Great Smokies Medical Center of Asheville

Sources of Wheat and Wheat By-Products

Allergy to wheat is very common, most likely for two reasons: First, wheat is included in most American diets three to five times a day in meals and snacks and that near constant exposure increases the odds of the immune system developing antibodies to it and second, wheat is in the botanical family of Grasses which is such a prevalent pollen allergen that increases the odds of reacting to other member of the same botanical family. Many allergists consider barley and rye antigenically identical to wheat, and recommend avoidance or rotation of barley and rye if wheat allergy exists. Malt is a fermented by-product of barley and also needs to be avoided or rotated. Label reading is a must for this common additive in processed and snack foods. The immunological intolerance of gluten is called sprue, a serious gastrointestinal disease. Some words on a food label that would indicate the presence of wheat include: durum, semolina, farina, gluten, gliadin, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, starch, monosodium glutamate, bran, bulgur, graham, patent, wheat germ, “thickener”, and “flour”.

Dietary Sources of Wheat:

* Hot breakfast cereals (farina, cream of wheat, etc)
* Processed dry cereals
* Baking mixes (pancake and waffle mix, cake flours, cookie dough, etc)
* Baked goods (breads, pastries, pies, croutons, croquettes, pancakes, waffles, crumb coating on fried foods, cookies, pizza dough, scones, pie crust, cakes, dumplings, communion wafers, crackers)
* Meats (hot dogs, sausages, meat loaf, salmon loaf, meatballs, luncheon meats, swiss steak, breaded meats, some processed turkeys)
* Soups (most commercially canned soups, bouillon, creamed soups, chowders)
* Desserts (puddings, sherbets, ice cream, ice cream cones)
* Processed cheese spreads and cheese food
* Pasta (macaroni, fettuccini, spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, egg noodles, etc.)
* Instant mixed beverages with malt or thickeners added
* Vodka, gin, ale, whiskey, beer
* Commercial salad dressings can be thickened with wheat
* Chewing gum
* White sauces (used in casseroles, sauces, gravies, soups, sauces for vegetables)

* Note: Spelt and Kamut are two ancient varieties of wheat that are in the same botanical family as wheat. They are tolerated by some wheat sensitive individuals and not by others. They should be eliminated on a wheat free diet and tested individually to determine whether or not they are problematic. Amaranth and buckwheat are not in the Grass family and are considered to be substitutes for wheat, but note that amaranth pasta almost always contains wheat flour. Members of the botanical Grass family include: wheat, rice, wild rice, corn, millet, kamut, spelt, barley, oats, rye, cane, cane sugar, cane molasses, sorghum, bamboo shoots, and water chestnu

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