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Wheat: Do you need to eliminate or evaluate this grain

Published: April 28, 2018

Wheat can be a healthy addition to your diet
Wheat can be a healthy addition to your diet

Wheat, a staple of many diets for centuries, has become a grain of debate.

Wheat can cause serious health issues in people with wheat allergy or Celiac disease, and a small number of people may experience gastrointestinal distress after consuming wheat products.
However, a trendy diet suggests that consumption of wheat is responsible for the increasing rates of obesity and other chronic health issues. 
The message here is lose the wheat from your diet, lose the weight and gain health.
Contrary to this condemnation of wheat as a health disruptor, there is ample scientific evidence which correlates the consumption of wheat, particularly whole grain wheat products, with significant health benefits associated with the nutrients wheat contains.
In addition, the consumption of whole grain wheat products may help with weight loss and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Whether you want to lose some weight or alleviate your gastrointestinal (GI) distress, eliminating wheat products from your diet may appear to be the obvious solution.
However, when you eliminate wheat you also eliminate a whole bunch of nutrients essential for good health which you will need to replace from other sources.
Before eliminating wheat from your diet consider the following:

  • Do you have a wheat allergy?
  • Do you have Celiac disease?
  • Do you experience gastrointestinal distress after consuming wheat products which may be caused by a sensitivity to gluten?
  • What are the benefits of whole grain wheat consumption?
  • How much wheat do you consume daily?
  • Do you consume products which identity gluten as an ingredient?
  • Do you enjoy eating wheat products?

What is a wheat allergy?

Wheat can cause gastrointestinal distress
Wheat can cause gastrointestinal distress
Wheat contains many different proteins of which 27 have been identified as allergens.
Gliadin causes the most severe allergic reaction.
Gluten is the most frequently observed allergen while albumins, globulins and wheat enzymes also produce allergic reactions.
Symptoms of wheat allergy include:

  • the presence of IgE immunoglobulin in your blood
  • eczema, hives, and/or swelling
  • asthma, hay fever, and/or cough
  • tiredness
  • GI distress
  • anaphylactic shock
  • IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease)

Estimates of the prevalence of wheat allergy from self reports indicate that about 35% of the North American population has wheat allergy.

However, when tested for wheat allergy only...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Diet  Health  Carbohydrates  Your Body 

References

1.
Miller-Jones, J. (2013). Wheat Belly: an analysis of selected statements and basic theses from the book
2.
Miller-Jones, J. (2013). Wheat Gluten and Health: the Science Behind Gut Health and Food Tolerance. SNEB conference Portland 2013
3.
Beyer, P.L. (2004). Medical Nutrition Therapy for lower Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders. In Food, Nutrition and diet theraphy