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Video: Dean Bocari on Hidden Gluten in Common Foods and How To Avoid It

Published on March 12, 2013,

Dean Bocari has a new YouTube video with lots of useful information on hidden gluten in common foods including how to spot it and the best alternatives. This is from Dean’s Daily Dose…

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Here’s a link to Dean’s Daily Dose where you can download a PDF report of the main contents

The Problems with Modern Wheat – From Lack of Nutritional Value to Sensitivities and More

Published on October 19, 2012,

Following yesterday’s post featuring Dr William ‘Wheat Belly’ Davis and the post last week about a UK break company spreading misinformation about the supposed health benefits of wheat in the diet, today completes a trilogy of wheat-related posts with some background information from Mark Sisson on exactly what makes modern wheat such a bad thing and why avoiding it is one of the real advantages of a low carb diet. This is from Mark’s Daily Apple…

wheat

Wheat (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)

It’s less nutritious.

In 1843, agronomists at Rothamstead Research Station in Hertfordshire, England began what would become one of the longest-running continuous agronomic experiments in the world: the Broadbalk Winter Wheat Experiment. For the last two centuries, generations of scientists involved in the experiment have grown multiple wheat cultivars on adjacent plots of land and applied different farming techniques and fertilizers to study the effect on yield, nutritional content, and viability of the crop. They’ve rotated crops in and out, switched up fertilizers, and tracked the change in mineral content of both soil and wheat grain. It’s a stunning example of a well-designed, seemingly never ending (it continues to this day, as far as I can tell) experiment.

Between 1843 and the mid 1960s, the mineral content, including zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper, of harvested wheat grain in the experiment stayed constant. But after that point, zinc, magnesium, iron, and copper concentrations began to decrease – a shift that “coincided with the introduction of semi-dwarf, high-yielding cultivars” into the Broadbalk experiment. Anotherstudy found that the “ancient” wheats – emmer, spelt, and einkorn – had higher concentrations of selenium, an extremely important mineral, than modern wheats. Further compounding the mineral issue is the fact that phytic acid content remains unaffected in dwarf wheat. Thus, the phytate:mineral ratio is higher, which will make the already reduced levels of minerals in dwarf wheat even more unavailable to its consumers.

Increased yield leading to dilution of mineral density is one possible explanation for the reduction in wheat mineral content, but modern wheat has shorter root systems than ancient wheat, and longer roots allow greater extraction of minerals from the soil. Some people have proposed soil mineral depletion as the cause of reduced nutrient content of food, but – at least in the Broadbalk experiment – soil mineral content actually increased over time.

It’s more damaging to celiacs and gluten-sensitives.

One of the primary proteins in wheat, gluten provides the “viscoelastic properties” that allow wheat to be turned into bread, dough, pasta, and all sorts of processed foods. Gluten provides the chewiness of good bread, the bite of al dente pasta. Bakers, cooks, and foodies prize it – but some people fear it, and rightfully so. I wrote all about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease a few weeks back, but the basic gist is that for many people, consuming gluten inflames the body, perforates the gut, and opens them up to a whole host of health maladies.

So what’s the deal with modern wheat? Well, celiac disease is on the rise, and some researchers have suggested that this is caused by the prevalence of certain gluten proteins that predominate in the new varieties of wheat. Namely, a gluten peptide known as glia-α9, which is nearly absent in older wheats but prevalent in modern wheats, is the most reactive “CD (celiac disease) epitope.” In other words, a majority of people with celiac disease react negatively to glia-α9. It’s a common trigger, and older wheat doesn’t have as much of it.

Meanwhile, einkorn, an ancient variety of wheat, has been shown to cause less intestinal toxicity in patients with celiac. Einkorn and other related ancient strains of wheat still contain gluten, of course, but they do not appear to be as damaging to people sensitive to or completely intolerant of gluten and its related protein subfractions.

It’s prepared differently.

Consider how bread is made today:

With refined, old (often rancid) white flour instead of freshly ground wheat.

Using quick rise commercial yeast instead of slowly fermenting with proven sourdough cultures.

On an industrial scale instead of in the home.

Meanwhile, for the vast majority of our wheat-eating history, humans have been grinding whole wheat berries up fresh and fermenting them before baking and eating the stuff. Dr. Weston Price famously found several traditional cultures who thrived on wheat, but they weren’t eating refined white flour treated with quick-rising yeast. They were stone-grinding fresh wheat. They were fermenting it. They were doing all the things a person has got to do if they want to make wheat a staple of their diet and maximize the nutrition in the process. Later, Price conducted experiments in which he reversed dental decay and remineralized cavity-ridden teeth in refined white flour-eating people using wholesome, varied diets that included some freshly ground wheat. Fermentation effectively “pre-digests” the proteins in wheat, as I mentioned previously. If you have the right organisms, you can even break down wheat gluten to the point that celiacs can eat it without suffering symptoms.

That’s not to suggest you should go eat wheat. It’s simply to suggest that if you do, fresh, whole, ancient wheat prepared the old way is definitely healthier.

More at:  The Problems with Modern Wheat

Top Baker On Switching To Low-carb, Low-sugar Baking

Published on October 12, 2012,

After years building his career and credibility on carbs, award-winning baking instructor and bread cookbook author Peter Reinhart was an unlikely candidate to become an ambassador for low-carb, gluten-free living. And yet his just-released “The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking” (Ten Speed Press, 2012) puts him squarely at the top of the heap of writers, bloggers, bakers and chefs clamoring to satiate America’s hunger for a life — or at least a dinner or two — lived with fewer carbohydrates and less of that pesky, yet ubiquitous wheat protein known as gluten. This is from Ocala…

Reinhart has long been considered one of the nation’s premier bakers.

His gorgeous, painstakingly researched books blend textbook-worthy detail with a gentle voice that masterfully leads readers through the science and romance of transforming carbs and gluten into deliciousness.

So why change? “I wanted to add something totally new that no one else was doing,” he said of his book, which he co-authored with flour developer Denene Wallace.

That something new is a fresh approach to gluten-free baking.

Traditional gluten-free recipes turn on what Reinhart calls “the holy trinity” of starches — rice flour, tapioca and potato starch.

Those starches work in place of gluten, but they also happen to be startlingly high in carbohydrates.

He wanted recipes that blended low-carb and gluten-free.

His approach, developed in collaboration with Wallace, relies on finely-ground flours of almonds or pecans.

Some recipes also call for flours made from seeds, such as sunflower or sesame.

“With the nut flours, you’ve got a lot of natural oils in there and no starches that will go stale,” he said.

The added benefit — and perhaps, he believes, the most important — is that nut flours reduce the carbohydrate load in the bread, making the products suitable for diabetics and others watching their carb intake.

“I’m always fascinated by new frontiers, by what’s the next thing coming that nobody’s tapped into,” said Reinhart, a baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts in Charlotte, N.C. “The biggest concern for us was the growing diabetic community,” which is particularly sensitive to the carbohydrates in food…

More at: Switching to low-carb, low-sugar baking

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