Beat the overwhelm of eating gluten-free with this simplified gluten-free grocery list and tips for easy shopping. While eating gluten-free may feel like you’re flipping your life upside down, having a helpful guide can make the transition a breeze.
Read this article for 10 easy gluten-free grocery shopping tips and a printable grocery list to jump-start your gluten-free life!
Gluten-free Grocery List + Tips:
1. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store first.
The perimeter of the grocery store is where you’ll find fresh produce, meats, dairy products, and other naturally gluten-free foods. These are also healthier choices since they are whole and unprocessed.
If you do come across processed or packaged versions of whole foods, check the ingredients label to make sure there is no added starch, wheat, or gluten-containing ingredients.
2. Keep it simple – whole foods and products with few ingredients are best.
Once you picked up your fresh whole foods look for minimal ingredient products. These include nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cheese (if you can eat dairy), coconut milk, plain teas, and coffee. Even minimal ingredient foods can have added flavorings, spice blends, and gluten, so remember to read the ingredients label.
3. Shop with a gluten-free grocery list.
Walking into a supermarket without a plan can be overwhelming! Chances are you need to change your usual routine now that you eat strictly gluten-free.
We provide a gluten-free grocery list in the VgF Free Resource Library! It includes healthy, gluten-free items and replacements that are easy to find, easy to cook, and absolutely delicious.
4. Have a plan for suspicious ingredients.
If you find a product with questionable ingredients, take a picture of the name and bar code area. Be sure the numbers around the bar code are clear so you can read them off to the company when you call.
If your grocery store has a return policy, you can also purchase the product first with the plan to return it if needed.
5. Find the gluten-free section.
While it’s healthiest to buy mostly whole foods, you can replace bread, crackers, cookies, and other treats with gluten-free versions. Most supermarkets have a section reserved for gluten-free products. Ask a sales clerk if you can’t locate them yourself.
6. Research gluten-free brands beforehand.
In the USA, common gluten-free brands include Pamela’s, Glutenfreeda, Canyon Bakehouse, Udi’s, Enjoy Life, and Glutino. In Europe, you can rely on Schaer products and other region-specific brands.
Help us out: Add your favorite gluten-free brands and the location(s) they’re available in the comments below this article!
7. Avoid bulk bins.
Nuts, grains, seeds, flours, and more can be found in the bulk bins at lower prices than the packaged versions. However, products in these bins are switched and customers use scoops for multiple products leading to serious risk of cross-contact.
If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to small amounts of gluten, avoid the bulk bins.
8. Watch out for deli meats and dairy products.
Whether packaged or from the meat counter, deli meats often have added flavorings and preservatives. Stick to safe gluten-free brands (like Applegate Farms, USA) and always read the ingredients label.
At the meat counter, be aware of cross-contact on the meat slicer and preparation surfaces. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and advocate for your needs.
Tip: Visit the meat counter at a quiet time of day so you can ask questions.
Dairy products can have additives too – be sure to check the ingredients label.
9. Choose gluten-free grains carefully.
Multiple types of grains are often processed in the same factories and on the same packaging lines. Choose gluten-free grains from a company with a dedicated gluten-free facility (ex: Ancient Harvest Quinoa, USA) or one with cleaning practices you feel comfortable with. You can get this information from the company’s website or by calling their customer service line.
Doctors recommend newly diagnosed celiacs should wait at least 6 months before adding oats to their diet. Some celiacs find they can never eat oats without a bad reaction.
If/when you add oats to your diet, be sure to look for Gluten-free labeled or certified oats. Better yet, look for gluten-free “purity protocol” oats which are processed in a way that avoids cross-contact with gluten.
10. Buy plain items and flavor them at home.
Fewer ingredients means less chance of cross-contact. Natural and artificial flavors can also include trace amounts of gluten. Buying plain products and adding natural flavors at home (ex: plain yogurt, add your own honey) is a great way to make safer gluten-free choices.
Pin and screenshot the summary below and download our Free Gluten-Free Grocery List before your next trip to the store!
Summary of Gluten-free Grocery List + Tips:
After your trip, visit us again and let us know how it went!
With love and gratitude,