Next time you're at a pizza place wondering what to order, you may notice the option of a gluten-free pizza. Some pizzerias offer a custom made-to-order gluten-free pizza, while others offer just a basic gluten-free pizza or two. You may wonder what all the fuss is about; are these pizzas only for people with celiac disease, or are they just a new dietary trend? Here are the pros and cons of eating a gluten-free pizza to help you decide if it's right for you.
- Doesn't aggravate a wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity
Celiac isn't the only thing that can prevent the enjoyment of wheat. If you've developed a wheat allergy, gluten-free pizza should be safe to eat because wheat contains gluten, so it's excluded from the preparation of gluten-free dishes. In addition, a non-celiac gluten sensitivity may become aggravated by the over-glutenized crust of a normal pizza, which you can prevent by opting for the gluten-free variety.
- Can help you determine if you have a wheat or gluten issue
Although your doctor will want you to eat gluten for a period of time before having a test for celiac disease, gluten-free meals can help you settle in your own mind whether you have the issue before you decide to have testing done. If you go on a gluten-free diet and your symptoms disappear, you can be fairly sure (but not completely until you get the diagnosis confirmed by a doctor) that you have some problem with wheat or gluten.
- Can assure you that you're not consuming life-changing quantities of gluten
If you've ever looked at the ingredients list on "normal" store-bought bread, you may have noticed an ingredient with "gluten" in its name, such as "vital wheat gluten." This is because modern bread-making practices include the addition of excessive amounts of extra gluten to make the dough more stretchy and resilient. All this extra gluten is more likely to trigger a heretofore unknown gluten sensitivity than, say, eating homemade or old-fashioned bread with only the normal amount of gluten. If you buy a gluten-free pizza, you can be sure it doesn't have these potentially life-changing additives.
Because it's less frequently ordered, gluten-free pizza may cost extra in terms of labor, which translates into a higher price tag for you. In addition, the preparation of the gluten-free pizza must be totally separate from gluten-containing pizzas to avoid the danger of cross-contamination. With limited kitchen space (and everyone has limited kitchen space), this can be quite tricky.
The gluten-free pizza list is often much shorter than the menu for more traditional pizzas. This could be the case especially if the restaurant is new to making gluten-free pizza or doesn't have a lot of demand for the product.
These pros and cons will help you determine whether or not you want to order a gluten-free pizza on your next night out. Of course, if you do have celiac disease, the answer will be yes, unless you really like sadly eating salad while everyone around you is having fun.
Visit a local restaurant like Columbus Pizza & Donair to see what your options are.