Thursday, March 28, 2013

Whole Wheat and the Gluten Free Experiment

I have heard so much about gluten-free eating from people whom I know do not have celiac's.  I decided to see what the hype was about and embark on a gluten free diet myself.  I decided to not use too many of the gluten-free substitute products, like the gluten free pastas and breads (although I did try some pretzels made with brown rice).

I will begin by saying that I did notice some improvements in my GI area, I felt more regular, experienced less cramps and less bloating.  Overall it seemed like my digestive system was at ease.  I was considering how much better I felt, while giving a presentation to a roomful of teens about making half their grains whole, and started feeling confused.  Could it be possible that what I learned in my years studying nutrition was wrong? Is gluten really bad? If so why am I teaching these kids that whole grain pasta, breads and cereals are good choices?

I went home and thought about the grains I normally eat, such as whole what english muffins, wheat bread, pitas, whole wheat tortillas, and wheat pasta. 

Then I considered what I had elected to replace them with including quinoa, beans, lentils, brown rice, wild rice. 

I quickly realized that most of the items I had chosen while gluten free were also minimally processed foods.  I wondered, is it actually the gluten that hurts people, or the heavily processed wheat products containing gluten?  Would the heavily process gluten products do the same?

Needless to say my experiment was inconclusive, although I have always believed in choosing minimally processed foods. However, it would not be accurate to draw a conclusion on one person's brief experience.  But that doesn't mean I won't share it. :)


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