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What Foods to Eat on a Wheat-Free Diet

by Karen Eisenbraun

About Karen Eisenbraun

Karen Eisenbraun has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Knox College and has been writing professionally since 2004. She is the content director for several health-related websites and a certified holistic nutrition consultant.

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Overview

An allergy to wheat is one of the most common food allergies, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Wheat allergy can cause swelling, itching, hives, nasal congestion, digestive problems or even difficulty breathing. Removing wheat from your diet can be difficult initially; wheat is present in many processed foods and may even be hidden in foods such as sauces and salad dressings. If you suffer from a wheat allergy or intolerance, the Celiac Sprue Association recommends adopting a diet that is rich in naturally wheat-free foods and then gradually expanding your diet to include items such as wheat-free flours and breads.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also eat frozen, dried or canned varieties of these foods, but watch for additives such as emulsifiers, preservatives and food starch.

Meat

When eating meat, meat substitutes, fish or poultry, avoid marinades or coatings that may contain wheat. Look for minimally processed products and examine items such as hot dogs or luncheon meat for added wheat or barley. Fish, shellfish, tofu and eggs are acceptable on a wheat-free diet.

Breads and Grains

Look for gluten-free breads made with rice, potato or tapioca flours. You may also use flours such as soybean, sorghum, nut, corn or bean. Choose gluten-free cereals or hot cereals made with cornmeal, rice, cream of rice or grits.

Snack Foods

Choose crackers, chips and other snack foods with a potato, cornstarch or rice base. Watch for ingredients that indicate the presence of wheat, such as vegetable starch or vegetable gum, MSG, farina, gelatinized starch, modified food starch, malt or hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

Beverages

Fruit juices, coffee, tea and soft drinks are all allowed on a wheat-free diet. Avoid any malt beverages. For alcohol, look for wine, rum, tequila, potato vodka and gluten-free beer.

Dairy

Those with wheat allergies may consume milk and other dairy products, including cream, sour cream and butter. Read the ingredients on any processed dairy products, such as pasteurized cheese, cottage cheese and cream cheese. Aged hard cheeses, such as cheddar, Swiss and parmesan, are safe.

Fats and Oils

When cooking, use oils such as vegetable, soy, safflower, canola or olive oil. You may also use butter, lard or pure mayonnaise. Evaluate salad dressings for ingredients that may contain wheat.

Photo Credits:

  • Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.