Wheat Free Diets
About the Allergen
- Wheat is a member of the grass, or Poaceae botanical family, which comprises many different grains.
- Wheat allergy is most common in childhood and is typically outgrown. Symptoms may include itching, hives and anaphylaxis.
- Wheat intolerance or sensitivity is more persistent in adulthood. Symptoms may include stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation as well as joint pain or headaches, among others.
- Fortunately, there are many wheat-free grain options available to replace wheat in the diet, see alternatives below.
When replacing a food allergen, you will need to focus on incorporating a variety of whole foods in your diet that contain the nutrients you’re missing due to eliminating the problem food.
- Whole wheat products are rich in fiber, manganese, selenium, magnesium and phosphorus. If eliminating wheat from your diet, use a variety of these foods as alternatives:
- Fiber: beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds
- Manganese: whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes
- Selenium: poultry, beef, pork, lamb, fish, mollusks, nuts, seeds, eggs
- Magnesium: nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, fish, cocoa, whole grains, dark leafy greens, potatoes
- Phosphorus: pork, beef, poultry, fish, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, dairy products, grains
- Avoid bulgur, couscous, durum, einkorn, emmer, farina, kamut, semolina, spelt, triticale, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat berries, wheat flour, and wheat pasta. This list is not all inclusive.
- If strictly avoiding wheat, purchase gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally wheat-free but are highly cross contaminated. Cross contact may occur in the field, during transportation or storage, as well as during processing.
Alternatives and Suggested Products
- As a nutritional alternative, use amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, and teff, along with nut and legume flours. Arrowroot, corn, potato and tapioca starches are also commonly found in wheat-free baking.
- Suggested wheat free brands include:
- Bob’s Red Mill
- Canyon Bakehouse
- Hodgson Mill
- King Arthur
- Tinkyada Rice Pasta
NOTE: Always double check the allergy statement on any products you purchase. Food manufacturers may change their ingredients at any time.