The wheat-free diet is eaten by people who have an allergy to wheat, one of the most
common food allergies in infants, young
children, and adults. These people are required to eliminate all foods that contain wheat or
wheat products, as well as some nonfood items, specifically cosmetics, that contain wheat, in
order to avoid unpleasant reactions.
Read labels carefully to determine if a wheat product is included and avoid any
food you’re not sure about until you are able to verify that it is wheat-free.
Learn the scientific and general terms for wheat, such as gluten, flour, and
modified food starch.
Ask manufacturers of medications, cosmetics, and other nonfood items if they use
wheat in their products.
Best bets: Grains and starches such as buckwheat, millet, oats, potatoes, rice, and
rye. A wheat-free diet is different from a gluten-free diet. Please see our section on gluten-free diet for more information.
Most people who are allergic to wheat are allergic to the protein in wheat. Exposure to
wheat dust can cause respiratory symptoms, including asthma in susceptible people. In rare cases,
hydrolyzed wheat in body cream has caused
What are the symptoms?
Wheat allergy symptoms may include any of the common symptoms of food allergies, including
skin rashes or hives, gastrointestinal distress, breathing problems, or many other possible
symptoms. In severe cases, a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis may occur. To avoid
an allergic reaction to wheat, ask about ingredients at restaurants or others’ homes,
and read food labels. Be aware that processed foods can be a source of hidden (unlabeled)
wheat. For example, “flour” usually means wheat. Individuals who have celiac sprue (gluten-sensitive enteropathy) need to
avoid all foods containing gluten, including wheat. A gluten-free diet excludes all foods containing wheat, rye, and
barley. The following is a list of foods that should be avoided on a wheat-free diet. This
is not a complete list and it would be prudent to consult with a health care professional for
What do I need to avoid?
To avoid wheat and wheat products ask about ingredients at restaurants and others’
homes, and read food labels. The following list is not complete. Consult with a healthcare
professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
Flour, including cake and pastry, durum,
gluten, graham, wheat flour, whole wheat flour
The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes
only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult
your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any
supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications.