Wheat and corn are in many different foods.
It is fairly easy to avoid eating foods that are commonly known to contain wheat or corn, such as bread, baked goods, or corn flakes. It is not so easy to avoid wheat and corn when they are hidden in other food products.
Educating yourself is one of the best ways to ensure that you do not eat them if you have a wheat allergy or a corn allergy. Some people with a wheat allergy carry auto-injector carrying cases with epinephrine, a medication that is used if wheat is accidentally eaten.
Learn synonyms and other terms used for wheat and corn
Learning which other names are used for wheat and corn is not as easy as it sounds. There are many names that wheat can be listed as, including enriched flour, durum, semolina, cereal protein, gum base, manna, farina and others. Sometimes corn is listed as maize, corn flour, corn starch or maize starch. Many products contain high fructose corn syrup, and this product originates from corn. Soda, syrup and processed desserts often use it to sweeten their products.
Get in the habit of reading every food label before eating
Reading every label before eating any food is the best way to avoid wheat. You will soon learn which foods contain wheat. Some foods that you may not suspect that do contain wheat or wheat products are soy sauce, rice cereal and even frozen French fries. Unless you see “Wheat-Free” on the label, the food may not be safe for you to eat.
Even wheat-free foods may be cross-contaminated
Some manufacturers that produce both wheat and oats or wheat and other foods use the same processing equipment to prepare the foods. For this reason, if you have a wheat allergy, it is important to make sure that the label says, “Wheat-Free.”
Wheat is used to make non-food items like lotion, cosmetics and some household cleaners. You will want to also check with the manufacturers of these products to see if they use wheat in their production. Non-drowsy Benadryl is an antihistamine that is helpful if you have a minor reaction to the wheat in these products.
Rice products can be substituted for wheat or corn
Substitutes for wheat are often made of rice for people with a wheat allergy. One of these is gluten-free bread that is made from rice. You can find this bread in the gluten-free frozen section of many supermarkets. You will need to read the label carefully if you are avoiding both wheat and corn because some types of bread are gluten-free, but they contain corn. Rice bread does not contain either wheat or corn. Rice noodles are also widely available, especially in the Asian food section of your grocery store.