Gluten is the name of several proteins that are found in wheat, barley and rye, and an allergy to gluten is called celiac disease. Because celiac disease affects the way the small intestine absorbs nutrients, those with gluten sensitivity may develop weight loss, anemia and fatigue. They may also become prone to other diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer and thyroid disease. It is important that celiac sufferers avoid gluten, and finding gluten-free foods is a must when shopping for groceries. The trick is to become a food detective and examine all packages for signs of the dreaded ingredients.
Learn to read ingredient lists closely; keeping in mind that wheat flour is often used as a filler or thickener in many products such as gravy mixes, lunch meats, broths, fried foods and imitation fish.
Look for stores that carry specialty products for specific diets. Once confined to “health food” stores, gluten-free products can now be found in fresh food markets, organic food stores and many farmers markets. Many larger chain stores now have sections dedicated to specific needs such as gluten-free foods.
Note the name and location of stores where you have found specific products so you can replenish the food when you run out.
List the foods you have found that are gluten free, including the product name, manufacturer and UPC code of the item you desire. Ask your local grocery store manager if she can special order the items for your convenience.