Wheat

by Allergy Guy

Wheat

Wheat

Note

This description is a work in progress. Note in particular that the lists may not be complete, for example synonyms to wheat. I certainly intend to improve and expand on this article as time goes on. Do please add your comments to help add content or correct any inaccuracies that you notice.

Wheat Has a Use

As anyone who must eliminate wheat from their diet knows all too well, wheat is a very useful basic ingredient. It makes wonderful bread, mostly because it has such a high gluten content, which holds everything together and provides such great consistency.

Wheat has been part of the human diet for at least 10,000 years, and probably longer. It grows well in temperate climates. It is nutritious, easy to process and store, and is extremely versatile to cook with. For these reasons, it is a staple food in many parts of the world, particularly temperate climates.

The Problem with Wheat

The problem with wheat is that it has become a highly refined food – both in terms of genetics (breeding for high-yield, drought- and pest-resistance etc.), and in terms of how it is processed (white flour). The term enriched white flour is a sure sign that too much has been taken out of the original food, so that nutrients must be artificially added back into the food. Highly refined flour can be classified as unhealthy food for several reasons. Firstly, it is missing key nutrients that were originally found in the whole food.

The problem with relying on any staple as the primary food in your diet is that it can lead to developing allergies to that food. Wheat is no exception. It is one of the most common food allergens. While not a problem for everyone, a significant number of people are allergic to wheat. Probably a large proportion of these people are unaware of their allergy. They may be aware that they are under-performing, but there are also many under-performers who do not realize they may have a food allergy.

There are other problems with wheat, although some of these are caused by eating too many carbohydrates in general. See the internal links section of this article for more information.

If you are not allergic to wheat, or celiac, stick to eating whole grain wheat if you want your wheat intake to be healthy. You can make fresh flour using the whole grain for baking etc., although this is time-consuming, and you will need to buy a fairly expensive flour mill.

Types of Wheat

There are many types and varieties of wheat. Sometimes, the list of ingredients will list the type of wheat rather than just saying wheat, so it is well worth your while to memorize this list:

  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Kamut
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale (a wheat/rye cross)

Some of these types of wheat, for example spelt, are often found in foods that are “wheat-free”. Some people can tolerate spelt, while others can not. I find I can tolerate a little at a time, for example one or two spelt cookies, every week or two.

Synonyms to Wheat

When scanning a list of ingredients, watch out for these – they are basically made of wheat, or are wheat by a different name:

  • Flour
  • All purpose flour
  • Bulgur
  • Durum flour
  • Farina
  • Graham
    • Graham flour,
    • Graham crackers
    • Graham crumbs
  • Bread crumbs
  • Wheat germ

Wheat Relatives

Wheat is a grass. Besides being related to your lawn and bamboo, grass is also related to the following food crops because they too are grasses:


External Links


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica March 27, 2013 at 06:01

My daughter (8 months) has been diagnosed with an allergy to wheat (also eggs and peanuts). I have found that a number of products contain glucose made from wheat. I have read that this is safe for ‘gluten free’ requirements but is it safe for a wheat allergy sufferer?

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2 Robin November 6, 2011 at 19:39

Hello, My name is Robin.
I am lactose-intolerant, and just diagnosed this with my doctor in the beginning of the summer. I try to eliminate every trace of dairy in my food. But i still end up getting diarrhea and bloating in my stomach. I have been taking calcium pills, along with Womans’ One A Day. I have been loosing hair, more than a normal person. Do you think this could be a sign of a Gluten allergy? What can I do to test for it? Should I be looking for other symptoms?

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3 Allergy Guy November 7, 2011 at 00:33

A gluten allergy is a sort of random choice given your symptoms: not impossible, but based on what you said, not the most likely either. In other words it could be any number of things, from a food allergy to a parasite.

You could always try cutting out gluten for a couple of months and see if your symptoms improve, that’s the best test. I’d also follow up with your doctor. Best of luck!

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4 Stella April 16, 2009 at 09:46

allergy

Sometimes when I am eating my nose starts running and then later I will start sneezing like hay fever ( very violent). I think it might be a wheat or gluten allergy but am not sure. Has anyone heard of this

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5 admin April 16, 2009 at 11:12

Sounds like classic allergy symptoms

Hi Stella,

What you describe are classic allergy symptoms.

These are the sort of symptoms that traditional allergy tests are more likely to catch, so you can try them. See them as a guide; don’t rely on them 100% because they are not 100% accurate.

Meanwhile, look for cause and effect.

You say you think it is a gluten allergy. Do you only have such symptoms when you eat gluten-containing foods? What if there are certain other foods you only eat with gluten-containing foods?

Try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Instead, create a short list of suspects, then narrow it down by seeing if each food on it’s own causes symptoms.

Be aware that you may have more than one allergy, so there may be more than one food causing symptoms.

Hope that helps.

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