Wheat (Triticum aestivum), possibly originating out of southwestern Asia, and is believed to have been a staple for over 10,000 years, not naturally native to the western hemisphere, it was thought to have been brought there during the 1400’s.
Wheat has become one of the most common and one of the largest crops of any cereal.
Commonly found in many food products, from coating chips to make them crispy, to breakfast cereals, to most baked goods.
Do take note that gluten intolerance, and wheat intolerance can be different things in different people, although they often do go hand in hand.
It is generally believed that oats contain gluten, although they actually contain avenin, still, it is a similar protein to gluten. Generally speaking, people who have problems with gluten can digest avenin, but be aware of the potential for cross-contamination that may occur from manufacturing processes.
Please note that intolerances and allergies are wildly different things, and anybody who believes they may have one or the other should contact their GP for further tests, and to maybe be referred to a registered Dietitian before deciding whether or not to cut wheat or gluten from their diet. Coeliac disease, a chronic auto-immune disease, can create similar symptoms and cause a patient to believe they have wheat or gluten intolerance.
Other stuff wheat can be labelled as;
Flour (plain, self raising, wholemeal, malted)
Common place to find wheat;
Beer (wheat and gluten free options available)
Bottled sauces of all kinds
Larger (wheat and gluten free options available)
Stouts (wheat and gluten free options available)
As well as many others, Allergy UK have more information on this than we do.
The following is a list of common wheat free alternatives, but please, always check the ingredients.
Oats (labelled ‘gluten-free’)
Most of these alternatives are available in a flour like form, or as ingredients in many standard foods.
Xanthan gum (powder) is a reasonable substitute for gluten, and can be added to gluten-free flour as an adequate substitute when you want to create a bread like texture.
Cornflour/starch, potato flour and arrowroot are fairly decent substitutes when you need something to work as a thickening agent in sauces, savoury and sweet alike.