Celiac disease is not rare—in fact, the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation estimates that although approximately 110,000 Canadians have been diagnosed, there are still about 220,000 who may be undiagnosed and have no idea they have it.[i]
What is Celiac Disease?
For those unfamiliar with celiac disease, here’s what the Mayo Clinic says about it:
“Celiac disease…is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction damages your small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). The intestinal damage often causes diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, bloating and anemia, and can lead to serious complications.
In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development, in addition to the symptoms seen in adults. There's no cure for celiac disease — but for most people, following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.”[ii]
Where to Eat Gluten-Free in Vancouver
If you have celiac disease, there are so many options that weren’t available even 5 or 10 years ago. In fact, Vancouver has made eating out super easy for those looking to avoid gluten.
Here are a few places in downtown Vancouver that we recommend you visit if you have celiac disease:
· The Smallflower Café: vegan-friendly lunch and baked goods (Gastown)
· The Wallflower Modern Diner: vegan-friendly breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner (East Van, Main Street)
· Gluten-Free Epicurean: baked goods (East Van)
· SMAK Fast Food: breakfast and lunch (Coal Harbour)
· Lemonade Gluten-Free Bakery: baked goods (South Cambie)
· Edible Flours: vegan baked goods (Kitsilano)
· Panne Rizo: lunch and baked goods (Kitsilano)
· Float-On Bakeshop and Café: brunch, lunch, baked goods (East Van)
· Meet on Main: lunch and dinner (East Van)
So happy eating! At Smallflower Café, we create vegan and gluten-free goodies daily, and if you’re not vegan? No worries! We also make a mean gluten-free, full-bacon BLT. For more information on our menu, visit our website.