Understanding Food Allergies
Increasing prevalence of illnesses and disease have guests in need of healthier dining options
- 1 in every 3 Americans are obese
- Diabetes cases are exploding (70% increase in 30 to 39-year-olds from 1990-1998)
- Heart disease is responsible for 40% of all deaths in the US
- 1 in every 133 Americans has celiac disease
Chronic diseases such as – heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer – are not only the most common and costly diseases to cure, they are also the most preventable. And, although celiac disease is not preventable, it can be managed through a healthy, whole food diet.
Our guests with these conditions – and those without – rely on maintaining a healthy combination of foods that provide them with optimal nutrition and balance. Learning about the various diseases and how to help our guests thrive through the food we serve them is another way to be smart, green and delicious.
This autoimmune disorder that interferes with a person’s digestive process, it’s the number one genetic condition in the US and affects one percent of the world’s population. And, although awareness of celiac disease is relatively new, it can be traced back to 1st and 2nd century:
If [foods] pass through undigested and crude, and nothing ascends into the body, we call such persons coeliacs.
Greek physician Aretaeus of Cappadocia
When someone with this disease consumes gluten, the protein found in wheat, oats, barley and rye, their immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine, interfering with the absorption of the nutrients from food. The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet, which means avoiding anything that is made from or contains wheat, oats, barley, rye and spelt.
Diabetes is a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin. It affects how the body uses food for energy.
One in three Americans has either diabetes or its precursor, prediabetes.*
A global health epidemic of the 21st century
Guests with diabetes don’t need any special foods, they need to manage what, when and how much they they eat to manage healthy glucose levels. And, while they do not require any special food, they need to eat things that are low in salt, fat and sugar and high in fiber, such as beans, fruits, vegetables and grains.
*DIABETES, “THE INTELLECTUAL DEVOTIONAL – HEALTH,” DAVID S. KIDDER & NOAH D. OPPENHEIM; WITH BRUCE K. YOUNG