You know, gluten has become everybody’s favorite scapegoat…
It’s what people blame their every last health problem on, from indigestion to rapid weight gain to even a twitch in the eye…
And I’m going to go against the grain a bit here and tell you directly that unless you have celiac disease or a confirmed-by-a-doctor allergy, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with gluten.
However, there is a major health problem and I’m going to tell you exactly what it is.
I believe that the reason gluten has such a negative connotation has to do with the foods you eat that contain gluten… and not with the gluten itself.
That’s what I wanted to write to you about today.
You see, gluten has gotten a bad rap and it’s time to set the record straight.
And I bet you know exactly where we need to start…
What the Heck is Gluten Anyway?
To put it simply, gluten is a protein – one that’s found in a wide variety of foods, including bread, pasta, cereal, and much more. If you see wheat, barley, or oats in the ingredients, then what you’re about to eat definitely has gluten.
And there are plenty of ingredients that might not seem like they have gluten, but they certainly do and I’ll show you what they are a little bit later in this article.
Now, gluten is a special protein in that it binds things together – it’s what gives bread that stretchy, elastic feel.
In fact, the word gluten means “glue” in Latin…
So even the ancient Romans knew about gluten and ate it on an everyday basis.
But here’s the thing…
It wasn’t just the Romans that ate gluten – it goes back far earlier…
People have been eating gluten for over 10,000 years. Yeah, I didn’t add an extra zero there – it’s ten thousand years.
And during that time, there wasn’t such a huge amount of attention being paid to gluten – it was just a normal part of the diet, spreading quickly around the globe.
However, something changed along the way…
And now the same gluten that was safely eaten for thousands of years is currently being vilified by nutritionists and consumers alike.
So what changed?
Is it a small issue that’s been blown out of proportion or is something else going on?
Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not just in your imagination – something has changed, and it’s been leading to all sorts of health problems, from standard bloating to far worse conditions, like nail fungus infections.
And if you think that it’s just a tiny fraction of the population, I’ve got some unfortunate news – I’ve seen more fungal infection cases in my natural medicine career in the past ten years than I saw in my whole lifetime.
And in my professional opinion, it all comes back to foods that contain gluten…
However, there’s a twist – it’s not the gluten that’s harming people like you, it’s…
Our Modern Wheat Problem
What’s changed with wheat starts with a seemingly innocent and well-intentioned idea – to improve and make more efficient the wheat growing, harvesting, and storage process…
Unfortunately, those good intentions have led to a world of problems… literally.
You see, nearly all wheat products today use white flour that’s skipped all the steps of traditional harvesting and drying…
That’s because new wheat strains are easy to grow, harvesting is done with huge machinery, production is at a factory not a farm, and this new white flour can last for years on the supermarket shelf.
Instead, it’s become a massive industrial procedure that not only strips out all the healthiest parts of wheat like the bran and germ, but it also generates a final product that isn’t good for our bodies.
In fact, one of the ways you can tell that our modern flour isn’t healthy is simple – even the bugs won’t eat it.
And the worst part – it’s in nearly everything and on nearly every aisle of your grocery store. So you’re probably wondering…
How Do I Avoid Modern Flour?
I hate to say it, but if you want to avoid modern flour, it’s not as easy as you might think.
Sure, you can start by cutting out cheap, mass-produced bread, pasta, and other products that clearly contain wheat, like crackers.
However, you have to take it a step further by paying close attention to the labels on ALL processed foods. See, flour is hiding under names like semolina and malt and shows up on common products you might not expect, like:
- Candy bars
- Salad dressings
- Spice mixes
- Soy Sauce
- Canned soups
- And the list goes on and on…
Now, my overall recommendation is to remove as many processed foods from your diet as possible, but even I’m guilty of cheating from time to time.
So the best idea is to be aware of how present modern flour is and be sure to check labels often.
Also, if you miss the chewy, wheat-y taste, there is a way to bring wheat back into your diet…
Are There Any Healthy Wheat Alternatives?
Keeping in mind that gluten is not the enemy, foods that contain gluten but not wheat are perfectly fine – foods like oatmeal made from whole oats and salads made with whole barley.
And believe it or not, wheat isn’t a problem either, as long as you choose the right wheat versions.
It’s largely flown under the radar in recent years, but there’s a movement to return to high quality wheat in the form of ancient grains, which means that more and more healthy options are popping up in local stores.
In particular, I like to look for spelt and einkorn wheat. Both have all the classic benefits of healthy wheat, but without the modern wheat harvesting issues.
And you can also find smaller producers of standard whole wheat flour that use traditional methods rather than the industrial process.
So, if you’ve cut out wheat or other gluten products and would like to give gluten a second chance, I highly recommend it. A good way to start is by making oatmeal with whole oats or even making your own bread.
I can’t wait to hear your new wheat success stories – be sure to tell me all about them!
And if you want to boost your digestion, then I recommend you…