Grocery Shopping

EFFICIENT GLUTEN-FREE GROCERY SHOPPING

Going shopping for groceries? If you are a Celiac or have one in the family here are some tips to remember

USEFUL SHOPPING TIPS

Concentrate on the fresh produce aisle

People following a Gluten-free diet should focus on fresh fruits and vegetables for delicious meals. Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits, use them in creative ways -safe, gluten-free and healthy!

Buying bread

Currently you can buy gluten-free bread. However keep in mind that gluten-free bread has very few preservatives so check the ‘use by’ date before buying. Check the fat and sugar content as well- gluten-free bread often has added sugar and fat to make up for the lack of gluten. Ideally buy bread fortified with folic acid, iron and B vitamins since Celiac affected folks are often deficient in these.

Beware of Cold Cuts

Some low-fat cold cuts have wheat-based fillers to replace lost fat. Always look for the ‘Gluten-Free’ label on the product before buying.

Dairy products - check for additives

If you are buying flavored dairy products, watch out for additives like malt or chocolate flavors -generally contraindicated in a gluten-free diet. Flavored yogurts, non-dairy creamers, and ice cream with added nuts and candy etc. are best avoided.

A SHORT GUIDE TO READING LABELS FROM A GLUTEN - FREE PERSPECTIVE

Completely Avoid
  • Food additives / ingredients that have wheat or related terms in the name indicate the definite presence of gluten - avoid at all costs.
  • Includes wheat in the name: wheat germ oil, hydrolyzed wheat starch, wheat flakes etc.
  • Different variations of wheat: Rava, Sooji (semolina), Daliya (Cracked wheat) bulgur, Couscous.
  • Different strains of wheat: Durum, Farro, Einkorn, Kamut - not often found on Indian food labels.
  • Triticum-latin name for wheat.
Other ingredients that need to be avoided.
  • Barley or Malt in the name -Barley water, Malt extract, Single malt, malt flavoring etc. Hordeum (Latin name for barley) .
  • Atta, Maida.
  • Flour: Refined flour, bleached flour, enriched flour, all-purpose flour etc.
  • Oats or Avea Sativa (Latin name for oats).
  • Rye or Secale cereale (Latin name for Rye).
  • Triticale - a cross between wheat and rye.
Be very cautious

If you counter these words, be alerted to the very strong possibility of gluten in the product

  • Breaded
  • Bran
  • Coated, edible coating
  • Cookie
  • Cereal
  • Cracker
  • Encrusted
  • Dusted
  • Crunchy
  • Filler
  • Thickener
  • Wafer
Suspicious looking additives

Commonly found additives that probably contain gluten. These could have been derived from gluten sources like wheat, barley, rye or non-gluten sources like corn, tapioca or potato.

  • Food additives with flavoring in the name like Artificial Flavor.
  • Food additives with vegetable in the name like hydrolyzed vegetable starch, vegetable protein, vegetable starch etc.
  • Food additives with color in the name like Artificial color, Caramel color etc.
  • Food additives with starch in the name like Edible Starch, Modified food starch, Pre-gelatinized starch
  • Dextrate
  • Dextrimaltose
  • Enzymes
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Golden syrup
  • Dried glucose syrup
  • Maltose & Maltodextrin
Points to note
  • Look for ‘Gluten-free’ on the label. Some manufacturers do label their products and this is very helpful.
  • Wheat-free does not mean gluten-free, the product may have rye or barley in it.
  • Even if the product does not contain gluten, it may still be contaminated with gluten by using processing equipment that was also used to process products containing gluten.
  • Read the labels carefully each time you buy a product, ingredients, suppliers or production facilities may have changed.
  • In case of doubt contact the manufacturer through the contact details given on the box and get the answer to your queries to avoid gluten mishaps.