Gluten Free Philippines
Gluten allergy & Celiac disease are unheard of in the Philippines. Good thing the country is abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables and various kinds of seafood. Click To Tweet

The Philippines, being an archipelago, is composed of more than 7,000 islands. Only 2,000 of these islands are inhabited. With the geographic makeup, expect that each group of islands or regions have their own versions of a certain dish.

Spanish, Chinese, Malay and Indian cooking, influence most of the local dishes. The Philippines has strong ties with the US, so it is more westernized than the rest of Southeast Asia. Most people can understand and can speak English well.

Gluten Free Philippines: Is it Friendly to Celiacs and those with Gluten Sensitivity?

Unfortunately, “gluten”, “gluten sensitivity”, “gluten allergy” and “Celiac disease” are unknown to the rest of the country. Either those few who are aware suffers from the condition or a family member does. Some well-travelled lot and those educated abroad might be familiar with Celiac disease and/or gluten free products.

In Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, you would not have any trouble finding gluten free restaurants. Here are several of them.

Corner Tree Café

Address: 150 Jupiter, Makati, 1209 Metro Manila, Philippines

Corner Tree Café is both vegan and gluten free, so you’ll find dishes on their menu either with a (V), (VO) or a (V, GF). They serve gluten free soups, salads, a combination of Western, Mediterranean and Asian main dishes, Filipino dishes, and desserts. They also serve wine and cocktails. Just make sure to inform them that you’re allergic to gluten so they can prepare the cocktails carefully without gluten contamination.

Susi

Address: Forbes Town Center, Burgos Cir, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila, Philippines

Susi (key in Filipino) is the first 100% vegan and gluten free restaurant in the Philippines. They serve gluten free appetizers, main courses and desserts. Some of the must-try dishes include the “Carb-No-Nara” (Alfredo pasta), “El Chimichurri” (beet burger with chimichurri),  “Faux Gras” (smoked mushroom pate), “Roygbiv” (colorful salad with homemade Teriyaki dressing), “Emerson” (lentil mushroom loaf with mashed potato and gravy and Ratatouille), and “Quinotto” (teriyaki quinoa risotto).

For desserts, try their “Cacao that Cares” (chocolate pear tart with dark chocolate ganache), “Eat Your Feelings” (dark chocolate cake with walnuts), and the “Berry White” (almond-coconut based strawberry tart).

The Wholesome Table

Address: (BGC branch) 30th St Corner 7th Ave, Bonifacio High Street Central, Taguig, Metro Manila, Philippines

               (Makati branch) GF Infinity Tower, H.V. Dela Costa corner Leviste St, Salcedo Village, Makati, Philippines

The Wholesome Table uses all organic ingredients from local sources. Their menu includes vegetarian (V), vegan (VGN), nut-free (NF), dairy-free (DF) and gluten-free (GF) selections. They serve breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. They also have gluten free desserts like GF chocolate cake, mango cheesecake, cookies n’ cream cheesecake, yoghurt pannacotta and crème Brulee.

The Wholesome Table has two branches – one in Bonifacio Global Center and the other in Salcedo Village in Makati. Make sure to check the menu on their website as it constantly evolves depending on the availability/ seasonality of ingredients. They also serve pizza, using local ingredients (clams on pizza, anyone?). Too bad, it’s not gluten free pizza, Manila and the rest of the Philippnes would have enjoyed it so much.

 

Edgy Veggy

Address: Brixton St, Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines

Edgy Veggy is a café that also offers delivery services around Manila. They have gluten free starters, soups, salads, noodles, steaks and main dishes. They also have special menus for those on Ketogenic, Thrive, Keto-Thrive, Vegan-Thrive, Vege-Keto and High Prana diets.

Jertie’s Kitchen

Jertie’s Kitchen is not actually a restaurant. However, they do sell vegan and gluten free cakes, desserts and meals. They often participate in food expos and events and even conduct cooking workshops and wellness seminars. Among their products include brownies, cookies, granola balls and cakes. You can also purchase their products online or in healthy restaurants where they consign their cakes and pastries.

Gluten Free Stores and Brands

In major cities such as Manila and Cebu, there are health shops and major supermarkets carrying gluten free food such as Healthy Options and the US brand Uncle Bob’s. In Manila, there is a gluten free baker, Amores, that sells pre-ordered breads and pastries. There’s also an online store selling gluten free products, Gerald.ph.

Additional information:

There is no direct translation of gluten in Filipino. So it would be best to say “bawal” (not allowed) or “allergic” to harina (flour), toyo (soy sauce), bulgur, oats, broth cubes, tokwa (tofu), tinapay (bread). Pansit or meke (rice noodles) may sometimes contain wheat flour, so avoid eating them to be safe. Steer clear of lumpia (spring rolls) and any dumplings as well.

Note: While plain tofu is generally gluten-free, there are flavoured/ marinated varieties that may contain gluten. Tofu dishes in the Philippines are commonly seasoned with soy sauce.

Most places sell fresh fruits and vegetables. In case you want to go backpacking, you can easily buy them in stalls and farmer’s markets. White rice is a staple and can be bought pretty much anywhere. Be cautious with most Filipino dishes as they commonly contain soy sauce, broth cubes and powdered seasonings. Native Filipino desserts are fairly safe though as they are mostly made from glutinous rice, coconut, coconut milk/cream and cassava.

Is the Philippines on your travel radar? Plan your trip early and stock up on gluten free snacks especially when going on a backpacking trip around the islands. We hope our article on Gluten Free Philippines is of great help to your travel planning.

Gluten Free Alcohol What You Need to Know
There are some alcoholic drinks which you’ll definitely need to avoid when you’re on a gluten free diet, such as beers, stouts, lagers and ales. These drinks are made from derivatives which contain gluten and aren’t safe for those on… Click To Tweet

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, one of your first questions might be: is there gluten in alcohol? This question isn’t a simple one to answer, as there are so many different types of alcohol available, some of which contain gluten and must be avoided, and some of which are completely, naturally, gluten-free and can be enjoyed! Here’s what you need to know about gluten and alcoholic drinks.

 

What You Need to Know About Alcohol and Gluten

There are some alcoholic drinks which you’ll definitely need to avoid when you’re on a gluten free diet, such as beers, stouts, lagers and ales. These drinks are made from derivatives which contain gluten and aren’t safe for those on a gluten free diet. However, gluten-free varieties are available. You might just need to search for them. However, there are plenty of alcoholic drinks which don’t contain gluten, so you won’t need to skip the bar on your new diet. Here are a few to consider.

 

Naturally Gluten Free Alcohol

Naturally, gluten free alcoholic drinks include cider, wine sherry, port and liqueurs. As spirits are distilled during the manufacturing process, most of these are also naturally gluten free. Even spirits which are made from cereals that contain gluten, for example, whiskeys which are made with barley, are actually gluten free by the time they become spirits, as the distilling process removes any traces of gluten which might otherwise have been in the drink.

Of course, some spirits are derived from ingredients which are naturally gluten free anyway, so there definitely won’t be any gluten in the end product in these cases. The spirits you can enjoy without concern include rum, tequila and vodka, which is made from potatoes.

 

Is There Gluten in Wine?

If you’re a bit of a wine connoisseur you’ll be delighted to learn that wine is typically gluten free, and totally safe for those with intolerances or coeliac disease. The only thing you need to be aware of is that gluten may get into your wine through the ageing process. It’s because winemakers might use gluten ingredients (flour or wheat paste) to seal barrels of wine as they age. This may result in a tiny amount of gluten being present in the end product, which is unlikely to affect those with intolerances but could be enough to make someone with coeliac disease sick.

You’ll need to check if any colourings or flavourings have been added to the wine which might contain gluten – this is something to be aware of particularly if you’re enjoying a glass of dessert wine. However, most wine is absolutely safe for coeliacs and those with intolerances to enjoy – so you won’t need to miss out on that wine tasting!

 

A Gluten-Free Alternative to Beer

If you’re missing beer on your gluten free diet why not try cider instead? Cider is a great alternative to beer, as it’s not brewed with wheat barley or rye – it uses apples instead. Always make sure you check the ingredients of any cider you’d like to try though, as some might not be 100% gluten free.

 

Enjoy Gluten Free Alcohol in Moderation

Remember though, gluten free alcohol still needs to be enjoyed in moderation! That means no more than 14 units per week. Those 14 units are equivalent to six glasses of wine, six pints of gluten free beer, or 14 small shots of gluten free spirits. Cheers to that!

Gluten Free Rome
Good cuisine doesn’t have to be a distant memory for those who suffer from gluten intolerance. Click To Tweet

Rome has a lot to offer its visitors: historically-rich monuments, breathtakingly beautiful architecture, incredible designer fashion and (best of all) deliciously drool-worthy food! Despite being known for its gluten-heavy pasta, pizzas and breads, Rome is an excellent place for coeliac foodies to visit, with a huge number of gluten free restaurants delivering traditional Italian cuisine without the gluten.

Top 5 gluten free restaurants in Rome

Il Viaggio

Address: Via Isonzo, 14

With a mission statement of “Good cuisine doesn’t have to be a distant memory for those who suffer from gluten intolerance”, you know a meal at Il Viaggio is going to be amazing. Both the standard and the gluten free menus offer the same delectable dishes and the kitchen is strict when it comes to using separate utensils to avoid cross-contamination.

Choose from classics such as spaghetti with clams and tiramisu or be adventurous and order veal salad with a sweet mustard sauce followed by sesame salmon with crunchy vegetables. If you want to get more involved, you can even sign up for their gluten-free cooking classes!

La Soffitta Renovatio

Address: Piazza del Risorgimento, 46/A

One of the best gluten free restaurants in Rome for pizza lovers, La Soffitta Renovatio is certified gluten free by the AIC (Associazione Italiana Celiachia) and specialises in thin and crispy Roman-style pizzas.

Other gluten free delights include amazing gnocchi, incredible calzones, a vast selection of antipasti and truly decadent cheesecake. La Soffitta Renovatio is situated just a short distance away from the Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Square, making it the ideal place to stop for lunch when you’re sightseeing.

Voglia di Pizza

Address: Via dei Giubbonari, 33

Another excellent choice for gluten free pizza, Voglia di Pizza serves up all the traditional types of oven-fired pizza, like Napoli, marinara and Margherita, as well as super-creative pizzas made with exciting, flavour-packed ingredients such as pancetta, German sausages and brie.

There’s also a great selection of gluten free desserts, including an incredibly rich and creamy tiramisu. One of the best things about this restaurant is that the prices are very reasonable and the gluten free pizzas cost the same as the regular ones!

Sans de Blé

Address: Via G. Chiabrera 58/C

When a sweet craving hits, pop into Sans de Blé and pair a deliciously frothy cappuccino with one of their amazing gluten free goodies. From sweet cakes, biscuits, pastries, doughnuts, meringues and tarts to savoury sandwiches, pizza, muffins and bread, this bakery has got everything to give you the extra energy you need to carry on exploring the city. Absolutely everything is gluten free, so you can order whatever you like and not have to worry about the consequences!

Zuma

Address: Palazzo Fendi, Via Della Fontanella di Borghese, 48

One of the more unusual gluten free restaurants in Rome, Zuma serves up a fantastic fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisine. From the fancy décor which combines elegant Japanese design with glamorous Italian cinema to the menu brimming with delights such as roasted lobster with green chilli butter and spicy beef tenderloin with sesame and sweet soy sauce, everything about Zuma is the perfect balance of Asian-Mediterranean and offers a delectable insight into the city’s developing international food scene.

Rome might not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of travel destinations for anyone avoiding gluten. But the city’s impressive knowledge of coeliac disease and their almost constantly expanding range of gluten free restaurants make being gluten free in Rome easy!

The Signs and Symptoms Coeliac Disease
Gluten or wheat intolerance, IBS or even stress may present with typical celiac disease symptoms. Click To Tweet

Coeliac disease is a serious condition, caused by a reaction to gluten. The lifelong autoimmune disease affects 1 in 100 people and can cause a variety of different signs and symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. Coeliac disease is treatable through a gluten free diet, so if you’re suffering from any of these symptoms make sure you speak to your doctor as soon as you can. Here are the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease in adults to look out for if you think you, or a family member, may be suffering from coeliac disease.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Coeliac Disease?

Severe or occasional diarrhoea

It’s normal to get diarrhoea from time to time, but if a person is regularly experiencing this complaint then it’s possible that coeliac disease could be the culprit.

Excessive wind and bloating

Usually experienced with the typical bloating that coeliacs will suffer with, this unpleasant symptom is a well-known problem caused by celiac disease.

Constipation

Research has shown that 15% of coeliac patients experience constipation rather than diarrhoea. This symptom of celiac disease can reduce a person’s ability to eliminate toxins from the body, and cause pain and fatigue.

Nausea, vomiting and stomach pain

The inflammation of the small intestine caused by celiac disease can lead to nausea and vomiting, as the intestine struggles to absorb nutrients.

Iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency

Those with undiagnosed celiac disease typically suffer from deficiencies such as iron deficiency, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies, as their bodies are unable to absorb the vitamins and minerals in their food.

Anaemia

Vitamin deficiencies often lead to anaemia, due to malabsorption. This can cause a person to feel tired, fatigued or weak, and can also present in a shortness of breath.

Mouth ulcers

Along with the intestines, coeliac disease also attacks other soft tissues in the body, and that includes the mouth. Mouth ulcers are a well known symptom, linked to deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Tooth enamel problems may also be present in sufferers.

Hair loss

Coeliac disease can damage a patient’s hair. The damage can be mild, causing thin, limp hair, or more severe, even leading to alopecia. It’s all down to the nutritional deficiencies a sufferer will have.

Skin rash (this is called dermatitis herpetiformis)

Dermatitis herpetiformis is an immediately recognisable skin rash caused by coeliac disease. The rash affects around 1 in 3,300 people and causes red, raised patches on the skin, severe itching and stinging.

Depression

It may surprise you to learn that coeliac disease can also be linked to psychological symptoms, the main one being depression. This can be a serious symptom of coeliac disease, which should be treated as soon as possible.

Liver abnormalities

Many coeliac disease patients suffer from liver problems, which can range from fatty liver disease to severe liver failure.

Neurological problems

Celiac complications can lead to nerve conditions, which include Ataxia, which is a loss of coordination and poor balance, and peripheral neuropathy, a condition which causes numbness and tingling in the hands and feet of sufferers.

 

Other Conditions Which Can Be Mistaken for Coeliac Disease:

As coeliac disease causes a wide range of different symptoms, and sufferers may present with just one, a few, or many of these symptoms at any one time, it is possible that other conditions can be mistaken for celiac disease. Typical celiac disease symptoms may be caused by less serious problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome, gluten or wheat intolerance or even stress.

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Are you suffering from celiac disease symptoms? If you are worried that you’re struggling with any of the symptoms we’ve mentioned and think you might have coeliac disease, make sure you speak to your doctor as soon as you can. And remember, if you are diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s not the end of the world! Just check out some of our amazing gluten-free destinations to see where you could be enjoying delicious gluten free food.

Do I Need Gluten Free Makeup_
Most makeup contain hydrolysed wheat protein which, even though processed, still contains gluten. Click To Tweet

If you have coeliac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, it’s not just food and drinks you need to be careful with – it’s makeup, too. From foundation and primer to eyeshadow and lip gloss, a lot of makeup contains gluten. And since makeup ingredients mostly consist of complex chemical names, it can be tough to tell the difference between gluten free makeup and non-gluten free makeup.

Why do I need gluten free cosmetics?

The easiest way gluten gets into your system through makeup is by using lip products (such as lipstick, lip stain, lip gloss, lip liner, etc.) which contain gluten. You apply the product to your lips in the morning and throughout the rest of the day, you ingest small amounts of it pretty much constantly. And it’s not only through lipstick you to accidentally consume gluten.

It’s almost impossible to put anything on your face without ingesting a small amount. Picture yourself putting on your moisturiser or foundation. Can you be 100% certain you didn’t get even a tiny bit on your lips? We’re betting the answer’s ‘no’.

The risk of consuming gluten through your makeup doesn’t stop after you’ve applied it. If you touch any part of your face while wearing makeup and then eat something shortly after with your hands (without washing them in between) that’s another sure-fire way you’re consuming gluten without meaning to.

You might think to ingest such small amounts of gluten through makeup wouldn’t have any effect, but think about gluten cross-contamination in food. If gluten free food products are so much as made in the same factory as non-gluten free products, they can cause terrible reactions in people who are particularly sensitive to gluten.

The same goes for makeup. Even if the product is entirely gluten free, it can still cause you problems if it’s made in the same factory as makeup which contains gluten.

Is makeup gluten free?

While not all makeup contains gluten or is made in factories with products which contain gluten, the majority of makeup is not gluten free. Most items contain hydrolysed wheat protein which, even though it’s processed, still contains gluten. If you’re following a strictly gluten free diet, it’s really not worth the risk of using makeup that isn’t certified as gluten free.

But don’t worry: the alternative isn’t to go the rest of your life without cosmetics. (Although you might have to ditch your favourite brands if they contain gluten.) The alternative is to find some gluten free cosmetics and gluten free toiletries brands you love and treat yourself to a whole new set of products!

Gluten free makeup brands

As gluten allergies and intolerances are coming more into the public eye, gluten free cosmetics are growing in popularity. Here’s a list of gluten free cosmetics brands that guarantee all their products are completely gluten free and made in environments which contain no gluten:

  • Afterglow Cosmetics
  • Anne Marie Gianni
  • Au Naturale Cosmetics
  • BITE Beauty
  • Ecco Bella
  • Gabriel Cosmetics
  • Keeki Pure & Simple
  • Kiss Freely
  • Pure SKYN
  • Red Apple Lipstick
  • Root Pretty
  • Zuzu Luxe

Do I need gluten free makeup? – Takeaway

If you’re highly sensitive to gluten, the answer is a resounding yes – you do need gluten free makeup. Check out the gluten free cosmetics companies listed above and try out some of their products. Not only will you have the fun of playing around with new makeup, but you’ll also be able to relax, knowing that there’s no way your makeup is negatively affecting your health.