Grocery shopping is already confusing with so much variety but then consider gluten free, dairy free, low-carb, sugar free, no MSG and all the rest of it, it can become overwhelming, and unfortunately it just got a little worse.

We have known for years that a gluten-free diet is essential for people with coeliac disease, however what we don’t know is some gluten-free products are filling us up with empty calories.

According to Dietician and Culinary expert, Caroline Trickey, the gluten-free diet is not always synonymous with ‘healthy’ and many gluten free products contain ingredients that are high GI.

“Shoppers need to look closely at the labels on their food and determine the nutritional integrity of a product before adding it to their trolley,” Caroline said.

Luckily, Caroline has shared her top tips to master gluten free eating without all the empty calories.

  1. Know your Calories

Empty calories are often misunderstood because people tend to think they are not providing enough calories, when in actual fact it’s the complete opposite. Empty calories do supply energy, quite often too much with no nutritional value.

In turn, this means the more empty calories you consume, the less nutrition you are receiving and these high GI empty calorie foods are quickly converted into sugar which can be easily stored as fat.

Low GI foods are metabolised slower providing a sustained release of energy that keep you full longer. These foods are nutrient dense so you will be getting vitamins and minerals that your body requires.


  1. Look out for the ‘Replacement Ingredient’

Look for ingredients that are overly processed and contain little nutritional value, or names you don’t immediately recognise as foods, so as a complex scientific name or number listed.

With baked goods choose products that contain healthier ingredients such as coconut flour, almond meal and buckwheat.


  1. Learn about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Believe it or not, the gluten-free isle contains some of the most heavily processed foods in the grocery store!

Fortunately there are companies like The Food Crafters who’s products are healthier, low in GI, high in fibre gluten free options.

Our favourite are their cookie range, which meets nutritional and dietary standards while still maintaining great taste and flavour.


  1. The Food Label is Key

The nutritional label is the ultimate guide for you to make all the right choices when buying gluten free. It will provide all the information you need to figure out if it’s the healthiest product.

Start your check at the ingredients list and make your way around to the nutritional information panel where you can find the 100 gram column to compare gluten free products.


  1. It’s all about Balance 

“Anyone who follows a gluten free diet, regardless whether you have coeliac disease, gluten-sensitiveness or not, I encourage you to keep your health top of mind. Be super-vigilant when selecting convenience packaged products and chose wisely.” – Caroline Trickey.