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Common Food Allergy Triggers and Where They Hide

Wheat Allergies continued...

Gluten intolerance is associated with the disease called "gluten-sensitive enteropathy" or "celiac disease." With celiac disease, the immune system responds abnormally to gluten. Some researchers include celiac disease as a food allergy. Technically, however, the immune response caused by celiac disease is different than the response caused by other food allergies. Symptoms of celiac disease include gas, bloating, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue, and sometimes, vomiting.

Some people with this so-called wheat allergy can tolerate oats, but be careful. Oats are often processed and stored with other grains. Wheat is also hidden in many packaged foods -- sauce mixes, seasonings, condiments, sausages, ice cream, mustard, mayonnaise, even in candy. Both soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce contain wheat.

Ale, beer, bourbon, and whiskey contain wheat -- and so does wine.

Many medications in tablet form have a wheat binder that isn't listed on the label. If you have a wheat allergy, you need a liquid form or one that uses potato or corn starch.

Wheat and gluten-containing products:

  • White flour, all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour
  • Durum wheat, semolina (refined durum)
  • Grains: bran, barley, Farina, Kamut
  • Cracked wheat: Bulgur, couscous, graham
  • Spelt, a form of wheat
  • Triticale, a wheat/rye blend
  • Wheatgrass (juice or powder)
  • Polenta, an Italian cornmeal dish

Processed foods that contain wheat:

  • Breads, including rye breads
  • Cookies, pastries, buns, cakes, muffins, pancakes
  • Breakfast cereals, muesli
  • Pizza, pastas, crackers
  • Battered or breaded foods
  • Baking powder
  • Packet sauce mixes, seasonings
  • Dressings and sauces
  • Ice cream, pies
  • Sausages
  • Mustard and mayonnaise
  • Canned soups
  • Candy

On a food label, these words indicate wheat:

  • Starch, food starch, modified starch, corn starch
  • Wheat protein, wheat berries, wheat bran, wheat starch
  • Cereal filler, thickener, binder
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed protein
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Soy Allergies

Soybeans have nearly unlimited uses -- as the main ingredient in soy milk, soy sauce, and soy nuts. Like peanuts and tree nuts, soy hides in a great many food products you would never suspect. Soybean flour is used in many baked goods, like pastries, cakes, biscuits, and breads, as well as ice cream, breakfast cereal, frozen dinners, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and margarine. It's also used in sausages, hamburgers, and other meat products. Even baby food contains soy. 

Soy is used so widely in food processing that is very difficult to avoid, but many products do not list "soy" on an ingredient label. For example, there may be soy added to margarine, but you won't find soy listed in the ingredients. You must look for key words like "hydrolyzed protein," "lecithin," "texturizer," "emulsifier," "protein filler," or "extender."

Typical soy products: 

  • Edamame (soybeans)
  • Miso (fermented soybean paste)
  • Soy sauce
  • Soya (soy product)
  • Tamari, a type of soy sauce
  • Tempeh (fermented soybeans)
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP), a meat substitute
  • Tofu (soybean curd)
  • Soy milk, a beverage made from soybeans
  • Soy nuts (soybeans processed to taste like peanuts)

Foods that contain soy:

  • Ethnic foods: Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Indian
  • Baby food and cereals
  • Canned fish, such as tuna
  • Protein bars, energy bars
  • Salad dressings
  • Soup mixes
  • Baked goods
  • Multi-grain breakfast cereals
  • Sauces: Asian, gravy, soy, Worcestershire, barbecue
  • Cooking oils
  • Margarine
  • Mayonnaise
  • Frozen dinners
  • Vegetable broth

Words on food labels that indicate soy:

  • Soybean oil, soy protein, soy protein isolate, soy flour
  • Miso
  • Tofu
  • Vegetable broth, vegetable gum
  • Bulking agent
  • Lecithin
  • Emulsifier
  • Guar gum
  • Gum Arabic
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein/plant protein 
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Seasoned salt
  • Shortening
  • Vegetable gum/starch/oil/protein
  • Thickener
  • Stabilizer
  • Protein extender

WebMD Medical Reference

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