You may have heard of the gluten-free diet and have noticed a growing number of gluten-free foods in grocery stores and restaurants. It seems that the gluten-free diet is becoming more popular, but is this a good thing? Is a gluten-free diet healthy?

Gluten refers to the protein found in grains such as wheat, rye and barley. Common foods that contain gluten include bread, pizza, pasta, cereal, condiments, crackers, baked goods, and more.

Why would people want to follow a gluten-free diet in the first place? Some individuals have a hard time digesting it. Humans have digestive enzymes that help break down the food we eat, however some people’s bodies have a difficult time digesting some modern foods such as gluten. The grains that are being grown in North America today are processed, hybridized, and heavily sprayed with pesticides.

For some people, when undigested gluten enters their bloodstream and small intestine, it can trigger an autoimmune response or other unpleasant symptoms such as rashes, bloating, diarrhoea, headaches, brain fog, and more.

Following a gluten-free diet allows for the small intestine to heal so that undigested gluten, bacteria, or other substances no longer go through the gut lining and into the bloodstream.

Because gluten is found in grains, following a gluten-free diet would require you to replace the common foods such as cereals, granola bars, breads, and more. In this day and age, we are very lucky to have access to a ton of brands that make gluten-free products. This makes the transition less difficult and intimidating.

Although there are lots of products that are available, following a gluten-free diet creates a great opportunity to replace foods such as bread, pasta, and cereals with more nutrient-rich whole foods.

Here are some examples:

Breakfast: Swap your toast with an avocado and tomato slices with your eggs

Lunch: Swap your sandwich with a stir fry full of vegetables and protein

Dinner: Swap your spaghetti with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles

Following a gluten-free diet can be challenging at first, but the health benefits make it worthwhile. The benefits of incorporating more nutrient-rich whole foods include lower rates of heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.

Because whole foods are full of nutrients and fibre and are minimally processed, you can feel fuller for longer, your moods and energy levels can stabilize, and you can get in way more variety in your diet. Win-win-win!

These are all reasons that Festal Café, the gluten free restaurant in Vancouver, designed their menu with gluten-free ingredients. Although not everyone is sensitive to gluten, we believe that everyone can benefit from the gluten-free diet. Whether you’re currently following a gluten-free diet, are interested in trying it, or you just want to enjoy fun and tasty food, Festal Café has something for you!

We created all the classics with alternative nutrient-rich ingredients and the best part is that they taste just as good, if not better, than the “original”! Our most popular items include our gluten-free Hawaiian pizza, Spicy Chicken & Waffle Sandwich, Butternut Lasagne, and all of our baked good items including donuts, cookies, cakes, and more. Yes - they are all 100% gluten-free!

Come feast with us the Festal way at 433 Granville St. We’re available for Dine In, Takeout and Delivery.