We all know that takeaway foods are an easy solution for those times when we just don’t have the time to cook. However, even if you only indulge occasionally, what goes into your takeaway can be particularly bad news if you have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant.
In addition to containing some not-so-healthy ingredients such as high levels of fat, salt, high-fructose corn syrup and monosodium glutamate (MSG), many common takeaways will also trigger your coeliac symptoms, making your treat meal not so much of a treat!
So if you have coeliac disease or are gluten intolerant, here are a few key things to look out for when indulging in a takeaway.
Indian food is the second most popular type of takeaway in the UK. The main items to steer clear of here are bread-based foods such as naan. Traditional poppadoms tend to be gluten-free, so are a better option, but you need to double-check with the restaurant regarding cross-contamination, especially if they’re cooked in the same oil as other foods containing gluten. You’d also be wise to check about the sauces in your dish, just to make sure all the ingredients are gluten-free.
Pizza is also a very popular UK takeaway option, and since most traditional pizza bases are made using wheat flour, you should avoid them at all costs. However, with takeaway establishments becoming more aware of coeliac disease and food intolerances, many are now offering gluten-free pizza on their menus. Domino’s, for example, has a gluten-free crust option, and Pizza Hut and Pizza Express also offer gluten-free bases.
Fast-food takeaway meals such as the classic burger and chips also have many limitations where gluten is concerned. However, even fast-food giants like McDonalds are starting to cater with a little more awareness and offer a selection of gluten-free products, including French fries, hash browns and salads. It’s important to be aware, though, that McDonalds says it cannot guarantee these foods will not be subject to cross-contamination (and this is something you should definitely consider and be cautious of with any type of takeaway).
Fish and chips is another British classic, and comes up again and again in our surveys as one of the meals you miss most after going gluten-free. The good news is that more and more local chippies are offering gluten-free fish and chips, at least occasionally, and according to our fans, some of them are quite tasty! If you see gluten-free fish and chips on offer at your local, then, go ahead and rejoice – but you might also want to double-check with the owner that he’s using a dedicated fryer for your dinner, with new oil that hasn’t been used to fry anything else. Check out our guide to gluten free chippy’s here.
We all know how appealing a Chinese takeaway on a Saturday night can be! It also happens to be the number one takeaway choice in the UK. The key foods you need to avoid when ordering are wheat noodles and soy sauce, and despite the fact that meat, fish and vegetables are naturally gluten-free, you should also check or request that they are not cooked in any soy sauce or oil that has been used to fry other foods.
Even if you remove the gluten from the classic takeaway favourites, though, many of them still don’t provide great nutritional value. That’s one big reason ilumi have now created a Chinese Takeaway range, which offers the convenience factor and the confidence of being guaranteed gluten-free, in addition to tasting even better than your regular takeaway. Plus, our meals are a good deal healthier!
For a limited time*, you can get three Chinese meals for the price of two just in time for Chinese New Year. Click here to visit our Chinese cuisine page and once you’ve chosen your meals use the code: CHINESENY at the checkout.
Offer ends midnight Monday 8th Feb 2016.
Offer subject to stock availability.