Gluten Free Grocery List
Although gluten is a protein that occurs naturally only in a handful of grains (wheat, rye, barley, triticale) it is something that can be found in a wide variety of foods and products.
If you’re just starting out on your Gluten Free Journey, whether due to Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity, even your favourite grocery store can become an overwhelming, very confusing place to navigate.
Below we feature a number of foods in every category that you can add to your grocery list and pop into your shopping cart.
Tips for Navigating
Gluten Free Grocery Shopping
Learning how to sustain a healthy gluten free diet and developing a safe gluten free grocery list is essential for Celiacs.
Whole foods that have not been processed are among some of the safest things to eat if you’re avoiding gluten. The real challenge many face is with pre-made and processed foods.
They have the increased possibility of cross-contamination at the manufacturing facility, or even contain ingredients that are derived from gluten-containing grains, such as any derivative of “malt”.
When choosing processed or pre-packaged foods, select ones from brands that are 100% gluten free and look for the certified gluten free badge on their packaging.
If a company has dedicated gluten free facilities, such as Schär and Promise Gluten Free, there is zero chance of cross contamination!
Key things to remember when developing a gluten free grocery list:
- Stick to whole, fresh foods
- Look for gluten free brands & certified options
- Read ingredient labels AND processing warnings*
*Many food manufacturers will also list allergen concerns right below the ingredients list. Look for statements like “Processed in a facility that processes wheat, barley, rye, etc.”, “Processed in a shared facility”, or “Processed on shared equipment” - possibility a product may have been cross-contaminated.
Grocery Shopping Guide
Fruits & Vegetables
Fresh fruit and vegetables are generally safe for gluten sensitive and Celiac sufferers. When it comes to canned, frozen and otherwise packaged fruits and vegetables, most of that is safe for the gluten sensitive and Celiac patients as well.
Remember to read the label for any information about whether it was processed on equipment or in a facility shared with potentially gluten containing foods, and any ingredients that might have gluten in them.
- Fresh, whole fruit & whole vegetables (ALL)
- Frozen fruits & vegetables (MOST plain, no sauce – check labels)
- Fruit in water or 100% juice (many varieties)
- Raisins and dates (various)
- Dried fruit (MOST – check ingredient list for additives)
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood
Unprocessed meat, poultry, fish and seafood is by nature gluten free.
Check labels for any equipment/facility information, packaging details. If you’re choosing from your grocery store’s fresh meat/butcher section, be sure to check about the store’s cross-contamination practices.
When it comes to processed meat, poultry, fish, and seafood, make sure you read the labels. Gluten-containing fillers can sometimes be present in processed options.
Tofu and Vegetarian Protein Sources (Meat Substitutes)
When it comes to vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives, gluten is a concern due to the heavily processed nature of these foods. There are brands that are either entirely gluten free or offer a line of products that is.
Breads, Pasta & Bakery Items
With wheat and its derivatives as the basis of so many staple foods like bread and pasta, bakery items and more, it can sometimes seem like a daunting challenge to find those simple basics while on a gluten free diet.
Yes, there are some great options that can be found in many local, regional, and national grocery store chains! The options continues to grow year after year.
Pasta and breads are a small part of the widening variety of gluten free foods available at grocery stores globally.
In addition to grocery chains, local gluten free bakeries are also offering staples for bread, pasta and baking essentials. Check out our featured Gluten Free Bakeries we love!
Go Beyond the Gluten Free Section
The gluten free label is voluntary, and it may be that some food producers have chosen not to label their products as such. This means, they are less likely to find themselves in the Gluten Free sections of your grocery stores.
The FDA allows the “gluten free” label to be used for foods that naturally do not contain any gluten, as well as foods where the naturally occurring gluten was removed through processing, resulting in gluten presence below 20ppm (parts per million).
This means, food manufacturers aren’t required to test the ingredients or finished products, but they have to be able to back up the claim if tested/investigated by the FDA.
The following are additional food categories that offer gluten free options:
- Sauces, Dressings, Marinades, Condiments
- Crackers, Snacks and Sweets
- Beans & Other Legumes
- Nuts and Seeds
- Grains, Flour, Cereals and other Starches
It’s important to read through the ingredients list and determine if there is any sneaky hidden gluten, but options can be found throughout the store in every aisle.