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People with celiac disease and wheat allergies must avoid foods made with the grain or any of its derivatives 1. Wheat is an ingredient in many foods, including ones you would never expect such as certain soups, salad dressings, sauces and drinks. If you must avoid wheat, you can enjoy many foods that are naturally free of the grain.
Meat, poultry and fish are all free of wheat. Avoid breaded versions as the crumbs most likely come from wheat-containing bread. Some processed meats such as sausage, deli meats and hot dogs contain wheat fillers, so check the labels before consuming. Try to avoid meats with unfamiliar marinades or sauces as some barbecue sauces and mustards contain wheat.
- Meat, poultry and fish are all free of wheat.
- Try to avoid meats with unfamiliar marinades or sauces as some barbecue sauces and mustards contain wheat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Kamut & Gluten
Fresh produce is naturally wheat-free. Most frozen fruits and vegetables are also wheat-free, but check packaging of vegetables with added sauces as the flavorings may include wheat starch. Dried fruits and olives are also wheat-free, but be wary of trail mixes which might include traces of wheat products.
Dairy and Eggs
Eggs contain no wheat. Plain dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding and cheese are also wheat-free. Check labels for flavored yogurts and kefirs, as wheat may be used as a thickener for the sweet topping. Avoid any yogurts with crunchy toppings such as cookie crumbs or granola. Blue cheese should be avoided as the mold may have been started on wheat bread and very sensitive individuals can have a reaction.
- Plain dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, pudding and cheese are also wheat-free.
- Check labels for flavored yogurts and kefirs, as wheat may be used as a thickener for the sweet topping.
Wheat-Free Meal Plans
Choose white or brown rice, amaranth, teff, millet or quinoa as wheat-free grain options. Pastas and breads made with these grains are usually wheat-free. Corn and rice ready-to-eat cereals are usually wheat-free, but check the label for possible flour blends. Buckwheat, despite its name, is gluten-free and not a derivative of wheat.
- Choose white or brown rice, amaranth, teff, millet or quinoa as wheat-free grain options.
- Corn and rice ready-to-eat cereals are usually wheat-free, but check the label for possible flour blends.
Any product labeled gluten-free is also wheat-free 2. Along with wheat, any traces of barley and rye are also removed from gluten-free products.
Nuts and Oils
All oils are wheat-free. Plain nuts are also wheat-free and make a healthy snack. Coated nuts or flavored nuts may contain wheat, so read the labels carefully before indulging.
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- Medline Plus: Celiac Disease
- FDA: What is Gluten-Free? FDA Has an Answer
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Wheat Allergy Diet.
- Jnawali P, Kumar V, Tanwar B. Celiac disease: overview and considerations for development of gluten-free foods. Food Sci Hum Wellness. 2016;5(4):169-176. doi:10.1016/j.fshw.2016.09.003
- Hager AS, Taylor JP, Waters DM, Arendt EK. Gluten free beer–a review. Trends Food Sci Tech. 2014;36(1):44-54. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2014.01.001
- Food Allergy Canada. Reading food labels.
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. Wheat allergy.
- Adams J. Celiac.com. Six Ways Celiac Disease Can Kill You. August 13, 2014.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What You Need to Know about Food Allergies. Updated September 26, 2018.
- Coeliac UK. FAQ: What is gluten-free (Codex) wheat starch?.
- Celiac Disease Foundation. Sources of Gluten.
- Newman's Own. Wheat-Free Non-Dairy Newman O’s.
- Geisslitz S, Longin CFH, Scherf KA, Koehler P. Comparative study on gluten protein composition of ancient (einkorn, emmer and spelt) and modern wheat species (durum and common wheat). Foods. 2019;8(9). doi:10.3390/foods8090409
- Schär. What You Should Know About Gluten Free Wheat Starch.
- Leonard MM, Vasagar B. US perspective on gluten-related diseases. Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2014;7:25-37. doi:10.2147/CEG.S54567
Andrea Boldt has been in the fitness industry for more than 20 years. A personal trainer, run coach, group fitness instructor and master yoga teacher, she also holds certifications in holistic and fitness nutrition.