Is wheat good or bad? The recently published book Wheat Belly has caused a number of folks to mistakenly believe that genetically modified wheat has already invaded our food supply. While it is true that GM wheat is currently being tested in the UK (not for commercial production supposedly), it has not become part of the human or animal food supply as of now.
The warnings against wheat in Wheat Belly are in reference to hybrid wheat strains which is a very different thing from genetic modification or GM wheat which, as of this writing, does not exist in the consumer marketplace.
When a plant is hybridized, the basic plant DNA is not mixed with the DNA of another, completely unrelated plant species or even the DNA of animals or bacteria which is what happens with genetic modification.
The Difference Between Hybrid Wheat and GM Wheat
Hybridization of plants has been practiced for centuries and the truth is that most of the plant foods we consume everyday are hybridized in some form or fashion. Hybridization typically occurs through selection of desirable and inheritable characteristics that are either dominant or recessive genetic traits.
In the case of wheat, strains that are high in gluten have been favored in recent decades given that they are more desirable in food processing with the result that modern wheat is much higher in gluten than nonhybridized (wild) strains such as einkorn wheat.
In other words, hybrid wheat is not GM wheat. Does this mean that hybridized wheat is bad for your health?
Not at all. I personally have no problem eating high gluten hybrid wheat. Note that heirloom wheat varieties such as durum used to make traditional foodstuffs like bulgur are usually better tolerated though. I don’t feel this is the primary reason for the big belly problem that many Westerners suffer from today as claimed in Wheat Belly.
There are plenty of people who are wheat or gluten free that suffer from the same belly issues!
The real crux of the problem is the complete mess that the vast majority of Westerners have made of their gut environment with all the processed foods, sugar, rancid vegetable oils, antibiotics and other pharmaceutical use. An imbalanced gut environment will most assuredly not be able to digest wheat that is high in gluten and undigested food rots in the gut producing excess gas, bloating, growth of pathogens, and breakdown of the gut wall that results in – you guessed it, “wheat belly” as well as autoimmune symptoms such as food allergies or gluten sensitivity.
However, is wheat the real problem?
No it’s not.
Fix the gut and hybrid wheat digests just fine in most cases .. particularly if you prepare the wheat properly by sprouting, soaking or sour leavening as practiced by traditional societies which breaks down gluten into more digestible form.
So if you want to avoid modern strains of wheat because you don’t digest it well, that is fine. Just know that it really isn’t hybrid wheat that is the problem. Getting gut health in order is the real key to solving any food digestion or sensitivity problems over the long term!
For more information about how to reverse gluten sensitivity and other food intolerance issues which go a long way toward flattening that “wheat” belly, check out these previous posts on the GAPS Diet.
Now, if and when GM wheat is introduced into the marketplace, that is a whole new ballgame as it is unknown what effect this would have on human physiology and digestion in particular.
Heal Your Autoimmune Disease Now
Chronic Stomach Pain and Bloating Gone!
The Five Most Common GAPS Diet Mistakes
Overwhelmed by the GAPS Diet? Help Has Arrived!
The GAPS Diet Heals Ulcerative Colitis
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources and More Information
The Real Reason Wheat is Toxic (it’s not the gluten)
I read that it’s not even wheat that is the issue, it is how the wheat is processed into flour that is the problem? chemicals, bleaching, treatments, etc?
Sarah Pope MGA
Yes, that is why it is a very good practice to always grind flour fresh yourself. So easy to do and fast too. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/video-grain-grinding-101/
I do agree that we need to fix the gut in all cases…but this been said,i doubt that we wheat one can fix the gut! Carbohydrates never were and never be an essential food for the human body! Healthy fats, protein and fiber will do all that fixing part of the gut and reintroducing wheat in the diet will just add more work for one to keep the gut in a good balance! Carbohydrates are maybe needed in a very small amount but certainly not from wheat.There are many other better sources! I had huge problems in the past from wheat and i would not give it a second chance to destroy my gut again!
Has anyone considered that it’s not the wheat that is the issue and perhaps delve more into the process of how it is the industrial process where the assimilatable ingredients are stripped. So the flour has a longer shelf life but void of the micronutrient density that pound for pound make it the healthiest food out there. People seem to miss that. Mill your own flour and see the difference with the store bought flour. Night and day.
You are wrong- the literal definition of hybrid is an offspring derived from two different species. To achieve this, the combination of genetic information is required and that modifies the DNA. You can’t combine two sets of DNA but still have the exact same DNA.
I’m sorry but your sooo wrong. Wheat does not naturally form hybrids as other plants do. It is naturally self pollinating and hybrid wheat is only the result of wheat being FIRST sprayed with chemicals to partially sterileze it, then being mechanically pollinated! Those chemicals ruin peoples endocrine systems, no matter how much you ferment, sour, sprout or anything else. EVEN ORGANIC WHEAT IS HYBRIDIZED! And as such contains STERILIZING CHEMICALS!
I have been a Weston Price fan for over a decade and always soured-completely!-my own wheat. I have had to be off wheat for long periods of time. trying to figure out what I did wrong. after MANY YEARS of experimenting discovered the issue with hybridized wheat. The chemicals they use ruin the wheats ability to self pollinate by inhibiting its own chemical production. I have severe symptoms of adrenal failure and diabetes after only a few days of soured/fermented, organic non-gmo wheat. I am more sensitive than most due to my childhood of poor health. I know for a FACT that it is impossible to naturally hybridize wheat. The chemicals from hybridized wheat inhibit pituitary and adrenal function and thus can be responsible for DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, CANCER, LIVER FAILURE, CANDIDA and more. Anything that changes the way the body releases or uses chemicals can be deadly. I know plenty of people with hashimotos that goes away when they don’t eat wheat also-FERMENTED OR NOT!
The braindead farmers are killing us by their selfishness and greed! Even the organic ones! Don’t be a part of the idiocy!
I suggest reading the book on Einkorn by Carla Bartolucci for clarification about the history of wheat. She was a recent speaker at the WAPF Conference too.
I have been dealing with Ulcerative Colitis for the past 10 to 12 years. Two years ago the Doctor told me I had Pandemic Ulcerative Colitis and dysplasia had developed. I was told I was now at the highest risk point for Colon Cancer. Every joint in my body ached and I had to find out what was going on. I stopped eating most foods that contained gluten and began to feel better, much better. I changed my diet and received the best news last month when my Doctor notified me that there was no evidence of active or inactive colitis and no dysplasia. I don’t know what else to say. I cut out wheat products and most gluten, not all gluten but bread and snacks with wheat and purchased pasta from Italy. Small changes that produced great positive results for me. So now I have cut out all wheat products to see if I feel any better. I don’t think I’ll stop forever, but seems too much altered wheat is in every food item sold and one has to start to identify for themselves what foods are causing problems in their life. Good luck to those who are searching for information on healing and I hope each of you who are suffering like I was gets the good news I got.