Gluten Freedom: Reading Labels

Okay, gluten freedom friends!

Label reading really can be intimidating, especially if a gluten free diet is completely new to you. But don’t worry – with these tips you can be reading food labels at your local grocery store with confidence in no time!

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Here’s what I’ve learned from all that meandering through the grocery store aisles…

  • First of all, check out my What Can I Eat? cheat sheet. Arm yourself with delicious snacks, and then (when you’re full) – head to the store. Label reading takes a lot of practice, and I found that a run through the grocery aisles while NOT hungry makes the whole task a lot less difficult.
  • Check first for the “Certified Gluten Free” label! Any prepackaged item that is gluten free should have this label right on the front somewhere. Usually it’s pretty large and easy to read. Not there? Don’t worry…
  • Look for the key words and allergen lists. If you see anything with wheat, rye or triticale, those are immediate red flags. Other things to watch for are:
    • Barley
    • Malt, Dextrin, or Maltodextrin (usually made with barley)
    • Brewer’s Yeast
    • Modified Food Starch (because who knows what that is?!)
      • Okay…modified food starch is really on this list because the word “food starch” can mean many things, including wheat or wheat flour. Oftentimes, it could be corn or potato starch, but I don’t like running the risk. And unfortunately, lots of products don’t specify.
    • Starch (yep, even the plain word starch could be a hidden form of gluten.)
    • Other Natural and Processed Flavors (yikes!)
  • Be the boss of the labels. Don’t let me scare you! Keep practicing label reading (with my cheat sheet in hand!) and if in doubt, just leave the product on the shelf. It’s not worth the wreckage your body could take if you accidentally ingest gluten.
  • Find the gluten free section! This is a treasure trove of amazing, completely certified gluten free items! (I totally 100% feel like a kid in a candy store on this aisle.) And remember, if it’s labeled as “certified gluten free,” it’s safe. 😀

Gf Label Reading Cheat Sheet

Click here    —>  Gf Label Reading Cheat Sheet <—–   to download your own Cheat Sheet!

So in short, don’t be afraid of those labels. The more you practice reading and deciphering them, the more confident you will be at selecting gluten free items.

I hope this post helps you become a more confident label reader. After all, knowledge = power!

*Disclaimer – please do not treat these posts as professional medical advice! Also, please don’t consider my cheat sheets complete — Unfortunately, I can’t include everything that might possibly contain gluten in every product label. I’m just hoping to share a little of what I’ve learned through my journey. For more info, check out Celiac.org and Gluten.org.

Don’t forget to tune back in later this week for more Gluten Freedom posts!

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