Gluten Free Shopping needn?t be complicated. As a general rule anything containing wheat, rye and barley contains gluten. Gluten is the protein part of the grains. Professional food nutritionists recommend that as part of a well balanced diet, you should eat these foods and 95 of the population this is not the case. People with a Gluten intolerance, or the more serious condition known as Celiacs Disease, gluten is definitely not good, and knowing how to shop gluten free is essential. If you are one of the 5%, then eating food containing gluten can trigger of a reaction in your small intestine which becomes inflamed and stops being able to process your food properly, it can no longer absorb nutrients efficiently. This triggers off all sorts of unpleasant side-affects including; micronutrient deficiencies, weight loss, bloating, gas, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue and even anaemia. The only real remedy to this is to cut gluten out of your diet and to do this you will need to learn to shop gluten free.
Ingredients to Avoid
Like I said before gluten free shopping should be simple, all you have to do is avoid anything that contains grain. Unfortunately, grains are a staple of everyone?s diet, in most of the products that line the super market shelves. And to make it even harder you can?t always tell which products have gluten in, even by looking at the ingredients!
Some foods that should always be avoided are; flour, malt, malted beverages like Ovaltine, bread crumbs, bread, rolls, biscuits, cakes, muffins, crackers, pancakes, pasta, waffles, gravy, cookies, croutons, bread pudding, meatloaf and meatballs.
The difficulty comes when buying processed foods. Things like; tinned soup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, ice cream, yogurt, potato chips, popcorn, cereals, burgers, sour cream and hot dogs, use gluten to bulk them out or stabilize them. Flavouring, emulsifier, hydrolyzed, plant protein or starch, all contain gluten and if a product you are looking to buy contains any of these you had better cross it off your gluten free list.
Products you can eat. The more you shop for gluten free foods the easier it gets because you learn more about the foods which are safe to eat. Again I?ll put a general rule in here and say that any food which hasn?t been processed or manufactured is a lot less likely to contain gluten. Foods such as milk, cream, most cheeses, white vinegar, olive oil, unprocessed meat, poultry and seafood, eggs, beans, peas, butter, margarine, honey, sugar, wild rice, fruit juice and all fresh fruits and vegetables don?t have gluten in them. While going gluten free does involve some dietary restrictions eating a varied and exciting diet is still perfectly feasible, in fact you will find that a gluten free diet is a very healthy one indeed.
Where to shop for gluten free food and ingredients
In their natural state most foods are gluten free and you should have no problem picking them up from your local food market without too much trouble. If you live near a whole food store then you are in luck, these are veritable gold mines for gluten free products. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on which side of the fence you sit, most grocery stores and super markets now allocate whole sections to gluten free products. Health food shops are also a great source of good gluten free products.