Wheat-free diet, as the very name suggests, is a diet that is exclusive of all those food items that are made from wheat and wheat flour. As a part of this diet, you need to completely cut down on bread and pasta, made from wheat, apart from all the other foods that contain wheat and wheat flour ingredients. In turn, you will have to look for wheat-free products, like rice, buckwheat, and so on. If you plan to follow such a diet for a long period of time, it is better to consult a doctor or nutritionist, to chalk out a proper meal plan. Otherwise, you might end up doing more harm to your body, than good.
Wheat Free Meal Plan
In a wheat-free diet, you completely avoid eating the following food items:
- Wheat, wheat berries, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheatgrass, or any form of the word wheat (other than buckwheat)
- Flour, including instant, bread, cake, enriched, graham, and all-purpose flours. (you can have flours made from safe grains, like corn flour, millet flour, rice flour, etc)
- Bulgar or bulghar
- Cracker meal
- Tempura crumbs
In case of the following food items, unless their label especially mentions that they are made from a non-wheat source, it is better to avoid them.
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Modified food starch
- Vegetable starch or vegetable protein
- Gelatinized starch or pre-gelatinized starch
- Natural flavorings
- Soy sauce (wheat-free tamari is an alternative)
Before having any of the following food items, make sure that they do not contain wheat in any form.
- Breads, pastries, cakes, cookies, crackers, doughnuts, pies, pretzels, and all other baked goods. (majority of them are made from wheat flour)
- Breakfast cereals, both hot and cold
- Pasta, including gnocchi, spaetzle, chow mein, lo mein, and filled pastas. (you can go for rice noodles, pure buckwheat soba noodles, etc)
- Snack foods, especially if seasoned or highly processed
- Soups, gravies, and thickened sauces
- Breaded meats or vegetables, such as fried chicken or okra
- Dumplings, meatballs, lunch meats, meat loaves, and similar foods (they often use breadcrumbs or flour to hold the ingredients together)
- Salad dressings, Worcestershire sauce, and other condiments
Different From Gluten-free Diet
Unlike what most people tend to believe, wheat-free diet is not synonymous with gluten-free diet. In fact, gluten-free diet is much more comprehensive than the former. In wheat-free diet, you have to avoid eating only those food items that are made from wheat and wheat flour. On the other hand, gluten-free diet requires you to cut down on all gluten-containing foods, which include not only wheat products, but those comprising of oats, barley and rye as well.
- Go for a wheat-free diet only if you are sensitive to wheat or want to eliminate wheat-based products from your meals.
- The diet is not meant to those who have celiac disease or suffer from gluten intolerance.