Nowadays, gluten is considered the latest dietary bad boy. It is no wonder the demand for gluten-free products has increased significantly in Europe and in Luxembourg.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance (French: La maladie cœliaque; German: Zöliakie)
The gluten-free diet is the only treatment for people suffering from a celiac disease. The celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in the small intestine that occurs to genetically predisposed adults or children after the ingestion of gluten. The ingested gluten leads to damage in the lining of your gut and can cause abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and iron deficiency. This can provoke nutritional deficiencies if the individual has gluten intolerance, because gluten inhibits the optimal absorption of fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins.
How can you know if you are gluten intolerant?
It can be difficult to recognize if you are gluten intolerant, as the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. Celiac disease can be confused with irritable bowel syndrome, anemia, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic fatigue syndrome. As a result this disease has often been misdiagnosed. To find out if you are gluten intolerant go to your doctor and have him determine the level of gluten protein antibodies (IgA anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody, IgA anti-endomysial antibodies and IgA anti-gliadin antibodies) in your blood. Do not start a gluten-free diet before you do this test to make sure the doctor can correctly determine the amount of antibodies in your blood. If your doctor confirms you have a celiac disease the only treatment is a gluten-free diet.
Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change, and like everything new, it will take some getting used to. But try to stay positive and focus on all the wonderful foods you CAN consume. You can also consult a nutritionist or dietitian for some advice on how to make the switch more pleasant and how to avoid gluten while still eating a balancing diet.
Here are some gluten-free grains you can enjoy (the French and German terms in brackets):
- Buckwheat (sarrasin, Buchweizen)
- Corn and cornmeal (maïs, Mais)
- Flax (lin, Lein)
- Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
- Hominy (corn) (semoule de maïs, Maisbrei)
- Millet (millet, hirse)
- Sorghum (sorgho, sorgum)
- Soy (Soja)
You should always avoid the following grains, as they contain gluten:
- Barley (malt, malt flavouring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley) – (orge, Gerste)
- Rye (seigle, Roggen)
- Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
- Wheat (blé, Weizen)
- Bulgur (boulgour)
- Durum flour (Farine de blé dur, Hartweizenmehl)
- Farina (farine, Grießmehl)
- Graham flour (farine Graham, Graham Mehl)
- Semolina (semoule, Grieß)
- Spelt (épeautre, Dinkel)
Gluten-free restaurants and shops in Luxembourg
Below you can find a list with restaurants in Luxembourg that offer gluten-free dishes. You will be surprised how many restaurants offer that option. Just make sure you contact the restaurant one day before you visit, as some of them prepare g-free dishes only on request.
37, route du Vin L-5401 Ahn
10, rue de la Gare
YOYO – Indoor Playground and Restaurant
105 rue des Bruyeres L-1274 Howald
17 rue de Bonnevoie
149, rue de la Tour Jacob L-1831 Luxembourg
13, rue Edward Steichen L-2540 Luxembourg
Restaurant La Locanda
121, route de Thionville L-2611 Luxembourg
281, route d’Arlon L-8011 Strassen
Supermarkets and grocery stores offering gluten-free products
- Little Britain
- Cooperative de Bonnevoie
There are plenty more places where you can buy gluten-free products and where you can go out with friends for dinner. If you want to find out more about the gluten-free possibilities in Luxembourg, visit the website of the Luxembourgish Association for Gluten Intolerance under www.alig.lu