Three Ways To Bring Wheat Back Into Your Diet
The gluten-free industry is predicted to reach 15.6 billion in sales in 2016, with 28% of Americans set on avoiding wheat and gluten products. Many are choosing to avoid wheat because they don’t feel good after eating it, want to lose weight or have been convinced it is unhealthy.
Before you give wheat a life sentence as a bad food, here are some whole wheat facts and tips that may allow you to successfully break bread once again.
Tip #1: Be Choosy
Many gluten-free experts suggest that ancient wheat had much less gluten than our modern wheat and, therefore, conclude that it was better. But what if our society’s growing “gluten sensitivity” doesn’t come from wheat, after all?
One study compared the ancient wheat, Kamut, with some modern wheat strains. They found that the ancient Kamut actually had twice the amount of hard-to-digest A-gliadin glutens than the modern wheat. The Kamut, with twice the gluten, was shown to reduce inflammation two-fold, while also lowering blood sugar and cholesterol significantly more than the modern wheat.
In another report by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, the average American ate 86 pounds more wheat flour in the year 1900 than they did in 2008, suggesting that the increase in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity may not be from the gluten after all.
Ancient strains of wheat that include Einkorn, Emmer and Kamut have been found to have more antioxidant activity than modern wheat and are good grains to include in your diet, as they are also typically prepared without industrial processing. But, not all modern wheats are created equally. Spelt is a much easier grain to digest because it has 40% less of the hard-to-digest anti-nutrients than common whole wheat. Anti-nutrients protect grains, beans, seeds and nuts from invading bacteria. Rye has also been shown to have a significantly lower glycemic index and is a better choice for those who are concerned with high blood sugar.
Tip #2: Eat Fermented Wheat
There is no doubt that the gluten in wheat is a hard-to-digest protein, but history suggests that we are well-adapted to digest it. For starters, new research from the University of Utah has found evidence that humans have been eating C-3 grasses such as wheat and barley for at least 3.4 million years. In fact, our bodies specifically produce enzymes for breaking down gluten – so we have certainly adapted.
Early bakers discovered that fermenting the wheat flour with beneficial bacteria made the wheat much easier to digest. In a handful of studies, sourdough was found to reduce the gluten content of the bread, even rendering it “gluten-free.” It’s safe to say then, that for gals with a slight gluten sensitivity, sourdough bread is a good place to start.
Tip #3: If You’ve Never Heard of It, Don’t Eat It
Have you ever wondered why the bread you buy in the supermarket stays “fresh”, fluffy and tasty for weeks without getting hard or moldy, while old-fashioned baked or artisanal breads get hard in just a couple of days?
It turns out modern breads are loaded with dough conditioners and preservatives that keep the bread squishy and “fresh” or resistant to mold for weeks. In addition to the many chemicals and added sugars put in most breads, the most dangerous of all is the added oils. Most breads have added oils in them, which are key for their so-called freshness, squishiness and shelf life. The oils used are typically super refined, bleached, boiled and deodorized, leaving them with little to no nutrition and making them almost indigestible to humans.
The ingredients in a healthy and digestible loaf of bread should look something like this: organic whole wheat, water, salt, starter – with no cooked oils. As for the rest of the potentially toxic ingredients unnecessarily found in most breads, avoid sugars or sweeteners, even natural ones like cane sugar, honey or molasses. Also, avoid breads with ingredients you do not recognize. If you don’t know what it is, than it’s probably best to not eat it.
Article Written by Dr. John Douillard, Edited by Rosa Sanchez
Dr. John Douillard, DC, CAP, is a globally recognized leader in the fields of natural health, Ayurveda and sports medicine. Over the past 30 years, he’s helped over 100,000 patients repair their digestive system and eat wheat and dairy again. He is the creator of LifeSpa.com and author of the book, Eat Wheat: A Scientific and Clinically-Proven Approach to Safely Bringing Wheat and Dairy Back into Your Diet, releasing nationwide January 2017. For more information, please visit, www.eatwheatbook.com and connect with Dr. Douillard on Twitter, @johndouillard.