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Georgia_guy

Shopping Is A Pain!

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So quick question, is there a list anywhere of what to look out for on ingredient labels that can hint to "hidden gluten"? I know to look for obvious things like "wheat", but what about the random other things? What do I need to watch out for?

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There are a few god lists. Here are some:

https://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html

http://naturalandfree.blogspot.ca/p/alternative-names-for-gluten-and.html

http://www.csaceliacs.info/label_reading_101.jsp

In Canada, there is a law that if a food contains, or may contain, gluten, it must have a warning on it's ingredients list.

And if it doubt, skip it.

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If you have a smartphone save the 'Safe' and 'Unsafe' lists to your homescreen - makes things much easier! I don't know which country you're in but definitely read up on their labelling laws. 

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In America, you can look for foods that say they are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, so there's no cross-contamination. Certified gluten free products have a symbol: the letters gluten-free inside a circle. I can't say for sure how reliable that is, I don't eat anything processed right now, others on this site could tell you more about that. I've also seen threads on this site where people exchange info about which products they've tested and are safe.

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KCG91, I am in the USA, and as far as I know there are no laws (yet) that require labeling on possible contamination or that require labeling of contains gluten. I do think though that peanuts, milk, and egg are required already. So maybe soon we will have gluten requirements.

FruitEnthusiast, I have been looking for products to say dedicated gluten-free facility after I saw it on some Ronzoni noodles, but that's the only thing I've seen it on. I have seen several things specify gluten-free (to include Chex which supports Celiac Foundation), but some things I'm still having to read the labels (like black beans) to ensure nothing is hidden. Oh, and my Fritos say gluten-free on them too.

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Try a health food store like Sprouts or Whole Foods. They have a lot more gluten free stuff and brands you can trust. No, I don't think there is any kind of regulation about putting "gluten-free" on packaging. It's a pain but it's a good idea to continue reading labels, even on things you already use, the ingredients can change.

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Sorry to hear that :(  You can try looking online for gluten-free products. There is a section on this site I think that offers things like that. You can post about things you want to try and get feedback. Also, making things from scratch is an option. There are flours available, things like that and people post recipes on this site. Or, occasional trips to the store nearest to you? I know, it's really challenging adapting to all these changes. It will get easier the longer you do it.

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I was already planning on making the drive Friday to the nearest store (Friday is payday) and stocking up on a bunch of random things to try. I'm kinda scared to do the online shopping cuz I like to actually look at the food in buying, not just a picture of it. :-/

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Once you find things you DO like, then Amazon has some great prices that don't require 50 mile drives.

We live in a rural area, and some things are hard to find here.

 

However, more and more grocery stores are carrying gluten free items.  We have Giant and Food Lion locally. 
Target carries items, as does Walmart.

 

I made a mission of finding all the gluten-free things I could locally.  I ate a meal (so I wasn't hungry) and went to each grocery store, and made a list of things I found there.  One store is weird.  They have a "health food" section, AND they have things scattered throughout the store also.

When I found things, I took a picture of them, so I had the shelf tag with price, etc.

 

I've found pasta I like locally.  Barilla and Ronzoni brands have gluten-free, and they're on the shelf along with the regular pastas.

Betty Crocker makes gluten-free baking mixes for brownies, cookies and cakes.  Those baking mixes were also in the same aisle as regular baking mixes. They are quite good and simple (my 12 year old grandson makes the brownies himself).

 

Target has started carrying Canyon gluten-free bread.

Udi's brand is becoming a household name.  I find their frozen pizzas to be the best we've tried. (Locally I find them in the regular freezer case next to regular pizza.)  We did a taste test of all the brands we could find locally, and it's our favorite. 

 

It seems so overwhelming at first, and requires an almost scientific dedication to hunting down every speck of possible gluten in every single thing we think we want to eat. 

 

That's why I simplified it.  I found a brand I liked, that I could find locally as much as possible, and I stick with it. No changing. No mixing it up. I go with the known .... for right now.

 

So, if you're looking for .... let's say a gluten-free pasta to try ... go to each grocery store in reasonable driving distance.  Look on their shelves in their "health food section" and then look in the regular pasta aisle.  Gluten Free pastas say gluten-free on the label, especially those by big companies like Barilla.   Try the brands you find.  If you find one you like?  Only buy that.  Keep it simple.

 

Progresso soups make gluten-free soups, and it will say so on the labels.  Many labels will list contents ... in the list of contents, items that may cause potential allergies, such as WHEAT will be in bold. (Soy, dairy and eggs are others that come to mind.)  Below the list of ingredients it might say "Contains wheat" or "Processed in a facility that also processes wheat"  or "Processed on equipment also used to process wheat".

 

It takes time and it seems daunting, but once you have it down, it will become routine.  The 12 year old living with us often reads labels for me now.  "Nope, Gramma, this says it has barley.  Nope, this says ...." 
He's seen me at my sickest, and watched them sticking IVs and oxygen, and putting me in an ambulance.  He gets how serious it is.

Sometimes to the point of annoyance  ;-)  Yes, kid, I checked.  It's gluten-free.  I promise.

 

I tend to stick with fresh or frozen fruits, veggies, meat ... the fewer the ingredients the better.  Regular old potato chips that have potatoes, salt and oil.  Nuts.  Food doesn't have to be fancy to be good.  One step at a time. 

 

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Once you've decided that you like an item and want it on a regular basis, Amazon has a subscribe and save program. I buy a case of coconut milk every month. They automatically deliver it and charge my credit card for it. The price is much better than the store. You can cancel or change your subscription whenever needed. 

 

I'm also going to subscribe to Bob's Red Mill gluten-free muesli, because we like it and the price on Amazon is substantially cheaper.

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At first it really seems hard becuase you have to change your whole way of thinking when you go to the store. After a while you get a core group of foods like like that are gluten-free, just like before you had a core number of foods that you bought regularly. Eventually you will get more comfortable with shopping and expand your shopping list from a relatively small number of items to a much larger one. In the beginning it can be easier to just keep things simple and slowly added in new items over time.

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KCG91, I am in the USA, and as far as I know there are no laws (yet) that require labeling on possible contamination or that require labeling of contains gluten. I do think though that peanuts, milk, and egg are required already. So maybe soon we will have gluten requirements.

FruitEnthusiast, I have been looking for products to say dedicated gluten-free facility after I saw it on some Ronzoni noodles, but that's the only thing I've seen it on. I have seen several things specify gluten-free (to include Chex which supports Celiac Foundation), but some things I'm still having to read the labels (like black beans) to ensure nothing is hidden. Oh, and my Fritos say gluten-free on them too.

Once you learn how to read labels correctly, things will become much easier. You are new to this so expect a learning curve. There is really no "hidden gluten" in foods. If you are reading a can of black beans, it usually states 2-3 ingredients, none of which usually contain gluten. Refried beans can contain wheat but not whole beans. Then you read the allergen warning and it could say that the product is manufactured in a facility with wheat or egg, etc. You could call the company to see what their manufacturing practices are with regards to cc or opt to buy a can of beans that is not manufactured in a shared facility. After some time, this will all become second nature. As others have stated, buying from a dedicated facility really makes things easier for foods that could easily be cc'd, like carbs. But I have yet to see or eat any can of veggies or beans that contained gluten and I am an extremely sensitive Celiac. I don't consider it a worry.

Cathy's post was spot on and she is new to this also. Don't worry.....this gets much, much easier with time.

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