Shopping for gluten-free foods can be inexpensive and fairly easy. Follow these nine steps for successful gluten-free shopping:
1. Learn Naturally Gluten-Free Foods. Only foods containing wheat, barley, rye and oats contain gluten. All unprocessed meat, poultry, seafood, fish, eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and grains like corn and rice are naturally gluten-free. This list of Safe Foods will help you.
2. Learn Gluten Code Words. Flour, rye and oat bran are obvious, but learn other names, like seitan, vegetable protein and malt, as well as common hiding spots, like sauces and coatings. Follow this helpful list of Hidden Ingredients.
3. Read Ingredient Labels Every Time. Ingredients can change. You may find a food you counted on for months now lists barley malt as an ingredient. Reading every label may seem like a lot of work, but you'll find you zip through them before long...and your body will thank you.
4. Beyond Ingredient Lists. Many processed foods, especially snacks, are prepared on shared lines with gluten-containing foods. If you have any question whether a food contains gluten, call the company's 1-800 number, search online or ask a manager when trying a new food.
5. Call the Company. Customer service people are quick to help and want to hear from you. They may even send you coupons!
6. Knowledge is Power. The more you know, the better your diet will become, the less mistakes you will make and the healthier and happier you will be.
7. Preparation is Key to Saving Time and Money. Review gluten-free foods online. Make your shopping list ahead of time. Clip your coupons and stock up when your favorite items go on sale. Don’t shop when you are hungry.
8. Be Patient. You will mess up. It happens. Remember, gluten makes us sick, and it's harder to think and do things when we're sick. As time goes on and you recover your health, you'll find you make less and less mistakes while your shopping trips become easier and easier.
9. Stay Positive. You WILL become a gluten-free shopping pro! :)
Are YOU a gluten-free shopping pro? What steps do you take to make your gluten-free shopping trips successful??
Please comment below. Your advice will help others!