GRAINS AND THE GUT
Everyone is always asking why I think Spelt is a better option than White or Whole Wheat flour. Here are a couple of reasons why I am opposed to anything white or whole wheat. Not every flour is created equal, most flours have different pros and cons. White and Whole wheat in itself is in the category of "refined carbohydrates". The vast majority of flours in the U.S are processed, and during this process all of its nutrients are removed including the grains fiber (which keep us full). When food has no nutritients it's considered empty calories, you might notice this when you're eating a 40 calorie slice of bread and you still find yourself still hungry. Let alone all the 50 ingredients that you might find when picking up a Arnold's 40 calorie bread will you find chemicals and ingredients you might not be able to recognize nor digest properly.
Not only will these types of breads make you more hungry but you will become insulin resistant, which can create the risk of heart disease, but can cause major inflammatory issues like asthma, fibromyalgia etc.When suffering with certain health conditions it is very important to know what works in each condition - what to stay away from and what to incorporate more of. This is especially important with chronic health conditions some of what I suffer from like hypothyroid.
Most flours we use today are also known as enriched flour. Why are they called enriched ? While all the nutrients were removed during processing , government mandates nutrients to be re added to flour. What the public might not know is that added nutrients are synthetic. Any nutrients that are re added to any form of processed ingredients are NOT recognized by our bodies as natural vitamins and minerals.
I am always urging my clients to use foods in its most natural wholesome form. Eating a sweet potato is always better than having a powdered packet in a box with added synthetic vitamins and minerals. What separates a whole grain from white flour is the endosperm, bran and germ; all which include vitamins , minerals, and phytochemicals etc. Spelt rather than Whole Wheat is higher in fiber, the extra fiber aids in the digestion of the gluten. Less Gluten in a Whole Grain leads to less inflammation which leads to even more less problems with weight gain, digestion and future chronic diseases that may even form at later stages in life. Wheat is not grown the same as it was 50 years ago. Every year the food industry works to help feed starving children, little do we know all these wheat products being used to help children gain weight contain a altered amount of starch and gluten and many more chromosomes coding for all sorts of new odd proteins. Eating these types of whole wheat products can not only raise the sugar levels in our body, but we might as well compare it to eating sugar out of a 5 lb. bag. The glycemic index in each type of grain is different. It is very important to stick to grains that will digest properly and maintain sugar levels in the body .No matter what, you want to keep your glycemic load low. Always avoid refined sugars, refined carbs, and processed foods. If you do decide to eat grains, keep them to minimum. Any grains can increase your blood sugar. Consider sticking with quinoa or black rice.
What is Gluten and how can empty carbohydrates affect us ?
Gluten is that sticky protein in wheat that holds bread together and makes it rise. With the damage our guts have suffered from our diet, environment, lifestyle, and medication use, you have the perfect storm for gluten intolerance. This super gluten crosses our leaky guts and gets exposed to our immune system. I hope you understand what the differences between grains can play a huge role not just on digestion but immunity, hormones and later in life issues we don't want to deal with. First stop in my book is PREVENTION. On the FF program which provides a crash Elimination Diet and reintroducing foods do we find out what our bodies can be sensitive to not just from grains and no this does not me we ALL go gluten free. We learn what we are sensitive to and each person stays in tune with how each food groups affects us in conclusion everyones body is composed differently ; each persons digestion and genes are different as well.
Spelt has significant health benefits and many people who switch to spelt based products rather than wheat based products notice improvement in their health. As an ancient grain, like quinoa, millet, amaranth, and others, spelt has not been manipulated to meet manufacturing needs. People with a range of health issues, including digestive problems, arthritis, Lyme’s disease, migraines, behavioral issues, skin irritations, irritable bowel syndrome, and others report that they feel better eating spelt rather than common wheat. The gluten in spelt is water soluble. It is degraded by heat and is easily broken down by mixing action, in comparison to whole wheat does not break down in water and only relaxes when exposed to heat and seems to get stronger as it is mixed – bakers refer to it as “developing the gluten.” If you over mix spelt, it will break down. If you over mix wheat, it will get stronger. Something similar happens within the digestive system.Spelt’s relatively fragile gluten is easily broken apart during the chewing and mixing action which allows the enzymes and acid secreted during the digestive process to work on the surface of the food. During the digestive process with whole wheat it forms a bolus which remains a ball making it harder to digest.
Further, as an ancient grain, spelt has retained its hard outer hull, which protects the inner grain from pests and the elements. Whole wheat no longer has a hull so it is easier to harvest, but without that hull, the grain needs to protect itself from insects. Modern wheat has an enzyme inhibitor to fight off those pests. Enzymes are what we use to digest foods. Spelt, by its nature, does not need enzyme inhibitors.
This article was written to provide a better understanding on how not every wheat is created equal. PROS and CONS can be weighed on each side but in conclusion our bodies sugar levels need to be maintained in order to avoid sugar cravings, less impact on the gut and overall health. Reducing the load of refined carbohydrates can play a significant change on your own digestion and gut. After all your gut is your 2nd brain.
Here is a list of some breads you might want to take a look at and what are some of the better options on your glycemic load.