Thinking Of Going Wheat Free?

I’m sure most of you already know that my Granolas are wheat free. The decision to go wheat-free was part personal choice and part customer demand. The main reason we decided to go wheat-free was because wheat contains gluten and gluten is a big no-no for lots of people.

I thought you might be interested to learn about an article by Dr Briffa (whose work I admire) in which he discusses the work of a US cardiologist, Dr William Davis. Dr Davis is the author of a book, titled “Wheat Belly”, in which he advocates a strong case for eliminating wheat from our diets. Firstly, wheat contains amylopectin A (an easily digested starch) which can be very disruptive to our blood sugar levels. Secondly, wheat contains lectin, or a toxin called “wheat germ agglutinin”, which can cause inflammation in the gut and elsewhere. Thirdly, wheat contains gliadin, which is a component of wheat gluten and can produce drug-like effects. Gliadin may not be fully digested in the gut, thus creating small protein molecules called polypetides. These polypetides can then access the bloodstream (via the gut) and bypass the blood-brain-barrier, meaning that the gliadin polypetides can then continue upstream to bind our brain’s opiate receptors. Opiates include opium, heroin and morphine.

The body can make chemicals that naturally bind to these opiate receptors (i.e. endorphins). However, an external substance is called an exorphin and an exorphin derived from wheat gluten can give a person a sense of mild euphoria. Perhaps this explains why eating a bowl of pasta or lots of bread can be a pleasurable experience for some people. Does this also explain why some people find it very hard to eliminate bread from their diet?  If wheat’s exorphin is addictive then it would be reasonable to use it as an appetite stimulant. Some small studies have shown that this could actually be the case.

My thanks to Dr Briffa for a very thought provoking article.

Lizi, x

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