carbs for good? In college? But I soon found out I was not alone. Gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, is an allergy to the food-grain antigens found in wheat, rye, barley and oats that affects 1 in 133 Americans.

Being on a gluten-free diet requires strict label-reading, looking for any sign of wheat, malt, barley, oats, rye, germ, spelt and several other lurking enemies. For many students, staying completely gluten-free on a college campus can be worrisome. But it’s not as hard as I thought.

J Street options

For breakfast, special options include Enjoy Life brand gluten-free granola or Glutino gluten-free breakfast bars. Lunch and dinner are surprisingly easy. Sushi is a great option because rice is a naturally gluten-free grain. (But be careful, imitation crabmeat, found in several sushi rolls, contains gluten.) If you’re craving a sandwich, Stacks Deli serves gluten-free bread. There are always gluten-free options at J Street Café’s buffet, with all allergens – including gluten – noted on the nutrition cards above each dish.

The bottom line

Surviving J Street gluten-free is far from impossible, but it is definitely more expensive and inconvenient to eat there every day.

The article was updated on Sept. 28, 2010 to reflect the following:
During the editing process, the word allergy was use to describe Celiac disease. This disease is not an allergy but an autoimmune disorder.

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