If you're just starting out on the diet, it's understandable to get confused and even bewildered by food labels and ingredients lists. Of course, there will be lots of foods that are off-limits on the gluten-free diet. However, there are also plenty of foods you CAN eat.
The following list, which I've broken down into eight categories (fruit and vegetables, meat, milk and dairy products, breads and snacks, dry goods and mixes, condiments, prepared foods and beverages) will explain what you need to know to choose safe products in each category.
On the last page, I've also summarized the list, so that you can print it out and take it to the grocery store (jump directly to the printable gluten-free food list on the last page). However, I recommend you read through the explanations on the preceding pages first, so that you have a firm idea of what to buy and what to avoid. It's just really easy to make a mistake, otherwise ... trust me, I know!
I also recommend that you take a look at a few other articles:
- Terms That Mean "Gluten" on Food Labels
- Does the FDA Require Manufacturers to Disclose Gluten Ingredients?
- FDA Gluten-Free Label Rules
- Why Foods Labeled "Gluten-Free" May Actually Contain Some Gluten
These articles provide more explanation of food labeling laws in the United States, and detail areas where you'll need to exercise caution in choosing products.
Don't feel like you need to master all of this overnight — there's too much involved and too steep a learning curve. But believe it or not, shopping for gluten-free food eventually will become second nature to you, and you'll know exactly which products to purchase without needing to refer to a list.
If you have questions as you begin this journey, post them on my Facebook page: I'm always happy to answer. In addition, consider signing up for my newsletter, which provides the latest news and tips on gluten-free living, or follow me on Twitter @AboutGlutenFree.
Good luck! Click "Next" below to access the first category, Fruit and Vegetables: