Wheat or Gluten?



Many wheat sensitive people avoid all gluten containing grains such as oats, barley and rye. As humanity evolved gluten-containing grains were the last to be introduced in our             prehistoric diets and we have therefore had less time to adapt to digest and assimilate them efficiently. Our intestinal tracts are not yet evolved to efficiently digest these “newer” grains (and may never be), resulting in a number of health reactions affecting every body system. But do wheat sensitive people need to avoid them all?

Of all the gluten-containing grains (oats, barley, rye) wheat contains the highest gluten content which makes it the least tolerated. But somehow in the last few years, with the advent of wheat intolerance awareness, the word wheat has become synonymous with gluten which is not exactly correct. The truth is that the majority of people who react to wheat can actually tolerate moderate amounts of oats, barley and rye because of these lower gluten levels.And even those people who react to all gluten grains can, with intestinal detoxification, immune strengthening and time, usually get to a point where they can once again efficiently digest oats, barley and rye.

Keep in mind though that the less grains most of us eat the healthier we tend to be as a high grain diet is not indigenous for most of us.  And if you are avoiding all gluten make sure and read the ingredients on all “gluten-free” commercial foods since most of them contain unhealthy ingredients as an alternative. Wheat sensitive people (almost all of us) should also avoid spelt and kamut despite what you read about these grains being older foods.

Common reactions to wheat (and for some of us the other grains) include inhalant allergies, depression, ADD, phobias, chronic fatigue, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel, colitis, bloating, gas, heartburn, ulcers, blood sugar problems, thyroid conditions, food cravings and obesity. It’s amazing the power that food has over our symptoms. And yet, so very over-looked by mainstream medicine. But then again mainstream medicine is in the business of medicine, not  health.

If you feel fatigued on a wheat free diet consider an iron supplement since iron levels can become depleted with the diet transition.  Use a liquid or powdered organic iron in gluconate form – gluconates are non-constipating and easy to digest and absorb.