By Dr Harold Gunatillake - Health Writer
Did you ever know that the wheat used today for our foods including bread, cakes and pies is not the same wheat used by our ancestors? The old wheat grain was called Triticum monococcum (Einkorn). It had a chromosome count of 14. Farmers as far as 10,000 years ago cultivated wheat. It was extra healthy and very tasty
During the sixties and increasingly in the 1990’s, scientists and plant breeders decided to find methods of increasing the production for the demands of the growing world population, and also improve disease resistant yields. The scientists found that by a process of hybridisation the wheat grain can be modified to achieve the need. The crops were shorter, hardier and better-growing and better yield. Do not mix up hybridisation with genetic modification. In genetic modification the DNA is mixed with the DNA of plant species, animals or bacteria. Hybridization occurs through breeding selection.
So, the modern hybrid variety is named Tricum aestivum and has a chromosome count three times of the previous variant.
So the new variant became the dietary staple next to rice, but no studies have been done on finding out whether there would be toxic implications and other side effects
It is now known that this new hybrid variety of wheat is creating health issues, such as autoimmune diseases, gluten intolerances, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and Coeliac disease to name a few.
Did wheat hybridization cause Coeliac Disease?
There is reason to believe that hybridization of wheat during the recent pst may be an underlying cause for the outbreak of CD. If that is the reason reversing to the ancient wheat einkorn may be the answer.
Many farmers worldwide are working to restore einkorn wheat to our modern diets to reduce the incidence of CD and to other health benefits.
Einkorn toxicity is supposed to be less than modern wheat. On the same token CD patients should not reverse back to einkorn wheat, as they may be sensitive to the old wheat, too On the other hand gluten sensitive CD patients having reversed to the old wheat consumption have found that einkorn diminished symptoms or had no reaction.
Gluten and Gliadin
White rice is gluten-free and one could switch over to rice for the daily calorie and energy requirements. No one knows how gluten is metabolised, and as Alessio Fasano, the Medical Director for the University of Maryland’s Centre for Celiac Research states that nobody can digest gluten.
Our glands in the gut have no enzymes to break it down. Those people who are sensitive to gluten, the immune system seems to react to it and damage the inner lining of the gut.
Wheat free diets
Cardiologist Dr William Davis noted in his book-Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, lose the weight and Find Your Path Back to Health, that hybridized wheat contains sodium azide, a known toxin. It also goes through and resistant to the gamma irradiation process wheat has to go through during manufacturing.
High Glycaemic Index
It is generally best to avoid wheat products, more so among diabetic patients. Controlling diabetes is much easier on a wheat free diet.
Increase LDL cholesterol
There is no contamination of wheat products with rice, because rice is grown in warmer climates and in muddy watery fields.
In conclusion –there are no medications for coeliac disease and other gluten sensitive situations. You should schedule a meeting with a dietitian to help you learn the basics of a gluten-free diet.
There are many people who avoid gluten containing foods as a lifestyle for better health and well-being
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