Jan 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Gluten-free Pizza and Pasta for Celiac Disease

Aug 26, 2015 01:16 AM EDT

Celiac disease is a disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when food containing gluten is consumed. Based on statistics, in every 100 people 1 is affected.

Generally speaking, gluten is a protein found in wheat, grains, rye, and barley. They act as glue to keep food together. It may sound unfamiliar, but these are, in fact, found in foods we commonly eat every day like bread, soup, cereals, sauces, beer and pasta.

When people with celiac disease eat food containing gluten, they trigger an immune response that attacks the body's small intestine whose primary role is to absorb nutrients. A damaged intestine means the inability of the body to absorb nutrients.

Surprisingly, Italy, the land of pasta, spaghetti and penne, is a safe haven to people affected with the disease as this is one of the few places that offers and serves gluten-free meals. Rather than treating just as a fad diet, Italy deals with Celiac disease straightforwardly. In fact, screening for the disease is included before a child turns six. Children tested positive are given an additional €140 to their food budget. Furthermore, they have a law that entitles public places like schools and hospitals to cater foods free of gluten. And even their grocery stores have a separate section for gluten-free ingredients. This merely shows the wide acceptance and awareness of the country to the existing disease.

So for families with family members suffering from a celiac disease is in dire need of some rest and relaxation, then Italy can be a good stop. Just say the magic words "Senza glutine."

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