Gluten May Not Be the Bad Component in Wheat

Gluten-free diets have become quite the fad. On store shelves today you can find a gluten-free version of almost everything. Even some restaurants are getting in on it with menu options that eschew the controversial wheat protein. Some point out, however, that scientists have not confirmed the extent, or even the existence, of gluten sensitivity for anyone except those who have celiac disease, according to several online outlets. What’s more, wheat has been raised since the beginning of agriculture, and it seems unlikely to many that it can be so bad for us. A recent article in Mother Jones points out that it may not be wheat gluten but how we bake bread today that is bad for us. Modern companies have an interest in quickly getting product out the door to make a buck, so bread is not given the hours or days to rise that it used to get through most of history. The author of the article noticed that he felt better after eating bread that had more time to rise.

This article may be on to something, but there is probably one more reason. The flour that people use to make bread today is not the flour our ancestors used. It is white flour that has had most of its nutritional content denuded from it. If we truly wish to eat bread that is as healthy as our ancestors ate, it would need to be slow baked and made from unprocessed whole flour. If this was what had been on our store shelves all these years, one wonders if we’d have so many reported sensitivities and allergies and other food related maladies.

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