Gluten-free shopping guide
When shopping for gluten-free there are some tips that will make your shopping trip more efficient and safely gluten-free.
One of the first things to think about is the store layout. The perimeter of the store usually offers foods that are generally gluten-free and safe. If you think about what is usually on the perimeter of the store are your fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, even the deli – yes even the deli counter can be safe. In many ways using the perimeter of the store as your main shopping area you are also eating healthier. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh meats, poultry and fish tend to be lower in fat and higher in fiber, and vitamins and minerals.
So let’s take a trip around the store to highlight safe, easy gluten-free shopping.
First stop is the fruit and vegetable section.
Be sure to include many of the fruits and vegetables that are dark green, deep orange, red and purple in your diet. The Food Guide recommends at least five servings from the fruit and vegetable each day.
Second stop is the meat, fish and poultry section.
Fresh meats, poultry and fish are rich sources of protein, minerals, and fish is even a source of the good fats. Be sure to avoid any marinated, coated or self basting style of meats, poultry or fish. There is even some more good news – yes, the deli counter can also be safe. Just be sure to stay with plain meats and cheeses. Avoid mixed salads or composite meats where the ingredients may be questionable.
The third section is the dairy.
Even more good news! Milk, cheeses, yogurt, butter, and eggs are all safe. Stick to the full milk or skim milk based products rather than a fat free version. In many “diet” or fat free foods something must be added back in when the fat is removed. So as long as you choose skim milk based cheeses you can limit the fat without worrying about the safety of the foods.
The next section in most stores is the bakery – well just think of all the calories you’ll save by just going right past all those baked products!
Now although we have filled up your grocery cart with healthy food choices there are a few more items that we need to fill out a week’s menu. On to the interior of the store.
Stay with the plain frozen fruits, vegetables and meat products. Avoid the butter, cream sauces, or other seasonings. This is a great place to get vegetables and fruits that may be out of season but add good nutrients and a fresh flavor to your meals.
Canned and dried foods:
Dried fruits, beans, nuts, and grains are usually safe. Remember to stick with the plain foods no extra seasoning or sauces. Dried beans are an excellent and inexpensive source of protein, minerals and B vitamins. The whole gluten free grains such as buckwheat, quinoa or even wild rice offer nutritious and inexpensive additions to any meal.
Canned fruits and vegetables, beans, juices, and fruit sauces are usually safe and offer great variety and taste to the menu. Be sure to avoid those in any type of cream or butter sauces. Canned soups can be tricky as some have wheat added as a thickener.
Paper and personal products:
There has been a lot of talk about the safety of personal products and paper products with glue. The truth of the matter is that unless you are ingesting your shampoo or lotion, these products are safe. Gluten is not absorbed through the skin; it must be ingested for any intestinal reaction to occur. Now if you have little ones who may accidently drink the bath bubbles, then choosing gluten free products would be a safer choice. There are a variety of manufacturers who specifically make gluten free products for little ones.
Now the glue on paper products and even envelops and stamps does not contain gluten – but for general safety issues most manufactures would not recommend licking the envelops even for those without celiac disease.
So we have successfully navigated through the grocery store and have a plethora of wholesome, healthy and naturally gluten-free products. This will enable you to create meals for the entire family that will be familiar, easy to prepare, and deliciously gluten-free.