What's Behind the Wheat Allergy Epidemic?

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recommends that we eat Whole grains. The nutritional value of wheat changes significantly when it is refined and processed.

Wheat is a source of food that has been the staff for the bulk of the world since time immemorial. Yet there are people, especially in Western countries, that have developed either an allergic reaction or an intolerance or sensitivity to wheat. So why has this wheat intolerance epidemic occurred only recently? Actually, the sensitivity- or allergy if you will, is not a reaction to wheat itself; rather it is a reaction to how that wheat has been processed.

Wheat can be processed or made into bread, cereal, etc. in different ways. Refined wheat is when the germ and bran have been removed, leaving only the endosperm. Germ is the nutrient-rich inner part of the grain. Bran is the protective coating around the kernel, which is also rich in nutrients and fiber. And the Endosperm is the bulk of the edible part of the kernel containing starch and protein. Refined flour made from wheat can be either enriched or fortified. Enriched means that some nutrients are added back, especially thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. And when Fortified, nutrients are added back during processing- nutrients that may not have been present in the original product. However, wheat made from Whole Grain is rich in all the nutrients found in the original grain, nothing has been added to or taken out from the grain.

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recommends that we eat Whole grains. The nutritional value of wheat changes significantly when it is refined and processed. For example, “an average of 66% of the B vitamins have been removed. About 70% of all minerals have been removed. 79% of fiber has been removed. And an average of 19% of the protein has been removed.” When wheat is enriched or fortified, only a few nutrients are added back in. This makes it a nutrient-poor food.

In addition, many manufacturers not only refine and heavily process wheat flours but also add preservatives that are made with chemicals. For example, Potassium Bromate, a flour improver is known to be carcinogenic. “It is rarely used in California because of the cancer warning that might be required on the label.” Therefore, it is questionable that chemical preservatives added to wheat flour are contributing to the cause of the wheat allergy epidemic as well.

There are more reasons why an individual would be allergic to wheat; for example, an enzyme deficiency would also be a cause. Though, a poor nutrient content and chemical preservatives in wheat can also be a contributing factor. To be on the safe side, it is better to eat whole wheat and whole grain foods instead of refined. And try to avoid grains, which are packed with preservatives. Organic is always best. Many years ago, nutrients and enzymes were not stripped away from food, and chemicals were not added to them. Yet, we wonder why people today have more health problems than they ever did before.

What you have in your mind?