What Foods to Avoid on a Wheat-Free Diet - dummies

What Foods to Avoid on a Wheat-Free Diet

By Rusty Gregory, Alan Chasen

While you’re investigating your wheat-free diet, part of your plan will be knowing what to look for specifically in regard to the condition you’re treating. A wheat- or grain-free diet is just that: foods with no wheat or grain. Non-wheat grains with gluten, such as barley and rye, are okay if you’re focusing only on wheat.

When planning a gluten-free diet, though, eliminating all grains containing gluten is critical. Here are some tips to help you navigate what is and isn’t still on your to-eat list and what other products you may need to avoid. You have to eliminate all wheat from your diet because you can’t separate wheat and gluten. However, you might also want to eliminate all grains, which automatically cuts out all gluten.

When making your don’t-eat list for your new wheat-, grain- or gluten-free diet, you eliminate foods that may cause allergies and stomach problems. The following lists can help you design your diet to your liking.

Many non-wheat, non-gluten grains also contain the same problematic compounds as wheat. These compounds bind to a host of nutrients and block their absorption. These grains drive blood sugar spikes because of their carbohydrate content.

Grains to steer clear of on a wheat- or grain-free diet and a gluten-free diet are

  • All forms of wheat

  • Amaranth

  • Barley

  • Bran

  • Couscous

  • Durum

  • Farina

  • Farro

  • Hemp

  • Kamut

  • Malt

  • Millet

  • Oats

  • Orzo

  • Quinoa

  • Rice

  • Rye

  • Sorghum

  • Spelt

  • Teff

  • Triticale

Wheat starch is wheat that has had its gluten washed out. The U.S. doesn’t permit its use in gluten-free products because it’s not believed to be totally free of gluten.

When it comes to foods that may or may not contain wheat/grains or gluten, you have to be vigilant. Unless the label says wheat- or grain-free or gluten-free, leave these foods out:

  • Beer

  • Breads

  • Breakfast cereals

  • Candy

  • Condiments (such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise)

  • Cookies

  • Crackers

  • French fries

  • Hot dogs

  • Ice cream

  • Pancakes

  • Pasta

  • Pastries

  • Pizza crust

  • Pretzels

  • Processed meats

  • Salad dressings

  • Sauces

  • Sausage

  • Soups

  • Soy sauce

  • Waffles

Wheat can be found in many places, so if you eat foods that aren’t included on this list, make sure to read the food label.