Going on a gluten-free diet whether just because you want to or you are gluten-free due to a medical condition, requires you to shop for foods that do not contain gluten. Going grocery shopping is often a headache for people on regular diets, so imagine the time-consumption of having to shop for just gluten-free products. While shopping for gluten-free products might be more difficult, it is something you need to learn about before really getting involved with the gluten-free diet to ensure you understand what you are looking at and for. If you have just started the gluten-free diet then you probably need a little guidance on what you need to do when going to the grocery store to ensure you are following the diet rules exactly.
Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping Tips
Read the Labels on Everything at All Times- If you are on a gluten-free diet then one thing you have to do all of the time is read the labels on the products you are buying. You also need to know what to look for in each of the foods you purchase. Obviously any products containing gluten in the ingredients are off limits and that includes products that contain wheat or wheat-based ingredients. You will have to read the ingredients and labels of each and every product every time you shop, as the ingredients can change from one trip to another. If you are new to the gluten-free diet you can print off the lists of the ingredients that you need to avoid and there are also many apps that have these lists.
Never Get Content with Products- While this was mentioned a little bit in the previous tip, it is important that you do not get content with any products, and always check the labels before you buy them. This is important because as mentioned, companies and various manufacturers can change their ingredient labels and change what they use for a product rather quickly. Even if it is a product you have been purchasing for weeks, months, or years, you will still need to check the label to ensure that it is still gluten-free and that nothing changed with how the product was made. Sometimes manufacturers change up the ingredients or use a different company to supply an ingredient, so you always should verify the ingredients before you make the purchase even on those products you think or believe are safe for a gluten-free diet.
Wheat-Free is Not Always Gluten-Free– While it might seem like it goes together, wheat-free and gluten-free are not always the same thing. Gluten is found in other products like barely and rye, and these products might say “wheat-free” when in reality they still contain gluten and should be avoided if you are on a gluten-free diet. While it is not a trick per se, it is something that people on a gluten-free diet need to watch out for because you cannot just rely on the package saying wheat-free since it can at times not be talking about other gluten-containing products.
Perimeter Shopping of Aisles- What a lot of people don’t know is that the perimeter of the store is typically where the gluten-free products are. You want to shop here because there is also a lot of fruits and vegetables in this area, along with those products labeled gluten-free. If you do not see the gluten-free products around the perimeter of the store, you might want to ask an employee because a lot of stores now are also devoting many aisles to gluten-free products as well. You might find some of the basic products in the perimeter aisles and then find even more products down in another area of the store too, so always look to see if there are more sections devoted to gluten-free shopping at your store.
The best thing to do if you are shopping gluten-free for the first time is to take a list of off-limit products with you and also load up your smartphone with apps that can help you shop for the products you need. Pretty soon you will know what you need to look for in the labels with some practice.
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