Gluten-free and sugar-free products are foods that are prepared either with no sugar or without gluten. Foods that are typically sold as gluten-free include baked goods that are made from grains and starches that do not contain gluten. As gluten is often an ingredient in many types of convenience and prepared foods, other foods sold in restaurants or in shops may also be labeled as gluten-free to assure individuals that they can safely eat the products. Sugar-free foods contain no sugar, and foods given this label typically are those foodstuffs that are sold as sweets and desserts, such as candies and cookies. Many standard grocery stores as well as specialty shops sell gluten-free and sugar-free products.
In the case of gluten-free foods, there may be significant restrictions on the conditions in which the food was prepared, such that it did not come into contact with gluten or any foods containing it. Sugar-free foods may be prepared without sugar as an ingredient or may be prepared with sugar substitutes. These foods are sold and eaten by a variety of people who may have very different reasons for wanting to eat gluten-free and sugar-free foods. In some cases, these individuals may have significant concerns about dietary allergies, medical conditions, and food sensitivities or, in the case of sugar-free foods, may wish to lose weight or simply reduce the amount of sugar they consume.
For many people who have a gluten intolerance, the inability to eat many commercially available bread products can present significant difficulties, particularly because so many modern foods are prepared with some type of bread product. For these people, gluten-free breads, rolls, and croutons can make a significant difference in being able to enjoy regular meals with their friends and family. In addition, gluten-free batters and breading can also make it easier to enjoy home-cooked meals.
Many people are familiar with sugar-free candies and gum, but many stores now sell a variety of sugar-free baked goods, condiments, and convenience foods. For example, ketchup and salad dressings often contain a significant amount of sugar. Sugar-free versions of these staples allow diabetics and dieters to enjoy them again on their food. New sugar substitutes have also made it easier to produce sugar-free cakes, ice creams, and puddings.
Some companies specialize in the sale of gluten-free and sugar-free products. In fact, they may even sell items, such as bread, that are both free of gluten and sugar. As concern about gluten and sugar consumption continues to rise, the availability and variety of these products should likewise increase.