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Friday 12 October 2018

The Dangers of Modern Wheat

James Colquhoun at Food Matters site writes:
"Why is everyone going gluten-free and ditching wheat based products? It seems that every second person is allergic, intolerant or unwilling to consume wheat-based products today. It’s not just a trendy fad, there are very solid reasons behind this shift. Many are asking, what’s changed in our bodies to make us allergic to something we’ve eaten for centuries… however we’re finding the answers have nothing to do with our bodies, it’s the wheat that’s changed!

We dug deep into the grain to discover the origins of wheat, how it has evolved and why our modern wheat is working against us. 

The History of Wheat
Wheat is and has been for many years, a dominant crop in countries around the world used primarily for food and livestock feed. Its cultivation has been traced back to some 10,000 years ago, originating in South East Turkey as part of the ‘Neolithic Revolution’ and ever since then humanity has been looking for ways to get more and more of this golden grain. 

In the 1870s the modern steel roller mill revolutionized grain milling, making it must faster and easier to produce fine white flour compared to old stone grinding methods. This made wheat flour cheaper to produce and it even stored better … the bugs were leaving it alone, and that should have been our first sign! 

Fast forward to more recent times, in the 1950s & 60s the world’s wheat crop was altered and coined “the green revolution” as the new breed of wheat was higher yielding and more efficient! 

Norman Borlaug won a Nobel prize for saving lives through his work in developing the high yielding varieties of cereal grains, expansion of irrigation infrastructure and modernization of management techniques including distribution of hybridized seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides to farmers. In short - lots more wheat could be produced much faster and easier, with less interference from pests and most people thought this was fantastic and trusted the end product was just as good as ever. 

Borlaug was credited with saving 1 billion lives and ending hunger, but we are now seeing major health problems across the globe as a result of the new wheat. 

The green revolution appeared to be a win for production, efficiency and pesticide companies but continues to come up short for health and nutrition. 

Dr. William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly, describes, “the high-yield plant is a distant relative of the wheat our mothers used to bake muffins, genetically and biochemically light-years removed from wheat of just 40 years ago”. 

More Changes
Post-1985, with a cheap and versatile ‘food’ product in our hands, wheat made its way into most processed foods, from bread through to sauces and almost everything in between. Around the same time, a rise in calorie intake, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, respiratory issues, and food allergies was seen. 

The food was different and although people’s food behaviours hardly changed, their waistlines and ailments certainly increased with the added ‘new wheat’ and extra calories unknowingly in their diets. 

A respiratory allergy became prevalent among bakers and became more commonly referred to as baker’s asthma. Recent reports indicate that ‘baker’s asthma’ is the second most widespread occupational allergy in the UK and has been reported to affect over 8% of apprentice bakers after only two years of exposure. 

Similarly, dietary intolerance to wheat is fast becoming more widespread than baker’s asthma, notably coeliac disease (CD) which is estimated to affect 1% of the population of Western Europe. 

Going Against the Grain
Over the past ten years, studies have highlighted a direct correlation between the development of CD that results from an autoimmune response which is triggered by the binding of gluten peptides to T Cells of the immune system. 

Other allergic responses to wheat proteins have also been linked with atopic dermatitis, urticaria, and anaphylaxis – all of which can have negative consequences if left untreated.

These allergic responses have most notably been linked to gluten proteins and what has prompted the phenomenon of ‘Gluten Free Foods’. Although gluten intolerance can vary, many of us experience sensitivities to modern wheat and gluten that can cause inflammation and raise glucose blood levels – which can have an adverse effect on our gut. 

Dr. William Davis explains, “Products made from modern wheat contain forms of gliadin proteins, glutenins, wheat germ agglutinin, and other proteins never before encountered by humans.”

When our bodies have an intolerance to gluten or wheat, it can cause the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break the tight junctions of cells apart, causing a ‘leaky gut’. A leaky gut can wreak havoc on your body and especially your bladder –where toxins, microbes and undigested food particles escape from your intestines and travel through your bloodstream

How Do I Know if I Have an Intolerance to Gluten or Wheat?
Simple. Just cut it out of your diet for three to four weeks and make note of any changes that you feel in your body, and after which reintroduce it. If you notice changes or feel significantly worse after reintroducing gluten, it might be time to head to the doctors and ask for the following tests:

IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (these are found in about 80% of people with celiac disease)
IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
Tissue Transglutaminase antibodies
Total IgA antibodies
Genetic testing (HLA DQ2 and HLA DQ8)

An intestinal biopsy 

Cutting out the wheat from your diet doesn’t mean you’ll miss out - there are so many recipes full of healthy and delicious ingredients that negate the need for wheat and will have you saying ‘what wheat’." 

All words and picture above taken from original article here 

Looking for a low carb, gluten free and grain free bread see here 

All the best Jan


mxtodis123 said...

Very interesting read. I do have issues with my gut. IBD. Have it pretty much under control now, but every once in awhile I have a flare up. Going to look into those recipes. Thank you.

Christine said...

Thanks for this info, and a beautiful photo by the way.

Valerie-Jael said...

Great info, thanks. Valerie

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

We love to 'improve' things. Sigh

Out on the prairie said...

I had wondered why there was so much allergy . A cousin was 44 when she found what had caused numerous health problems through the years

Anonymous said...

I have read this article, I came across it and it’s an eye opener!

Lady Fi said...

We make our own bread with organic flour (rye + wheat) so I hope that is better.

Sue said...

What an eye-opener, to have changed so much in just a few years. Thanks for the info x

Practical Parsimony said...

Bread sends me into an itching fit. I claw my body raw. When I eliminated wheat, my itching stopped immediately. When I switched from whole wheat to cheap white bread, the itching stopped. Now, I eat little wheat products.

Teresa said...

Muy interesante reportaje. Saludos y feliz fin de semana.

Bill said...

An eye-opener, for sure. Thanks for sharing

William Kendall said...

Such things shouldn't be messed around with.

Tom said...

...few things are the way they use to be.

DMS said...

I had no idea that wheat had changed so much. Wow! It explains a lot. Thanks for such an informative piece.

Gloria Baker said...

really interesting !

Pam said...

Thanks for sharing that info. It is all so interesting. Thanks also for leaving such a nice comment on the blog. I love doing the all around post!

Linda said...

I tolerate spelt in moderate amounts but even a few crumbs of modern wheat make me pass out!

DIMI said...

Hello! Great information!
I love bread and I enjoy making bread too!
Wishing you a lovely day and a happy weekend!

baili said...

Thank you sooooooooooo much for this TREASURE post Jan!

this is always striking and beneficial to read your useful informative and interesting articles !

i just found out that most old and common piece of diet can also be harmful for health

since years we buy grains and make wheat from mill though i realized that wheat must be reduced as we grow older

since i lessened it i feel light ,same with rice
thank you again

Francisco Manuel Carrajola Oliveira said...

Excelente informação e alerta.
Um abraço e bom fim-de-semana.

Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa

Chris Lally said...

Great article, Jan!
We haven't eaten wheat in our house for a long time. Fortunately, I live in the land of gluten-free supermarkets & restaurants (US Pacific Northwest), so I don't feel deprived - just fortunate. I just wish that more people were aware of the dangers of these hybridized seeds and nasty pesticides & fertilizers. Too bad gluten free diets are considered a fad by so many.
Thank you, Jan.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I don't eat wheat anymore, but had no idea of the changes in my lifetime. They are shocking. Is this why spelt might be better? Though I would not eat that anymore, either.

Lowcarb team member said...

Many thanks to all who have commented/left their thoughts here.

Spelt was mentioned in some comments, so I thought it may be a good idea to give some more details ...

"What is Spelt, and is it Good For You?

Spelt is an ancient whole grain grown in many parts of the world.
It declined in popularity during the 19th century, but is now making a comeback as a health food.
Ancient grains like spelt are claimed to be more nutritious and healthier than modern grains.
This article takes a detailed look at spelt and its health effects, both good and bad."

please find the full article here

Many thanks to everyone that takes time to comment, not only on this post but on other posts too.
It is always good to receive, read and share the comments.

All the best Jan

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful post about wheat ~ the bread looks delish!

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Snowbird said...

This was a scary read for sure!xxx

Magic Love Crow said...

This is very interesting Jan! Thank you! Big Hugs!

Phil Slade said...

Hi Jan. Thank you for posting this information. As you point out, our foods have changed so much that many are totally different to the originals. You have made me even more determined to eat healthily and to include bread/wheat in my quest.