Gluten has become a household word by now, and many fear it. Maybe you’ve been tested for gluten allergy and you were shocked when the results came back negative. About half of the clients I consult with have told me that they feel better without wheat in their diet. They report less bloating, better digestion and less weight. So if it’s not gluten, what’s the culprit here? Consider this little known fact about the wheat products produced in North America:
- Most white wheat flour today is bleached with benzoyl peroxide. If that rings a bell, think back to your teen years. That’s right: it’s a topical acne medication. Remember white spots on your colourful bathroom towels? Benzoyl peroxide kills bacteria with oxygen, and in the process, it bleaches. Many people, after years of use of this topical acne medication, have developed skin sensitivity to benzoyl peroxide—creating inflammation, most notably as dryness and itching. Even though the concentration of the ingredient is surely lower than those used in medication, consider that as a rule, people tend to become sensitized to things they are over-exposed to–either by intensity, duration or frequency of exposure. Could wheat flour be causing the same inflammation in the digestive tract and resulting symptoms? We don’t know, but it’s something to consider.
Organically Produced Wheat is Safer
Gluten is a group of proteins naturally present in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut and triticale grains, so organically grown grains from this list will have them, too. However, by choosing organically grown wheat products, we are reducing our exposure to harmful glyphosate, benzoyl peroxide and other chemicals used to treat wheat products both in the field and in the factories.
If you suffer from IBS, IBD, or other gastrointestinal symptoms, consider modifying your intake of conventionally grown grains accordingly.
Disclaimer: if you are allergic to gluten (diagnosed with Celiac disease/gluten enteropathy), you must NOT eat ANY wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut or triticale products of any kind.