It is such a blessing to live in a country where we have such varied food choices. Gluten, found in wheat and many other grains, has been a hot topic for several years now and is still quite confusing. Untangling the gluten issue takes hours of research and there are smart and sincere people on both sides of the fence. Today I will try my darndest to give you objective facts so that you can make the best decision for your own health as you START SOMEWHERE toward LIVING YOUNGER, avoiding lifestyle illnesses, and feeling your best.
Wheat has been cultivated and consumed for centuries. If it’s been the “staff of life” for so many people, why is it suddenly considered by almost 30 percent of the population to be unhealthy and to be avoided? It is helpful to know just how much it has changed around 1960:
- Modern wheat has many more gluten proteins than ancient wheat due to hybridization. Many of these brand new proteins are associated with the increase in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. In some people, the immune cells in the gut mistakenly assume that the gluten proteins are foreign invaders, causing the body to attack itself. This can lead to inflammation and increased permeability of the intestinal lining.
- We are able to separate nutritious components of the grain, the bran and germ, away from the endosperm where most of the starchy carbohydrates are contained. This decrease in nutrient density gives refined wheat the ability to spike blood sugar, which leads to insulin problems.
- Modern wheat is grown with lots of dangerous pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals can affect the hormone systems in our bodies and can overload our internal detoxification systems.
- Most of the wheat eaten today is high-yield, dwarf wheat. This was developed by crossbreeding with good intentions. It yields shorter stems and a much more bountiful crop.
- The Broadbalk Wheat Experiment is one of the longest running scientific studies in history. Since 1843, scientists have grown different strains of wheat, analyzing various factors including nutrient composition. The nutrient content started trending downward in 1960. Concentrations of zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium were 19-28% lower in 1968-2005 compared to 1845-1967. At the same time, there was no evidence that the soil had changed.
- According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, about one out of every 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, a severe autoimmune disorder. This number is growing. More common is non-celiac gluten sensitivity which is believed to afflict 6-8% of people.
As I researched this post, I found interesting research on the herbicides that are used on the wheat and how they affect the body, including the brain. We’ll talk about glyphosate, with the brand name Round Up, tomorrow. START SOMEWHERE today untangling the gluten issue and drawing your own conclusions. A healthy body is the best place to live. You can do it. I will help you.