Gluten Free Shopping- Suggestions, Tips, and Tricks

As mentioned, gluten-free living isn’t just about avoiding the obvious forms of wheat, barley, and rye. It is avoiding ALL foods and products that come in contact with these food items as well.

Some examples of foods that contain gluten include:

  • Beer
  • Beverage mixes
  • Bologna
  • Candy (many candies are gluten-free, so read labels)
  • Canned baked beans
  • Cold cuts
  • Packaged cereals, even corn cereals
  • Commercially prepared broth
  • Commercially prepared chocolate milk
  • Commercially prepared soup
  • Custard
  • Envelopes
  • Fruit fillings
  • Gravy
  • Gum
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Potato chips
  • Salsa
  • Supplements/ Vitamins
  • Pudding
  • Root beer
  • Syrups
  • Salad dressing
  • Soy sauce
  • Vegetables with commercially prepared sauces
  • Oats
  • Latex gloves (they can be coated with starch)

Some additional tips when shopping include:

  • Avoid bulk food sections when possible as scoops can travel from gluten-containing items to GF items and GF items can be placed in the same empty bin that once contained gluten.
  • Use caution when buying deli meat and cheese as it can become contaminated when sliced. Ordering a gluten-free deli meat is futile if it is sliced in the same area/slicer as gluten-containing deli meat.
  • Avoid buying ice cream by the scoop from places like Baskin Robbins, Cold Stone Creamery, and other ice cream shops. Cross contamination can occur in these places when the ice cream scoop travels from a gluten containing ice cream (cookies n’ cream and cookie dough) to your gluten-free selection.
  • Avoid buying gluten-free baked items from bakeries or places like Starbucks. While many bakeries do have gluten-free options they can easily be contaminated when placed with non-gluten-free goods or cut on the same space as other goods. Buy individually wrapped items to avoid cross contamination.

Reading labels is the KEY to finding products that contain gluten
. When shopping, a simple way to save time is to become familiar with stores and products. Shop Gluten-Free sections for convenience when possible as all items in that section should be gluten free (however it is still a good idea to confirm by checking the label before adding the food to your cart). Some stores like Whole Foods, Market of Choice, Natural Grocers, and Trader Joes are making gluten-free shopping easier by posting tags near gluten-free items to make them easier to locate. When inspecting products, look for the GF label when possible to ensure that product has been tested for gluten contamination. While many foods don’t have a GF label, they may still be gluten-free. Always read ingredients and facility information to see if gluten is an ingredient and see if the product is manufactured with gluten. If it is manufactured in a facility that handles gluten it is best to avoid it; “when in doubt leave it out”. Another option when questioning the safety of food is to call the manufacturer to inquire about handling practices. Some food companies have implemented strict food handling practices to prevent cross contamination. It is always a good idea to research foods before eating if you aren’t sure about cross contamination or manufacturing practices.

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