Whether you’re going on a low-glycemic diet or gluten-free for health reasons like having more energy or because you have to, there’s no doubt that it can be challenging. More and more companies are producing gluten-free dairy product options. It’s awesome to have such a wide selection to choose from, especially when considering that ten years ago there were almost no gluten-free products.
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However, it makes it even more important to make sure that you know how to pick better gluten-free dairy products. These tips will guarantee that you, and your family, are eating what’s best for them.
Double Check The Ingredients
It’s always important to read the ingredient list on foods before you buy them. While most foods list wheat in the allergen section, there may be ingredients that are made with wheat flour listed higher up on the ingredients list, and wheat may not be listed as an allergen.
For example, Knorr rice sides often have vermicelli in them, which has wheat flour in it. However, wheat is not listed at the bottom with other allergens. You could run into this same problem in the dairy aisle.
Most plain yogurt, cheese, and milk products are naturally gluten-free. However, gluten often comes into play when companies add additional ingredients to dairy items, such as flavouring or colouring. Carefully read the labels to make sure that you’re not accidentally buying a product full of hidden gluten when you’re looking for gluten-free dairy products.
Gluten-Free Labels Are Great
Companies are not required to put a stamp of approval on their products, but if the FDA investigates the product’s gluten-free status, they have to be able to back it up. Because of that, it’s not very often that a company will sell a gluten-containing product with a gluten-free label.
Always Check The Sugar Content
Gluten-free foods are more likely to contain extra sugar when compared to their gluten-containing counterparts. This is because gluten-free food can taste rather bland, and companies want to sell the product. So, they pack the extra sugar and sugary ingredients, like high fructose corn syrup, into them. This is common with dairy items like flavoured butter and yogurt.
Opt For Fresh Foods
While most of the dairy aisle is packed with fresh foods, there are exceptions. Shelf-stable cheese powder and egg substitutes can be found nestled on shelves next to your favourite fresh foods. While these can be a great idea to prevent food waste, they are also packed with preservatives to increase their shelf life.
Gluten is more likely to be found in shelf-stable foods because it acts like glue, helping to bind ingredients together so the food does not fall apart while it sits on a shelf. That isn’t a problem with fresh foods, like eggs.
Watch Out For Cross-Contamination
Some labels state that a product does not have gluten-containing ingredients, but it is processed in a facility with gluten. Because of this, there is a risk of cross-contamination. Avoid these products.
When you first go gluten-free, it’s natural to search your usual store for gluten-free options. However, that’s not always a great idea. The current selection at my favourite grocery store paints a grim picture. Once I started shopping around, I found more gluten-free foods and gluten-free ingredients that I was in love with.
Buy Gluten-Free Dairy Products From Local Sources
If you have a farmer’s market nearby, consider stopping by. Many dairy farmers sell products locally. Not only can you ask them if there is a chance of cross-contamination, but you can also enjoy having a natural product that doesn’t include preservatives and additives as most store-bought products do.
Homemade products are both better for you and taste better!
Try Going Homemade For Your Gluten-Free Dairy Products
If you’re still concerned about the products in the dairy aisle, consider making homemade substitutes. It can be a bit daunting to make homemade cheese, but making foods like yogurt and butter can easily be accomplished with a yogurt maker.
Picking up a product like a Ninja Foodi can cost some money in the beginning, but it will save you a substantial amount of money in the long run. With just a few ingredients, you can easily make your own almond milk yogurt, start learning to make your own vegan butter, and much more!
Homemade doesn’t have to stop there or involve a Ninja Foodi. You can use a few basic ingredients from your local farmer’s market to make delicious gluten-free foods that you and your kids will love, like this easy and delicious cake we recommend making from Gluten Free Palate.
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