If the GenArrayt® test has shown an ELEVATED reaction to wheat, it is recommended that you avoid all wheat and wheat products for at least 3 months.
Wheat is an important source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B complex, chromium and zinc. If wheat is to be eliminated from the diet, it is important that these nutrients are obtained from alternative sources.
Foods to Avoid
Wheat can be found in many foods:
- Breads, rolls, chapatis, naan breads, crumpets, scones, pancakes, wafers, cakes, biscuits.
- Breakfast cereals
- Pizza, pasta, pastries and Yorkshire puddings
- Ice-cream, powdered drinks, malted drinks, chocolate bars, liquorices and puddings
- Beer, stout, lager and most spirits
Wheat is also found in many convenience foods such as:
Soups, sauces, spices, processed meats, ready-made meals (including burgers), oven chips, salami, sausages, scotch eggs, meat or fish coated in breadcrumbs, corned beef, pates and spreads, crisps, commercial sauces, salad dressings, ham, gravy, stock cubes, herbs, spices, baking powder, tinned foods (including beans), spaghetti and soup
Ingredients to Avoid
Wheat is hidden in many foods, so it is important to read the ingredients label carefully before purchase:
Below are some ingredients that may be listed:
- Binder or brown flour
- Bulgar wheat, triticale, kamut, spelt, cracked wheat or kibbled wheat
- Couscous, wheat bran, durum wheat or semolina
- Gum base
- Hydrolysed wheat protein or wheat gluten
- Rusk, wheat starch, modified starch, food starch, wheat flakes or edible starch
- Whole wheat or puffed wheat
- Wheat germ flour or unbleached flour
- Wheat germ oil or wheat germ extract wholegrain or wholemeal flour
Although wheat is a significant source of nutrients, there are alternative food products that provide equivalent vitamins and minerals. Whilst it may be challenging, alternative foods should be eaten to ensure that an enjoyable, varied and healthy diet is adopted:
- Breads – wheat-free bread is now widely available and generally made from rice our, rye our or blended from potatoes and corn. These types of bread contain the essential B vitamins, iron and folic acid that are found in wheat bread. Choose from 100% rye bread, pumpernickel or rye/barley soda bread. Crackers or crispbreads such as rye crispbreads, oatcakes, corn cakes and rice cakes can be used in place of bread for meals and snacks.
- Pasta – choose pasta made from rice, quinoa, corn or buckwheat, which all also contain B vitamins. Noodles are also available in buckwheat or rice.
- Biscuits – a wide range of biscuits are available that are made from maize or oats, and can be either sweet or savoury.
- Breakfast cereals – a wide selection of cereals are available that do not contain wheat, such as cornflakes, wheat-free muesli, porridge oats, millet puffs, brown rice puffs, puffed buckwheat, shredded oaty bites and quinoa flakes. These all provide a good source of B vitamins and iron.
- Batter and breadcrumbs (made from wheat our) – use wheat-free bread or corn flakes to make bread crumbs instead.
- Sausages – usually contain wheat rusk but rice rusk is used in some wheat-free alternatives available in supermarkets, butchers shops and meat producers at farmers markets.
- Japanese, Chinese and Thai dishes (containing soy sauce) – soy sauce is produced using wheat. At home, try Japanese Tamari soy sauce which is made without wheat.
- Gravy – use vegetable stock or wheat-free stock tablets and thicken with corn our. If a brown gravy is preferred, add gravy browning. Wheat/gluten-free instant gravy powders are also available.
- Sauces – to make a white sauce use corn our or another wheat-free our (e.g. rice, potato or gram flour) to thicken the sauce. To prevent lumps forming, mix the corn our first with a little cold milk. Heat the remaining milk in a pan and then add a small amount of the hot milk to the cold mix and stir. Add the remaining milk to the pan, cook through and then add the flavouring (e.g. grated cheese or parsley).
- Baking – There are many foods that can be used as a substitute to wheat that provide variety to meals and essential nutrients. Ingredients that can be used in many recipes instead of wheat include: Bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar, tapioca, gelatine or vegegel based desserts, pure spices, cornour, rice and arrowroot; amaranth; potato our; barley (flakes or our); quinoa; buckwheat (flakes or our); rice grains (flakes or our); corn (cornflour, maize band polenta); rye; ground nuts (e.g. almonds); sago; lentils; pea, bean, gram ours; soy (flakes or our); millet grains (flakes or our); tapioca and oats.
- Wheat-free manufactured products – a wide variety of wheat-free speciality products such as our, bread, biscuits, cakes and gravy mixes are now available at supermarkets, chemists and on-line. Some cafés or restaurants sell home baked gluten-free cakes – check that they are also wheat-free.