Here’s an example of somebody’s dietary choices: how healthy do you think these choices are?
Can you spot the ingredient that is hiding in every meal and snack?
8am Muesli with cow’s milk, blueberries and sunflower seeds. Glass of orange juice.
11am 2 raisin and almond biscuits with a cup of green tea.
1pm Egg and cress sandwich on wholegrain bread, an apple and a bottle of water.
3.30pm Chocolate cake and an Americano
8pm White pasta with tomatoes, peppers, onions, peas and prawns. Side salad. Glass of red wine and a glass of water.
10pm Cereal bar and a mug of chamomile tea.
These look like healthy choices but in fact this person is eating wheat every few hours -
8am wheat flakes in the muesli
11am biscuits made from wheat flour
1pm both white and wholegrain bread are made from wheat flour
3.30pm cakes are made from wheat flour
8pm pasta is also usually made from wheat flour
10pm cereal bars often contain wheat flakes
Other places where wheat is used is in breadcrumb coatings (so for example chicken nuggets, deep fried scampi), all bakery goods & pastry (pies, pastries, sausage rolls, muffins, cookies), pizza bases, and also as a basis for many sauces, including soy sauce.
This may be why some people develop a problem with wheat – let’s face it, it makes sense that if you ate any one type of food every few hours your body would get sick of it. If somebody suggested you ate apples or strawberries at every meal you would think that a weird idea, even if they are healthy foods – but because wheat is disguised in so many ways we don’t seem to notice it.
So, we are always being told that we should eat a varied diet – and maybe replacing wheat with other foods is a good place to start. What is wheat free? There is a lot to choose from: all fruits, all vegetables, all meat, all fish, all beans/peas/lentils, rice and all other grains except couscous and spelt which are forms of wheat. More subtle choices are Tamari rather than soy sauce. So there is plenty to choose from if you choose real, unprocessed foods and check the labels of anything that is processed: wheat is just one grain!
Looking for inspiration and meal ideas that are wheat free? Check out the Soul Nutrition Photo Albums and click on the photos that you’d like to discover more about.
Want to know if reducing your wheat intake will make you feel better? Use Nourish online food diary from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC to track how your food choices make you feel.