5 Gluten-Free Restaurant Options for Triangle Families

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Celiac disease, marked by the small intestine's hypersensitivity to gluten and difficulty in digesting food, affects 1 percent of the population, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Another 6 percent experience sensitivity to wheat-containing products. For these people, gluten-free options are essential for preventing symptoms such as diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain and bloating. Continued exposure to gluten can lead to a damaged small intestine, malnutrition and weight loss. Some Triangle restaurants and grocery stores now offer gluten-free options for families challenged by Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Here are five you can check out:

Whole Foods Market
Five locations in the Triangle
Whole Foods Market offers numerous gluten-free options throughout the store and on the hot bar, like baked goods and pizzas. You can also shop for gluten-free personal care products. Each store provides a downloadable gluten-free products list.

Mediterranean Deli
410 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
Try the traditional falafel and hummus meal with handmade, gluten-free pitas made onsite. Families can also buy the deli's pita bread at Weaver Street Market, Whole Foods, Southern Village and Fresh Market.

Mellow Mushroom
Five locations in the Triangle
Gluten-free crusts and toppings are offered. Families may enjoy Mellow Mushroom's gluten-free house special pizza, which includes red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, onions and more. The Mellow Mushroom also offers vegan options for customers who have dairy allergies.

Pullen Place
520 Ashe Ave., Raleigh
Specializing in locally sourced foods, Pullen Place, located in Pullen Park, offers a seasonally updated menu. Gluten-free options include nachos, hummus and chicken salad. Gluten-free beef hot dogs and taco salad are also available.

The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery
104 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh
Kids and parents can enjoy new gluten-free options at the Cupcake Shoppe Bakery each week. Every Friday and Saturday families can try a different kind of gluten-free cupcake. During the week, gluten-free cookies are available.

Tivi Jones writes about life, creative expression and personal experiments in self-improvement. Find her online at tivijones.com.

Categories: Family Fun, Family Health, Family Resource Guide, Food + Fun, GPS, Health, Lifestyle, Nutrition