The difference between gluten and wheat explained
Are you wondering what is the difference between gluten and wheat?
There definitely is difference between gluten and wheat. Many ingredient lists on packages today use the term “wheat free” and “gluten free” interchangeably. A lot of people today suffer from allergies to wheat and/or gluten. A gluten free diet is just a bit more restrictive than a wheat free diet.
Gluten is a component of wheat.
Wheat is made up of albumin, globulin, gliadin, and gluten. The majority of the reactions in a patient that has an allergy to wheat are caused by albumin and globulin.
Gluten on the other hand is an elastic protein that is found in wheat. Gluten is formed when moisture is added to flour. Gluten is commonly found in wheat, rye, barley and some oats. Gluten is what gives yeast based dough its elasticity.
A gluten free item will always be wheat free, however a wheat free item may not always be gluten free!
Be careful when reading labels especially on processed foods since they usually have gluten hidden within the ingredients. The easiest way to be sure if an item is gluten free is to just buy fresh food. In the end you’ll wind up feeling so much better and have more energy.
When dining out ask a lot of questions to the waiter. If he can not help you ask to speak to the chef and explain to him or her that you have an allergy or intolerance to wheat or gluten and ask what the ingredients are in the dishes you are interested in.
Is it possible to have a gluten allergy but not a wheat allergy?
Yes it is. If you are allergic only to wheat you can still eat grains that have gluten in them like barley, rye, malt, and some oats.
If you are allergic to gluten you need to stay clear of all foods containing wheat and all flour containing foods. You will have to avoid foods like pizza, pasta, bread, cereals, and alcohol. Make sure there are no ingredients that contain wheat or a derivative of it.
When grocery shopping be careful and read ingredients for gravies, salad dressings, soy sauces, casseroles, bread crumbs, cold cuts, beer- unless of course its gluten free beer. If you are unsure of what items are gluten free check out this complete gluten free food list.