In 2017, 3.1 million Americans claimed to abide by a gluten-free diet. Today, almost 40 million Americans say they are gluten-free. However, only 1% of the population has Celiac disease, while the other 13% has a sensitivity to gluten. So, what does all of this mean? Let’s begin with what exactly gluten is. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten is a binding protein found in wheat that helps food maintain their shape. When people follow a gluten-free diet, they avoid any food made from wheat, barley, or rye. By eliminating those ingredients, those following a gluten-free diet can no longer eat bread, baked goods, pasta, many sauces, and salad dressing, beer, and more; that is, unless it’s gluten-free. Gluten-free foods such as bread, pasta, and baked goods use a wheat flour alternative, such as almond flour. As more Americans become gluten-free, more gluten-free products become available to the public.
So, why the jump over three years from 3.1 to 40 million Americans abiding by a gluten-free diet? Many Americans are finding their bodies can’t tolerate gluten. There are different levels at which people can be allergic to gluten, the highest being Celiac disease and lower allergies resulting in gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an immune disease that affects the small intestine. People affected by Celiac disease who consume gluten have a severe reaction resulting in painful digestive issues, fatigue, low blood count, and more. Those with gluten-sensitivity are still affected when they eat gluten, but not to the severity or extent as someone with Celiac disease. However, that is not to say that gluten-sensitivity is not painful or serious, especially when gluten is consumed in large amounts.
Harney Sushi prides ourselves on having plenty of options for everyone from vegetarians to those following a gluten-free diet. Luckily, Japanese cuisine does not use much gluttonous food. Fish and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, as are white and brown rice. However, there are some things to be mindful of when dining at a sushi restaurant, and we’re here to help! Sauces such as soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, eel sauce, ponzu sauce, and spicy mayo are not gluten-free. We do have gluten-free alternatives to soy sauce and teriyaki sauce though. Any rolls that are deep-fried or contain wonton crunchies or tempura are not gluten-free. Additionally, if you have a severe gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease, we suggest avoiding the spicy tuna and spicy crab. If you ever have a question regarding the menu, it’s always best to ask our staff and we would be more than happy to assist you.
If you are gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, please ask our Harney Sushi staff for a gluten-free menu when you dine with us to make the ordering process smooth and easy.