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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- US Food and Drug Administration: Food Allergies -- What You Need to Know
- University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences: Decoding Food Labels
- Celiac Sprue Association: Gluten-Free Diet -- Basic Diet Choices
- Practical Gastroenterology: The Gluten-Free Diet: Can Your Patient Afford It?
- 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.