Come Shopping with Us; Your Healthy GF Grocery Guide

By: Suzanne W.

Udi's Gluten Free Grocery Guide

The Grocery Store. Towering aisles, filled with cans, bottles, bags, boxes, and way too many options to choose from.

This place can be overwhelming for any shopper to navigate and when you’re trying to find the food that is best for you and your family it’s important to distinguish the healthy options from the not-so-healthy options. Add on some dietary restrictions and a trip to the grocery store can quickly become a daunting process. But fear not! We’re here with some simple tips to make your next gluten free shopping extravaganza a walk in the park.

  1. Stick to the perimeter.

     This is where most of the naturally gluten free items are and also some of your dietary staples. Think fresh fruit, veggies, meat, milk, eggs, yogurt, and gluten free grains such as rice, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.

  2. Avoid the Bulk Bins. 

    They are hot-beds of cross contamination.

  3. Look for bread both in the bakery AND freezer aisle.  

    Many gluten free breads (including yours truly) don’t use preservatives so are often sold frozen. However, some vendors now sell our bread and baked goods in the bakery rather than in the frozen section. The bakery department should re-date the product to reflect the 7 day use-by-date (just like gluten-filled breads) so make sure to check the expiration sticker.

  4. Double check for gluten at the deli. 

    Low-fat cold cuts can be injected with wheat-based fillers to replace the lost fat. Look for a certified gluten-free label on the package and, when in doubt, ask your deli manager for a safe and healthy meat recommendation.

  5. ALWAYS read labels.

    Make sure items aren’t made in a shared facility or on shared equipment. Ingredients can also change without warning and many seemingly-innocent foods have gluten in them. When in doubt, don’t buy it.  Look online, call the company, but if you still don’t know, it’s not worth it.  There are so many great things that are labeled GF now, why would you waste your times with ones that aren’t?

  6. Find the Gluten Free aisle/section/tags. 

    More and more stores are starting to dedicate an aisle (or section of an aisle) to certain dietary restrictions. Ask your store manager to explain how they organize their gluten free products and if there is any chance of cross contamination.  A lot of grocery stores are also starting to put “GF” tags in front of products that have GF claims on their labels – look for these!

  7. Shop for brands you know and trust. 

    It’s always nice to have your go-to brands that don’t bring any nasty surprises. You know they’re safe (and delicious)!

  8. Be wary of the center aisles. 

    Prepared foods, soups, beans, sauces, condiments, and even spices often contain gluten to bind everything together. Look for items specifically labeled gluten free and opt for canned fruits and vegetables that do not contain a sauce.

  9. Frozen foods. 

    Again, opt for the plain versions of frozen fruits and vegetables as sauces and seasoning packets more often than not contain gluten.

  10. Take a buddy. 

    If you’re shopping with a new food allergy take a friend a long to help. Gluten Free Veterans are pros at navigating the grocery store and can share tricks they’ve learned along the way. In addition they may have already tried certain gluten free products that may or may not be worth purchasing.

Happy Shopping and remember to enjoy the experience! There are so many more foods you can eat, than foods you can’t.

Share your shopping experiences and tips below. 


20 responses to “Come Shopping with Us; Your Healthy GF Grocery Guide”

  1. new comer says:

    thanks for all of the ideas and suggestions as I was just diagnosed with celiac and have alot to learn about it–look forward to checking out the site again

  2. Anonymous says:

    I live in Troy, AL. Need help in getting gluten foods here. (Pike County). Only store with it is WalMart, and they have ONLY a six inch shelf with gluten free. NO isle what so ever. Please help!!! Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am new (2 weeks) to the gf diet but I have found that there are a lot of reg foods that are gf. You need to take your no-no ingredient sheet with you and read the listing on the products. Wasn’t I surprised that certain prego spaghetti sauces are gf and it says so in small print on the back of the label!!! It takes a little more time in the grocery store but well worth it! Also I fond out that you can take the cost of gf products off on your taxes!!!! 🙂 keep your receipts.

  3. Nina Howden says:

    I just found Udi’s frozen bread at Costco.
    1. The loaf is the size of a regular loaf of bread.
    2. The cost was the same as the smaller loaves at Meijer.
    I like to keep the loaf frozen & just take out what I need. I put the slices into a baggie & microwave them for 1 minute at 50% power. I flip the baggie over after 30 seconds. Makes the bread soft & warm! Yum!

  4. Nina Howden says:

    I just found Udi’s frozen bread at Costco.
    1. The loaf is the size of a regular loaf of bread.
    2. The cost was the same as the smaller loaves at Meijer.
    I like to keep the loaf frozen & just take out what I need. I put the slices into a baggie & microwave them for 1 minute at 50% power. I flip the bag over 1 flip the baggie over after 30 seconds. Makes the bread soft & warm! Yum!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love all of your products. I only have one problem with Udi’s white bread. A lot of it has a gaping hole down the middle of the loaf. Is there something you can do at the factory to prevent that?

  6. Phyllis says:

    Udi’s is prominently mentioned in the new ” How Can it Be Gluten-free Cookbook” by two editors from America’s Test Kitchen. They rate Udi’s as the very best sand wich bread, and I concur. Their book is a must have for Celiacs. And so are Udi’s products. Thank you!

  7. Lyn Reuter says:

    Your breads have really saved the day for me! I have a slice of toasted cinnamon raisin each morning with my coffee. Love it! And I use the white bread for French Toast. 🙂

  8. Jim says:

    I cannot find the 3-pack of Udi’s Pizzas anymore. My local store has discontinued selling them for unknown reasons. Wish I could get them online!

  9. rita says:

    I have been shopping at Ultra Food Stores in Crestwood, ill and they now have almost a full aisle with gluten free foods.

  10. Corrie says:

    Great new idea for me: avoid the Bulk Bins! I’d always been a little suspicious. Thanks for the good info.

  11. Karen Butterfield says:

    Trader Joes is a good place too as they also mark GF really well, on all foods. And their prices are reasonable.

  12. Inulin says:

    Your White Sandwich bread is considered ok for people with IBS. Do you know if your Plain Bagels are considered ok for people with IBS, they do not have Inulin. Inulin is considered a FODMAP no food, is this correct-could cause gas, bloating, etc? Do you have other products that are Low FODMAP foods? Thank You.

  13. maureen says:

    In addition to making sure your choice of deli meat is gluten free, it is critical that the meat slicer be thoroughly cleaned by deli person to avoid cross contamination with any meat previously sliced on it. It may take over 10 minutes to do this, but it is worth it, and you may need to speak up to explain how important and necessary this step is.

  14. Amy bartley says:

    Great info. I didn’t know about the items in the bakery. I will be checking my store. Fresh bread is so much softer then frozen.
    Thank you.

  15. Heather Langan says:

    While I am indeed weary of the center aisle, I think you probably mean wary.
    Thanks for the great info.

  16. d.gee says:

    Hi…just had Udi’s cheddar crackers. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeally good. The world is getting gluten free better every day. Thank you.

  17. Priscilla says:

    I love this info! New and things that I already knew. A reminder is nice!:)
    Thanks a million!

  18. Cindi Christensen says:

    I love to shop at Market of Choice because they have all the gluten free marked cleary and in the same places. It males or easy to shop gluten free.

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