When her son was diagnosed with celiac disease, in which a person has trouble digesting foods that contain gluten, a protein found in products like bread and pasta, Karen Broussard quickly realized the challenges travelers have finding gluten-free options while on the road. So she started the website GlutenFreeTravelSite.com to help travelers maintain a gluten-free diet on the go.
Approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population has Celiac disease, although the majority remain undiagnosed. There's an additional 7 percent of the population estimated to be "gluten sensitive," according to Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research. Therefore, a total of about 25 million people in the US are negatively affected by gluten. For these people, finding safe food options can be challenging.
"You want to take a vacation from worrying. You want to be able to take a vacation without worrying about food," said Broussard.
GlutenFreeTravelSite.com provides tips and resources for travelers and their families for gluten-free travel and dining around the world. The site, which began four-and-a-half years ago, has recently unveiled a new design, which includes a guide to chain restaurants, restaurant reviews, and trip-planning resources. Only businesses that have been reviewed by a person on a gluten-free diet are included on the site.
Broussard emphasizes that planning ahead makes all the difference when dining out or traveling gluten-free.
"The ones who often have the best experience are those that plan ahead," said Broussard, who gave us her 12 tips for eating gluten-free on the road.
Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.