Avoiding wheat-containing foods in the grocery store can be confusing. Many products may contain wheat in hidden amounts that can make you sick if you have a wheat allergy or intolerance. If you need to avoid wheat in your diet, this printable shopping list can help you play it safe.
Shopping List of Wheat-Free Foods
The following list of wheat-free foods indicates which foods contain gluten to make it clear. If you have to give up wheat, don't lose heart; there are still plenty of choices at the market. If you need help downloading the printable list, check out these helpful tips.
Nearly all of the produce section in your local grocery store should be free of wheat and able to be consumed. This includes foods such as the following:
- Citrus fruit
Much of the dairy section of your grocery store should also be free of wheat. Safe foods include tasty products like these:
- Yogurt (Avoid yogurts with additives such as cookie crumbs.)
- Cheese (Avoid shredded cheeses unless they are labeled, "Gluten Free". Some shredded cheese is dusted with flour to prevent it from sticking.)
- Cottage cheese
- Sour cream
Meat and Fish Section
Nearly all the foods in the meat section of your grocery store are wheat-free. Watch out for whole turkeys, however, which may be brined with a liquid mixture that could contain wheat. Double check the ingredient labels to be sure. Other foods that are safe for consumption include the following:
- Fish (Avoid pre-made, breaded fish selections.)
Your deli counter can be a major pitfall if you are seeking wheat-free foods. Many deli meats contain wheat or gluten, which makes them unsafe for consumption. Look for the following brands to make sure your deli meats are safe:
- Applegate Farms
- Boar's Head
- Dietz and Watson
- Hormel Natural Choice
- Wilshire Farms
There are numerous types of canned goods available in your grocery store that do not contain any wheat. You can find everything from canned meat to canned sauces, fruits, and vegetables. This is a small sampling; make sure to check the label each time to be sure:
- Tuna fish
Grains and Pastas
There are numerous wheat-free grains and wheat-free pasta products on the market. Look for any of the following in either whole, ground or noodle form. Keep in mind that some of these options do contain gluten, even while they are wheat-free.
- Oat (may contain gluten)
- Rye (gluten)
- Spelt (gluten)
- Barley (gluten)
While most cereals do contain some form of wheat, there are some hot and cold cereals available that are wheat-free. As with all products, these cereals may still contain gluten. If you're gluten-sensitive, be sure to research the options thoroughly. Wheat-free cereals include the following options:
- Oatmeal (may contain gluten)
- Rice Crispies (may contain gluten)
- Cream of Rice
- Granola (may contain gluten)
Wheat Free Flours
If you are in the learning process of making your own bread or other baked goods, you can use any of these wheat-free flours. If you require help, consider using pre-packaged gluten-free (thus, wheat-free) flour blends until you get the hang of cooking without wheat.
- Chickpea (Garbanzo bean)
- Jerusalem artichoke (Sunchoke)
- Kamut (gluten)
- Oat (may or may not contain gluten)
- White rice
- Brown rice
- Rye (gluten)
There are numerous wheat-free snacks on the market as well. Some of these products may contain trace amounts of wheat, depending on how they are manufactured; always double check the label to be sure. In addition to the ones on this list, look for any manufacturer who specializes in gluten-free snacks and baking, such as Glutino.
- Dried fruit
- Corn chips
- Bean chips
- Soy crisps
- Potato chips
- Vegetable chips
- Ice cream (Avoid varities containing cookies, dough or the word "crunch" in the title.)
- Frozen fruit pops
- Italian ice
Most beverages do not contain wheat. Avoid or check the label on any drink mixes, such as powdered hot chocolate mix, as these may contain some wheat. Safe beverages include these options:
Wheat-Free Is Not Gluten-Free
The wheat-free diet eliminates all wheat from the diet and requires the reading of labels on not just food, but also skin care products and cosmetics. However, if you are worried about gluten, be advised that a wheat-free diet is not a gluten-free diet. For example, on a wheat-free diet, grains like buckwheat, millet, oats, rice and rye are recommended.
When considering the above grains for a gluten-free diet, oats may or may not be gluten-free. Oats are often suspect unless they are certified gluten-free because they may be cross contaminated during the growing and/or manufacturing process. If you are eliminating gluten from your diet, you should absolutely avoid rye.
Check the Labels
Even when you're eating foods that should be wheat-free, check labels to be sure no wheat or wheat by-products have been added as a filler or additive. For example, legumes are wheat-free, but when you buy baked beans, wheat may be an added ingredient. Cheese is wheat-free, but cheese sauce may not be. Learning to avoid wheat and wheat products takes knowledge, determination and dedication. You can find a wealth of information by reading books about wheat-free living, but if you are in doubt as to whether or not a food contains wheat, avoid it. For more help with your wheat-free diet, talk with your health care provider or nutritionist.