Creating a list of gluten free groceries can be challenging when doing it for the first time. You have to be very cautious of the foods that you add on your list because there are many that may “seem” like they’re gluten-free, but they’re not. Oats are a prime example of a food that, even if it’s gluten-free, can have a negative impact on someone with celiac disease.
In the guide below, we’re going to outline the steps you can take to begin building your own gluten-free grocery list.
Research gluten-free brands before you buy
Certain brands should be added to a gluten free grocery list for beginners, but you need to do your own research here. You’ll want to find brands that:
• Seek third-party certification;
• Cater to the gluten-free community;
A few brands to consider are RUMMO for your pasta needs, Nutrifree for your bread and baking needs, and many others. You’ll want to find brands that you can trust and that take being gluten-free very seriously. It’s easier to shop for groceries when going gluten-free when you have a list of brands that you can rely on.
If you’re struggling to make a grocery list, consider shopping at a gluten free shop that only sells food items that are gluten-free. Using this approach, especially when just starting out, can help you build your grocery list.
Ask your friends or join a gluten-free Facebook group
Facebook may not be the best place to buy gluten free food, but the social media platform is a good place to find recommendations. You can log into your account and either ask your friends if they’re gluten-free and what they eat or search for Facebook groups for people who are gluten-free.
A few of the top groups and pages include:
• Gluten Free Living and Recipe Share;
• Gluten Free Foodees: Gluten-Free Living, Tips, And Recipes;
• Gluten Free Baking;
You can also search through the groups for yourself and find the ones that you like. There are many support groups that you can follow that will help you create your grocery list or at least answer your questions on whether a certain type of food item is a gluten-free product or not.
Read the label
Do you want a shortcut to making a gluten free shopping list? Learn to read the label. Here are a few of the tips that can help you make a grocery list much faster:
• Be cautious of a product that contains “traces of barley, rye, oats or wheat”;
• Avoid products that say they have “traces of gluten” or “low gluten”;
You’ll want to review labels for any certifications that it may have. A third-party certification, such as from the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, is a good indication that the product is gluten-free. Of course, you want to avoid any items that have barley, wheat, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast and maybe oats.
Oats may seem like a very healthy, great option for breakfast. However, the main issue with oats is that they’re often processed in the same factories that process:
You can find a few oat options that are labeled “gluten-free,” but when you look through the ingredients, you may notice something called “avenin.” While avenin is a protein and not gluten, it acts much like gluten.
If you don’t suffer from celiac disease, you don’t have much to worry about when eating this protein.
However, if you do have celiac disease, you’ll want to avoid avenin at first when going gluten-free. Later on, you can try avenin to see if it bothers you. Some research has found that avenin will not impact most celiac sufferers, but you don’t want to be one of the few that do experience side effects. The main side effect of avenin is inflammation.
Remember, wheat-free isn’t the same as gluten-free
When searching for gluten free food to buy, it’s easy to assume “wheat-free is the same as gluten-free.” Unfortunately, wheat-free may or may not be something that you can eat. Most experts recommend avoiding any foods that say they’re “wheat-free” because they’re often not safe for someone who has:
• Gluten sensitivity;
• Celiac disease.
Often, the product is free from wheat, but there are other sources of gluten in the food that can have a negative impact on you.
As you become more well-versed in being gluten-free, you will have the knowledge to determine which wheat-free items are safe for you to eat.
Buying gluten free is a learning process, and you’ll need to take your time to understand what you can and can’t eat. However, the learning process can also be very satisfying when you begin to feel better and remove the gluten from your diet.