Wheat is one of the main reasons we may suffer from bloating and flatulence. Wheat can be the main reason today we are gaining fat around the visceral area. Modern wheat is hybridised and it contains more gluten than ever before, this is a sticky protein in wheat that produces a larger, fluffier and more appealing loaf of bread with less flour used. It is actually harder to digest because of it’s high gluten content and can also reduce the absorption of other nutrients in your intestines by turning into a sticky, gluey substance……a good description would be almost like papier-mâché which is just a mixture of flour and water.
Not all wheat is bad for us…for example, spelt and kamut have a much lower gluten content, and now we can buy it in health food shops as flour, bread and pasta. Research proves that a large percentage of dietary starch such as wheat escapes absorption in the small intestines. This wheat is then completely digested by bacteria living in your intestines! This actually produces the various gases, causing bloating and flatulence. If you suffer from any of these symptoms why not try cutting wheat out of your diet completely for approximately 2 weeks? See what happens…..you can continue eating grains like spelt, millet, kamut and quinoa. After 2 weeks reintroduce the wheat back into your diet…. eat lots of it and see what happens. If this shows you that wheat is causing bloating and flatulence for you, reduce it as much as possible and in time if you will be able to have it occasionally without causing any problems.
A little-known fact that’s often covered up by the massive marketing campaigns by giant food companies that want you to believe that “whole wheat” is healthy for you… but the fact is that wheat contains a very unusual type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure table sugar.
In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.
This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources.
When making homemade bread swap ½ of your whole wheat flour for coconut flour or quinoa flour. Add in oatbran and walnuts to add more fibre to the mixture. Many of these flours are now available in Health Matters in Dundrum Shopping centre or you can buy them online.
Erika Doolan Nutrition Ireland