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Food Substitutes for Wheat Allergy

Having a wheat allergy is different from having gluten sensitivity. Gluten is a type of protein that's in wheat and other grains like barley and rye.

If you have a wheat allergy, remember that gluten-free isn't the same as wheat-free. While many gluten-free products don't have wheat, some may originate from wheat but are still low in gluten. Read ingredients lists to avoid wheat.

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Spotting Hidden Allergy Triggers

If you've been living with allergies, you probably know the obvious stuff by now -- don't take in stray cats, don't hang around in dusty attics, don't inhale deeply in smoking lounges. But that might not be enough. There could be hidden allergy triggers and irritants all around you that you don't know about. "Hidden allergens and irritants are a huge problem for people with allergies," says Hugh H. Windom, MD, an associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida. "The...

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Substitutes for Wheat

You may be able to eat these grains instead of wheat. Always check with your doctor before trying them:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Tapioca

Recipe Substitutes

  • Wheat flour. Use rice flour, potato starch flour, soy flour, tapioca flour, or corn flour instead. If you can't tolerate gluten, look for gluten-free baking powder. When you're baking, remember that wheat-free and gluten-free flour may be drier, may not rise as much, and may have a crumbly texture.
  • Noodles. Use wheat-free pastas instead. They can be made from lots of different grains, including quinoa, corn, potato, rice, or beans.
  • Breadcrumbs. In recipes like casseroles, fried chicken, eggplant parmesan, or meat loaf, substitute shredded parmesan, crumbled wheat-free crackers, or cornmeal.
  • Thickeners. Thicken sauces and gravies with cornstarch or rice flour. Pureed tofu can work, too.
  • Beer. Instead of beer in recipes, use apple juice or wine.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on October 30, 2014

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