To Non-Gluten or Gluten
A friend and I were talking Health Related Stuff - the topic of Non-gluten foods came up. I have some pretty strong feelings on the topic, I’ll share them here with you 🙂
It is easy to jump on the non-gluten band wagon because you feel like you are doing something healthy and good for your family, right! I bought my hubby a gluten free baking cook book for Christmas a few years ago and he delved right in!
What we noticed was what he was making tasted good, but we were hungry very quickly after eating it.
It left me wondering if this was really a good idea. Now, no one in my family has celiac disease, so do we really need to go non-gluten?? It is supposed to be healthier - but is it??
I went online and went shopping at Walmart and compared some boxed goods that were gluten and then their gluten free counterpart. This is what I found…
Prices were MUCH higher for non-gluten
There was less in a box for non-gluten
Sugars were not way higher (that surprised me, I was expecting high sugar in gluten free)
Ingredients in non-gluten had high processed wheat substitutes.
Xanthan gum is from Corn Sugar = GMO corn!
After doing some more research I decided to skip the gluten free and instead there are 3 things I do when it comes to grains and wheat. I’m going to share 2 today. Instead of spending extra money on non-gluten products I’ll spend my money on organic wheat or other organic grains. Here is why….
I don’t think it is the gluten we are having trouble with!
Wheat and grains have been around for a long time and they have offered us, the human race, much nutrition and fiber. Just look back in history and you’ll find tons of references to bread!
The bread of life…. Give us this day our daily bread…
Ancient Egyptians had barley and emmer wheat which was made into bread, cake and beer.
Colonial times for breakfast they had bread, milk, and left over meat and veggies from dinner.
Grains and breads have been a staple for humans for a long time.
What has changed?? Gluten intolerance is on the rise. I found a stat in a celiac post (https://glutenintoleranceschool.com/gluten-intolerance-statistics/) that 3 million people in the US suffer from celiac disease, which is approximately 1 in 133 people. However, more recent numbers suggest the number may be closer to 1 in 100.
Just personally I can’t believe how many people have reported that they gave up gluten and they “feel so much better!”. Can wheat be that bad after being “the bread of life” for thousand of years?? What has changed? I feel it is the commercial wheat that has changed - not us!
Plants change with time because it is a natural thing that mother nature does. You may have two types of tomatoes, but one pollinates the other and that tomato seed that is produced can be a mix of the two. Kinda like your kid… right a mix between two parents.
People have been using this hybridization tool for a long time to foster the aspects of the plant that they like the best.
What we are doing now with wheat is changing the DNA - it is called GMO. Genetically modified Organism. There are many alarming things to GMOs, but there are 2 things that may be affecting how we are able to digest this wheat.
The book “Ancient Einkorn” explains that during gene splicing, they are adding genes together - not just taking out parts and replacing genes. So you end up with a wheat that has more chromosomes than what it originally did. The wheat that is generally used for bread is called tritium aestivum and it has 42 chromosomes. Wheat used for pasta and low rising bread, tritium turgid as 28 chromosomes. Now compare that to the ancient einkorn wheat, Triticum monococcum that has 14 chromosomes!
The additional chromosomes create new proteins that we had not digested before. This is totally new to our bodies. Boom, essentially overnight we are asking our bodies to digest food that has been modified by adding chromosomes - something, that if it was going to happen naturally would certainly take hundreds, even thousands of years!!
That is why I have decided to skip the “non-gluten” health craze and instead get grains that are non GMO and organic.
Einkorn, Kamut and Spelt are our favorite.
Now I know there are quite a few ancient non GMO grains that have not been “messed with” by us humans. If you have one you like - please let me know!!
Another reason why my family still consume grains is because I think we need some gluten.
A study in Spain tested 30 people and replaced their diet with non-gluten foods. What they found was that this change reduced healthy bacteria (bifidocbacterium, B. Long and Lactobacillus) while the unhealthy bacteria increased.
Lactobacillus is an important probiotic, I want to increase it in my belly, not reduce it. People take Lactobacillus for IBS, inflammation of colon, constipation, prevent common cold and flu, yeast infections, ear infections, UTI.
So this lead the scientists who did the study and me to the conclusion that the “composition of the gut microbes is susceptible to the influence of the diet, and especially to the quality and quantity of ingested carbohydrates.”
What I understand is our bodies NEED some gluten to have a healthy gut. Gluten is a pre-biotic - it just has to be the original gluten not modified by man. (A prebiotic is food for our probiotics. Give our good bacteria the right foods for them to grow on and they flourish!)
The other reason I feel we are having issues with our commercial grains is because of the amount of chemicals the wheat is exposed to when growing.
Even the EPA says that “laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer and other effects that might occur over a long period of time.”
Each year more than 2 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to our food supply. That is about 10 pounds per person. How scary is that???
The most commonly used pesticide that is used on wheat fields is Round-Up or glycophosate. The GMO wheat is even “round up ready”, which means that it is created to be resistant to Round-Up. It can be sprayed and sprayed and sprayed and not be affected!
And that is just what happens. The wheat fields are sprayed to control weeds and they are even sprayed before harvesting because it makes it easier to harvest, it helps dry them out!
Lab tests have linked Round-Up to cancer, reduced production of hormones, miscarriages, and genetic mutations. Sure… the argument is that we get such a small amount in our foods, but what about the cumulative effects!
Hmmm, no thanks!. I don’t want any Round-Up in my belly!
Other studies are connecting Round-Up to poor gut health because the Round-up is killing off our good microbes in our tummies. Poor gut health has been linked to hundreds of autoimmune diseases, autism and ADHD, and more!!
So, YES my family eats gluten but I make sure when we purchase a wheat product it is organic. So that means NO Round-Up or pesticides.
And I go out of my way to find grains that are not typical and not hybridized or GMO yet so we can have grain that has not been changed or affected by man! (Goodness, why must we go and mess up a good thing??)
In another FB live I’ll share the 3rd thing we look for and do at home to our grain to make it easier for us to digest and get all the nutrients from the grain!
I have found that when shopping for healthy grains like this, don’t go to Amazon. The price is SO much higher! You can buy bulk grains at https://www.bobsredmill.com/shop.html. I’m in love with the spelt from https://onedegreeorganics.com/. You can’t purchase from their website, but you can locate a store near you that sells their products.
Thanks so much! I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Let me know if this gave you something to think about when you are in the kitchen or supermarket!!