How To Know if Food Is Gluten Free

Gluten free foods are made for people that suffer from Celiac disease or have an allergy to wheat.  People that need gluten free foods cannot tolerate wheat, which can lead to such symptoms as diarrhea and abdominal pain. While it certainly is not easy to stay away from foods that contain gluten, there are hundreds of foods and recipes available that are gluten free.  Gluten free foods are quite expensive however, so it’s only necessary that you purchase them if you need to.

In order to avoid uncomfortable or severe abdominal symptoms, it is important that you know how to read the labels of foods.  Some of your favorite foods may already be gluten free, while others are not.  Knowing how to tell if food is gluten free is the most effective way in preventing symptoms of abdominal discomfort.

You will first want to locate stores in your area that carry gluten free foods.  The best stores to shop at are ones that specialize in all-natural and organic foods.  Grocery stores will also carry a small variety of foods that are gluten free, and these products are made from food companies that focus on organic and natural foods.  You can also choose to purchase gluten free foods from online stores that specialize in gluten free products and recipe ideas.

To know if food is gluten free, the easiest way is to look for packages that say “gluten free.”  This is a guarantee that the food at hand does not use wheat products in their food.  Seeing the words “wheat free” does not constitute gluten free however, as oats are used instead of wheat and can still cause severe reactions in people who cannot tolerate wheat.

If you don’t see that a product says gluten free, you will need to check for allergens.  If you look at the ingredients list, there will be a small line underneath that says what allergens are contained in the product.  If you see that wheat is included, the food is not gluten free.  If wheat is not listed, check the ingredients list for other gluten products such as rye, barley and oats.

Because gluten is found in rye and barley as well, it is important to check food labels for these ingredients.  Also keep in mind that some products such as modified corn starch and preservatives have small traces of gluten, so even gluten free is not completely gluten free.
In order to tell if a food is gluten free, also be sure to check the ingredients list on a regular basis.  Sometimes food companies will change the way they make a product without alerting the consumer.

While it’s well-known to avoid such foods such as pastas, rice and breads, you will have to treat all foods as a potential risk.  Read labels, look for allergens and pay attention to ingredient lists.  Eventually it will become part of your routine and you will do it without thinking twice.


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