Where to Buy Allergy-Friendly Food: 6 Options for Allergy-Safe Grocery Shopping
If you are trying to make healthy food choices, the main part of your daily diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and a lot of water and other natural low-calorie beverages. The same applies to people with food allergies, no matter how severe their allergies are. Fortunately, finding these products is not difficult, as they are available in any local grocery store or supermarket. However, people who have a food allergy, especially to a common food trigger like milk or egg, may have a hard time trying to find allergen-free foods.
Depending on where you live, there are various places where you can get allergy-friendly food products. While there are generally more alternatives in larger cities, you can also find some good options in smaller towns.
Which Allergy-Safe Foods Can Be Found at Warehouse Clubs?
Shopping at warehouse clubs is usually the most cost-effective option. While you won’t find a whole variety of allergy-friendly products there, you can find, however, some dairy-free substitutes for milk products, nut-free snacks and other non-allergenic hors-d’oeuvres. However, you should always check the food labels before buying to make sure your food is free of allergens.
Allergy-Friendly Shopping at Supermarkets
There are many different supermarkets, and some of them can offer more allergy-friendly products than others. In many larger grocery stores, allergen-free products are found in the sections selling natural foods or health foods, while in other stores they are mixed with normal foods.
For example, people allergic to milk can find a lot of various dairy-free milk alternatives in almost any supermarket. Gluten-free and casein-free foods are also available in many supermarkets.
Besides, you can also purchase various allergy-friendly foods, including baking mixes and frozen or dry goods, at some larger supermarkets that are competing with specialty food stores.
What Can You Find in Specialty Supermarkets?
Specialty supermarkets like Whole Foods have been getting more and more popular recently. Although they are generally more expensive than normal supermarkets, there you can find food products suitable for different restricted diets, including allergy elimination diets. These stores offer a wide variety of dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and other allergen-free foods.
Moreover, there are a lot of allergy-friendly alternatives to popular allergen-containing foods. Thus, you can find products like rice pasta, soy yogurt or corn bread. Some specialty stores also offer allergen-free baked goods.
Why Is It a Good Idea to Shop at Ethnic Markets?
Ethnic markets can be a great grocery-shopping option for people with food allergies, especially those who are allergic to fruits, vegetables or grains. This is because some ethnic markets can offer alternative grains and plants that are not common in American or global cooking.
Nonetheless, you should be careful with foods bought at such markets, since there is a high risk for cross-contamination, especially when you buy from bulk bins. The language barrier is another potential risk, so remember that you should never purchase any food, if you don’t understand which ingredients it is made of.
What Do Health Food Stores Offer?
There are many different health food stores varying in their specialization, selection, prices, as well as their staff’s expertise. However, you will likely find a lot of allergy-safe alternatives, if you happen to shop at any health food store.
Usually, health food stores offer various allergy-friendly baking ingredients, including egg replacers, wheat-free flour, corn-free starches, etc. Don’t forget about the risk of cross-contamination though, if you are buying from bulk bins.
Allergy-Safe Foods Sold by Online Stores
Online shopping may seem inconvenient, since you have to pay extra and wait for your food to be delivered. However, if the options for allergy-safe shopping are limited in the area where you live, online allergy-friendly food retailers can help you find a solution.
Nowadays, almost any allergy-safe foods can be purchased online (including frozen and refrigerated products, even though these are more expensive). Besides, there are even special online food stores created for people with nut allergies or celiac disease.