Eating gluten-free and wheat-free has become commonplace. In fact, you won’t have to search far to find someone who has given up gluten or wheat products for their health. There can be a variety of reasons and while it may seem like a diet craze, it actually isn’t. Instead, making the move to wheat-free eating is a healthy choice for many that will have nothing to do with weight. Should you be eating wheat-free? We have some reasons why a wheat-free diet may be what you need.
Why a Wheat-Free Diet May Be What You Need
First, what a wheat-free diet is not.
Making the move to a wheat-free diet can feel like a leap of faith. After all, so many love items like bread, pizza, and even oatmeal. Shifting to a wheat-free lifestyle can be a big adjustment. While it can have many benefits, there are also a few myths about what a wheat-free diet can do for you. Before making the choice to go wheat-free it is important to look at some of these myths. Here are a few things a wheat-free diet is not.
- A quick weight loss diet - It can be easy to look at different food choices people make and hope it will be a great way to lose weight. While some people do lose weight on a wheat-free diet, not everyone does. A wheat-free diet is not meant to be a crash diet to fix all of your weight-related needs.
- A cure-all - A wheat-free diet is not a cure-all. While some symptoms can be relieved by going wheat-free, a wheat-free diet is not a cure-all. Some symptoms may be less intense or relieved on a wheat-free diet but it is not a magic cure.
- A gluten-free diet - A wheat-free diet and a gluten-free diet are not the same things. There are many items a person with a wheat-free diet can enjoy that someone with a gluten sensitivity cannot. It is important to look at which you are committing to before you begin.
What is a wheat-free diet and do I need to be on one??
A wheat-free diet is a big step to make for someone. It can help to better understand what a wheat-free diet is before taking this step. Making the move to wheat-free living isn’t as simple as giving up bread. While that can be intimidating, it doesn’t have to be. We have more information for you on what a wheat-free diet really is and whether you should make the move to wheat-free eating.
- Do you have a diagnosed wheat allergy? - Food allergies are one of the primary reasons a doctor will suggest a wheat-free diet to a patient. This is because the body will react negatively to the wheat and can cause health issues that are difficult to deal with. Making the move to wheat-free eating can help to remove or lessen some of the health impacts of wheat on the body.
- Do you have a wheat sensitivity? - Not everyone who moves to wheat-free eating has a wheat allergy. Sometimes there is a sensitivity to wheat that wouldn’t be considered an outright allergy. This could include a variety of gastro or other health-related issues that are triggered by consuming wheat items.
- Are you trying an elimination diet? - For some, wheat may be part of an elimination diet. Some allergists and doctors will suggest removing allergen-based foods to see if symptoms are relieved. Making a move to wheat-free eating can be a part of an elimination diet to help you find foods that cause a reaction.
What foods does a wheat-free diet eliminate?
Many people assume that a wheat-free diet is simply a move from wheat bread to white bread. There is more to ask when making a move to a diet that doesn’t include wheat. In fact, did you know that wheat is hiding in a variety of foods you might not expect? It can also contaminate foods that you might assume are safe. Here are a few foods to avoid if you are making a move to a wheat-free diet, unless of course you have purchased specific wheat-free versions.
- Rolls, bread, baked goods
- Cookies, cakes
- Granola and Muesli
- Pasta and noodles
- Bulgur, couscous
- Soup pasta, breadcrumbs - (Wheat flours are often used to thicken up a soup or stock. This can be a big contamination issue when changing how you eat.)
- Candy, ice cream with cookies or crunchies content - (This can include items like cookie dough ice cream or cookies and cream ice cream flavors.)
- Breaded meat and breaded fish - This applies to items that are fried or breaded.
- Wheat beer
- Packaged convenience foods, soups, sauces
What foods can you eat if you are on a wheat-free diet?
Making the move to give up wheat doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are many items on the market now to make wheat-free life more doable! Items such as produce, meat, and many dairy items are naturally wheat-free. There are also many items that can be made wheat-free by making small changes. Here are some options for wheat-free eating.
- Opt for gluten-free foods - Gluten-free foods will naturally be wheat-free as well. This will mean items such as gluten-free pizza, gluten-free desserts, and a variety of gluten-free meals will be safe for you to eat. This can be great because there are many gluten-free foods on the market right now.
- Switch out your flours - When making a recipe it can help to switch out ingredients that aren’t as good for you for those that are. This can mean using things such as rice flour or tapioca flour in the place of flours that have wheat in them.
- Watch for cross-contamination - If you are moving to wheat-free eating, you will want to be cautious of cross-contamination. This is especially true when eating out at a restaurant. While an item may be free of wheat and wheat products, it may come into contact with wheat products in the cooking process. Make sure to ask the chef if your food items are cooked on the same surfaces as wheat or come into contact with wheat in the preparation process.
For lots of gluten-free and wheat-free recipes, click here.