New information suggests even more people may have wheat allergies, including coeliac disease, than have been reported. These people eat meats, fish, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and replace food containing gluten with other grains.
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Grains to eliminate include wheat (and all products made with wheat), barley, rye and the less well-known triticale (a wheat-rye hybrid). Examine-prepared food labels for gluten-containing additives, which are used to emulsify, stabilise, flavour, sweeten or thicken. Wheat is an ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter medications and in some toothpastes and cosmetics. Also stay away from varieties of wheat: graham (whole wheat), farina (usually soft wheat), Durham or durum (used in pasta), kamut (a type of Durham), matzo, hard red wheat and spelt.
Rice, potatoes and corn (maize) are the most familiar, but they're not the only non-wheat dietary starches that taste good. Quinoa, tapioca, millet, sweet potatoes and yams are easy to find and prepare. Less well-known starches to add variety to a wheat-free diet include buckwheat, amaranth, taro, sorghum or jowa, chia, flax and teff or taf. Because of the possibility of cross-contamination in transport and processing, buy only certified gluten-free packages of any grain product. For baking, substitute rice, potato, nut and gram (made from chickpeas and different from graham) flours, and be ready to add a little xanthan gum. Beginners may prefer to use gluten-free flour blends and baking mixes while coming up to speed.
Gluten-free oats may be safe, but discussion is ongoing, and wheat-sensitive people should cautiously test all oat products. Don't drink beer unless it's certified gluten-free. Wine made from grapes is fine, as are distilled wines, hard cider and mead. Distilled spirits may or may not contain wheat or another gluten-containing grain.
Meat, poultry and seafood, unless breaded or processed, have no wheat. Dairy products usually are wheat-free. Fruits and vegetables, except those processed with wheat, are safe.
Certified gluten-free foods, including breads, are available for purchase, so you need not be tied to the kitchen in order to enjoy a wheat-free diet.
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