Make sure to ask for the person making your burger with lettuce wrap to change gloves in order to minimize the risk of gluten cross-contamination. Note that Five Guys serves peanuts in the shell for free in its stores which routinely have peanut shells scattered around the tables and floors , so if you're allergic to peanuts , you should choose another fast food chain. Devotees of In-N-Out Burger and there are quite a few in the gluten-free community order their burgers "protein-style," or wrapped in lettuce instead of in a bun.
This is such a popular item both for the gluten-free and for Atkins devotees that the fast food restaurant chain has it listed on its secret menu. In addition, the In-N-Out fries should be gluten-free and therefore safe but never forget to ask. At the Old Spaghetti Factory, which has multiple locations in 13 states, you don't need to forgo spaghetti and other pasta—the fast-casual restaurants serve gluten-free pasta off their "gluten friendly" menus.
As long as you request gluten-free pasta, you can enjoy any of Old Spaghetti Factory's pasta sauces, including marinara, rich meat, clam, sauteed mushroom, Mizithra cheese and browned butter, and Alfredo sauce. You also can consider ordering baked chicken marinated in garlic and lemon juice. Several of the sides, including the Sicilian-style Italian sausage, also are gluten-free. There's also a children's menu, mainly with child-sized portions of gluten-free pasta.
Dessert if you still have room is limited to vanilla ice cream or spumoni.
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Outback Steakhouse, with hundreds of locations throughout the U. Outback features an extensive gluten-free menu , filled with steaks, seafood, salads, sides and an excellent gluten-free dessert, the flourless Chocolate Thunder from Down Under brownie. There's also a gluten-free kids' menu, with smaller portions and a gluten-free sundae for dessert.
Although attention to the problem of cross-contamination can vary from location to location, for the most part Outback's staff is well-trained. Definitely talk to a manager before ordering, however, since most locations are busy at peak times, which means problems involving cross-contamination can occur. Chang's is another favorite fast casual go-to restaurant for those who eat gluten-free , and many gluten-free diners have had good success ordering off the chain's dedicated gluten-free menu. The choices include a wide variety of appetizers, gluten-free egg drop soup, a noodle dish, plenty of entree options and even vegetarian options.
You even can order a great dessert, P. Chang's excellent GF flourless chocolate dome. All of P. Chang's gluten-free dishes are served on a special plate with the chain's logo so that you know you're getting a safe meal. This fast food chain, famous for its gluten-containing potato buns, also offers its burgers on gluten-free buns at all locations except for those at stadiums and ballparks. Several Shake Shack milkshakes also contain no gluten-based ingredients, including basic flavors like vanilla and chocolate, and more exotic flavors like cinnamon dulce de leche and caramelized peach.
You'll need to check with the staff to see if they can mix your shake using clean equipment. Steer clear of the fries, as they are cooked in oil that's shared with gluten-containing food items. If you like burgers without a bun, you can order one at Sonic Drive In, and the fries and tater tots are gluten-free, too, according to Sonic's allergen table. However, any fried foods such as those fries and tater tots may be exposed to gluten-containing items in shared fryers.
Sonic's shakes, which come with a huge variety of toppings, may be a better reason to go to the drive-in fast food restaurant. Many of the potential shake toppings are gluten-free with the exception of obvious ones, such as Oreos, malt syrup, and pie crumb pieces, and not-so-obvious ones, such as Salted Caramel.
Make sure before ordering a shake that you ask the worker to make it in an absolutely clean mixer. The chain, with locations in 24 states plus Washington, D. When dining at Uno, you can choose from two gluten-free soups, burgers without the bun steak, salmon and chicken entrees, many gluten-free sides, several different salads make certain to tell your server to omit the croutons and bread sticks, and to mix it in a clean bowl , and an ice cream sundae for dessert.
Many people with celiac or gluten sensitivity head to Wendy's as their first choice when looking for a gluten-free fast food restaurant. At Wendy's, you can eat the salads without croutons assuming they're not pre-prepared with croutons—never, ever pick croutons off a salad! You also can order a hamburger or cheeseburger without the bun. When ordering, be certain the people behind the counter know to change their gloves and to avoid cross-contact with any gluten-containing items. Zoe's Kitchen, a fast casual restaurant featuring Mediterranean-style food, offers those eating gluten-free a wide variety of kebabs, salads and bowls.
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You can start with any type of hummus skip the pita bread , and continue with most of the soups consult the Zoe's Kitchen allergen menu for which ones are safe , all kebabs except for the steak, almost every salad, vegetable, and bowl, plus many kids' entrees. Note that the sandwiches and pita bread dishes are prepared with wheat bread, so steer clear of those. And sadly, there are no desserts that are gluten-free. The Burger King gluten-free list includes both menu items and ingredients in menu items, and it can be difficult to decipher what on the menu actually will turn out gluten-free—for example, it states that "spring mix Romaine" and "lettuce" are gluten-free, but doesn't say whether a prepared salad would be safe.
The Essential Gluten Free Guide to France
French fries and sausage patties are listed as "gluten-free," but the list notes that they may be fried with gluten-containing items, which is a deal-killer. Still, the list might provide some options especially if you're starving if it was coupled by an understanding Burger King staffer. For example, it might be possible to get a bunless hamburger there with the gluten-free fries just confirm that the individual location does not use a shared fryer. There's basically nothing safe to eat that's gluten-free at KFC with the exception of one or two salads , and the chain has made little effort to accommodate us.
Honestly, there are much better choices. There, you can find wheat but not barley and rye declared in their various ingredients lists. There's a tremendous debate in the gluten-free community about whether McDonald's fries are gluten-free. The oil they are fried in contains wheat derivatives, but McDonald's maintains the fries themselves contain no gluten detectable by tests that go down to 3 parts per million. Many people who are especially sensitive avoid McDonald's fries, especially since there are better options available.
In a nod to the popularity of Chipotle, Taco Bell is now offering Cantina Power Bowls, all of which contain rice, meat, beans and vegetables and are marked as gluten-free on the chain's website. Hashbrowns also are considered gluten-free although they may be fried in a shared fryer, so ask and avoid if the answer is yes , as are several sides, including black beans, chips and guacamole, chips and nacho cheese sauce, chips and salsa, nacho cheese Doritos chips, and premium Latin rice. As you can see, there are plenty of gluten-free options out there, even if you're just stopping off for a quick snack right off the highway.
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Gluten-free fast food: What options do major chains offer?
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click here More in Special Diets. Some possible gluten-free choices include:.
Gluten-free options include:. Sadly, there are no gluten-free desserts. Grilled chicken sandwich on a gluten-free bun Breakfast egg white sandwich on a gluten-free bun Breakfast hashbrowns cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer Grilled chicken nuggets Grilled Market salad Spicy Southwest salad Waffle fries cooked in a dedicated gluten-free fryer Fruit cup Frosted lemonade.
When you order, make sure to place an "allergy alert" on your food for gluten. Gluten-free options at Chili's include:. Loaded baked potato soup Caribbean salad with either chicken or shrimp Craft burgers without buns Fajitas with corn tortillas Baby back ribs with some sauces Ancho salmon. Gluten is a protein that is present in most grains. It is also found in foods that are coated and cooked in grains or the same oils as gluten-containing foods. Because many fast-food restaurants specialize in breaded and fried foods, many of the items on their menus contain gluten.
For example, okra is naturally gluten-free, but when fried and breaded it will contain gluten. Fast food, as with any other food, should be gluten-free so long as it does not contain the following ingredients:. When gluten-free products are cooked in the same oil or pans as gluten-containing products, they can become contaminated with gluten. A study of bakeries in Brazil found that cross contamination is common, with So, it is essential for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to ask about how food is prepared in each restaurant they visit.
Fast-food employees may not always be trained in how to avoid cross contamination, so people must always talk to a manager about what foods and preparation methods are acceptable. It should be noted that these foods may contain gluten if fried, prepared in a sandwich, or otherwise prepared in a way that includes gluten-containing grains.
Fast-food employees are not typically food experts, and different stores may prepare their food differently.
What Does a Healthy Gluten-Free Diet Look Like?
There is no guarantee that even purportedly gluten-free menu items will be free of cross contamination. People with serious gluten intolerances should speak with a branch manager ahead of time, and ask for specific details about how their food is prepared. People who are avoiding gluten for health reasons may wish to avoid fast food altogether.
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While it is possible to eat a healthful meal at a fast-food restaurant, gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthy. To get a nourishing, relatively low-calorie meal, check the nutrition label and review the ingredients. Due to the increasing availability of gluten-free options, people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities, or who are avoiding gluten for other reasons no longer have to avoid eating out.
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