6 Tips to Tame Your Wheat Allergy

It can be a challenge to avoid wheat because it’s in so many things. The first step is to know where you're likely to find wheat and what you can substitute for it.

1. Check Your Pantry

Foods with wheat protein include:

  • Bran
  • Bread crumbs
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum, durum flour, and durum wheat
  • Einkorn
  • Farina
  • Farro (also known as emmer)
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Sprouted wheat
  • Triticale
  • Wheat (bran, germ, gluten, grass, malt, starch)
  • Wheat berries
  • Wheat flour (all types, including all-purpose, cake, enriched, graham, high protein or high gluten, and pastry)

2. Ask Your Waiter

3. Decode Labels for Ingredients With Wheat

If you see any of these listed on a label, the food may have wheat in it:

  • Gelatinized starch
  • Gluten or vital gluten
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
  • Natural flavoring
  • Starch, modified starch, modified food starch
  • Vegetable gum or starch

4. Ask your doctor or dietitian about other grains.

You may be allergic to some other grains, too. Gluten, one of the wheat proteins that can cause a reaction, is also in barley, rye, and oats. Your doctor can let you know if they are safe for you to eat.

5. Bake with other flours.

Try rice flour, potato starch flour, corn flour, or soy flour instead. Check online to see what flours work well as substitutes. Experiment to find the one that gives you the best texture.

6. Think outside the kitchen.

Wreaths and garlands may include wheat or wheat products as decorations. Some children's play dough also has wheat in it. Other non-food items shampoos and conditioners, lotions, and cosmetics may, too. You’re not going to eat them, obviously, but ask your doctor if you need to avoid touching them.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on December 19, 2016

Sources

SOURCES:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Wheat Allergy."

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network: "Wheat."

Food Allergy Initiative: "Wheat Allergy."

© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.