The Problems with Modern Wheat

This may seem like a redundant topic, since most of you following a Primal eating plan are already avoiding wheat. The occasional dabbing of soy sauce, maybe a bit of crusty bread at a restaurant, sure, but for the most part, you’re not munching on baguettes in parks on sunny days, wolfing down huge sandwiches, and eating pasta. Wheat avoidance tends to be the rule in our circle. Still, though, haven’t you had that moment where someone asks “What’s wrong with wheat?” and you mutter something about gluten and the advent of agriculture that doesn’t really sound convincing, even to you? Consider today’s post a crash course in exactly why modern wheat in particular is a problem. To borrow a horrible concept that has helped politicians and their cronies obfuscate the truth for decades, these are “talking points” to which you can always refer when asked. The only difference is that these talking points are based on actual research.

Before we begin, what is modern wheat?

Modern wheat is dwarf wheat, a cultivar developed in the ’60s to massively increase yield per acre. But this dwarf wheat wasn’t the lovable, bearded, wisecracking, clownish, comic relief-providing, overly self-conscious Gimli of the Lord of the Rings films, nor was it the fearsome, highly respected, resolute dwarven warrior Gimli in the books. It was a high-yielding cultivar with larger seed heads and thick, short stocks that could bear the extra weight. Being shorter, it received less sunlight than traditional wheat cultivars, but it produced a lot of grains on less acreage. Agronomist Norman Borlaug pioneered the development of these high yield dwarf varieties, refining and perfecting already existing wheat strains, and received much acclaim (including the Nobel Peace Prize) for introducing the dwarf wheat and modern agriculture to developing countries. He certainly helped many millions of people find sustenance and livelihood through wheat agriculture, but what were the unintended consequences of his forays into genetic manipulation of wheat? How is modern wheat different? What are the problems – if any – of modern wheat?

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. Another study 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-?9, 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-?9. 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.

So, there you go: a few good lines of solid evidence showing why modern wheat – which is the only kind of wheat most people are ever going to encounter in the real world – should be avoided. Does that help? If you’re interested in more, check out Dr. Davis (of Wheat Belly fame), who’s made it something of his mission to rail against what he calls a “perfect, chronic poison.”

Thanks for reading, folks. Lemme know what you think in the comment section. And don’t go rushing out to buy artisan einkorn bread and spelt fusilli or anything like that. Ancient wheat is still wheat, it’s still a grain, it’s still got gluten, and it’s still problematic for a lot of people.

TAGS:  gluten

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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167 thoughts on “The Problems with Modern Wheat”

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  1. I wonder if back in the day wheat was not as bad as today? like Bible times 800BC stuff

    1. Um, did you even bother to read the article? It was more nutritious, less problematic and prepared differently, so yes. Even if you just go back to 1950, it wasn’t as bad as today.

      1. yes I read the Article. i guess i did not articulate well enough – i meant for general consumption – could you make bread and gain the same kind of health as we are from being primal- Mark says in closing

        ” Ancient wheat is still wheat, it’s still a grain, it’s still got gluten”

        but back then before anybody jacked it up – could it be healthy to enjoy

        1. Dr. Davis says in his book Wheat Belly that he baked bread with an heirloom variety of wheat. He then compared it to Organic wheat, and modern-day wheat. He did not suffer the ill-effects from heirloom varieties that he felt when eating modern-day wheat, or organic wheat.

          But I think it’s a bit of a trial and error self-test.

        2. My husband did not get heartburn from einkorn wheat pancakes and neither did I. Still high carb and fattening and so I abstain.

      2. Unless you ate the white bread that could be rolled into a gummy ball of dough! That’s the crap I was raised on. Now I’m completely gluten intolerant with several autoimmune diseases. Which I am working to cure.

      3. Hi,

        With the old wheat farmers were told not to take 2 cuts of the stalks, because the fertilizer from the ground travelled up. If they ignored and took 2 cuts and fed it to their cattle, the cattle got sick. They were told to plough it into the ground for next years crop.


        They have invented DWARF wheat, which has a very small stalk and because it yields 10 fold more wheat than the old wheat, it needs more fertilizer.


        If the farmer only takes only 1 cut from the stalks, how much fertilizer is there in the stalk and has the fertilizer affected the wheat itself?

    2. Prior to primal, I was grinding wheat-berries in my home to bake my own bread. It was sooo good too! Toasted… slathered in butter…
      But I digress; since I’ve eliminated wheat all my health problems are gone and I do not feel well at all if I eat anything with gluten. It’s just not worth it to me anymore. I don’t think I would bother, even if I could get my hands on a bagful of the ancient stuff.

      1. Free shipping day on tropical traditions was how I got some. It has some impressive nutrition information. But it’s also from Italy and the olive oil mafia controversy makes me wonder if I can trust it.

      2. About how long after “quitting wheat” did you begin noticing improvements in your health? I’ve only been off it for 2 weeks, and don’t feel much different, but I figured it’d probably take around a month to actually notice anything.

        1. It took along time to get that way so give it time. Sometimes you’ll forget about feeling bad and it will hit you a few months out that you no longer have trouble getting up from the floor, don’t hurt as you get out of bed, or the car…. little things like that. Your body repairs slowly if you let it have a chance.

        2. I stumbled on this question when I was reading through the article and responses. I noticed there wasn’t much of a reply. It depends on your individual digestive system, have gluten sensitivity, or celiacs. I could tell in 24 hours but I am severely wheat sensitive and was having severe abdominal pains from the wheat. Unfortunately the same goes in the opposite direction for me as well, even small amounts of gluten give me indigestion and if I eat it multiple days in a row I will end up getting the sharp stomach pains again. My grandfather says it takes 2-3 days for him if he eats wheat and he has celiacs and it took him a lot longer to feel better after stopping. It really depends on your digestive system and how your body is handling the wheat on how quickly you see results for not eating it.

        3. I never noticed any problems with eating wheat (digestive or other), but after a few months being gluten-free (maybe 6 before I was really sure), I could honestly say my immunity was better (I have Hashimoto’s), my skin was clearer than it’s ever been, my minor/occasional joint pain was lessened (I still overuse my computer so I have issues with my hand/wrist/arm/elbow), but best of all, my brain fog was gone!! I can’t tell you how great it feels to be “back in my own head” again. I can follow through with thoughts like I couldn’t before. This alone is worth the inconvenience of being gluten-free.

          My functional medicine doctor says it takes several months to get all the gluten out of your body–or at least to stop reacting to it, I’m not sure which. Also, I don’t know if this only applies to those of us with autoimmune disease. But regardless, I don’t think anyone NEEDS wheat or gluten. I just watched this and it’s very compelling:

        4. You have to go off all processed foods, read labels and know that gluten is in everything from licorice to chocolate bars to frozen potato puffs. I got stung by 30 wasps and now have allergies to nuts, seeds fruits and am gluten sensitive. In two weeks I noticed I wasn’t in as much pain when I walked, in four months people were commenting on how good I looked and in eight months I realized that I wasn’t as depressed – it takes time to get this out of your system. Listen to your body, if you eat something and your belly hurts and swells you ate something with gluten in it. I do not eat in restaurants, I buy no processed foods, if I go to a friends for dinner I supply my meal. The pain from eating the wrong food just isn’t worth it and I have no problem saying so. It’s not a big deal. Interestingly enough, I can eat homemade bread from organic grain that I grind myself, sifting out the bran (unfortunately I can’t tollerate that yet).

  2. I have been experimenting with making my own homemade sourdough bread and I have no ill effects when I eat this. Of course I have included this in my 20% and eat very little of it. But so far no gastric issues with the sourdough. It’s also fun and it takes a few days to make the bread so it is not always readily available. I also made this bread from my own homemade starter which took a week to make. I know it goes against the grain so to speak but it’s homemade, real and delicious!!!

    1. When I was a kid, I was never a fan of sourdough, but your approach may be worth trying for the every now and then 20% meals/cheat days. Although at that point it may make more sense to try out the “paleo bread” recipes floating around the internet

    2. I used to get San Francisco sourdough and toast it with butter and strawberry jam… loved it.

  3. I like that you are continuing the theme of genetically modified food from yesterday. It doesn’t surprise me that the wheat eaten today was modified to produce more food with the unintended side effect of removing all nutrition. I would rather live and enjoy life on the paleo diet than just survive on the nutrient poor American diet based on wheat products and sugar.

    1. Just to be clear, there’s a difference between “genetically-modified food” and the selective breeding that leads to different varieties or strains of wheat. Selective breeding is just cross-pollinating different strains of the same species to achieve various results. GM foods require manipulation of the DNA of a specific species, often including splicing in the DNA of a completely different species. Selective breeding has been going on for centuries and is just an acceleration of naturally occurring processes. GM is a new science. Not to say that one is any worse than the other, but they aren’t really the same thing.

      1. Selecting for certain traits (ie high yield) while ignoring other traits (nutrition) is almost certain to diminish the other traits, as traits only stay if they’re selected for. GMO or not doesn’t change that.

        1. Selecting for certain traits while allowing other traits to be bred out is not at all the same as inserting completely new traits from a different species.

        2. I was only commenting on how traits are selected for, not whether those traits are good or bad.

          GM means genetic modification – a laboratory exercise. Selective breeding means cross-pollinating and saving the resulting seeds – a greenhouse or field exercise.

          Selective breeding and genetic modification are not the same thing, although some of the goals can be the same – higher yields or drought restistance, for example.

          All the different breeds of dogs we see are the result of selective breeding. The glow-in-the-dark bunny was the result of genetic modification.

      2. The high yield grain isn’t just cross pollinated- it has been exposed to gamma radiation and extremely toxic chemicals to form mutations. This process is called chemical mutagenesis.

      1. If it does not ” supply the needs of humans”, then no one buys it, then it is not capitalism. The customers decides. Pretty basic, sir.

      2. There is nothing wrong with capitalism or capitalists.

        Mark Sisson is a capitalist. He is supplying the needs of health conscious consumers, for profit. if we consider his services worthwhile, we pay him. If we don’t, we don’t. No harm, no foul.

        Contrast Sisson with Halliburton. Halliburton is NOT capitalist. It is “corporatist.” Look it up. It does not profit through the free market, by provide a worthwhile service to consumers.

        Halliburton resorts to political patronage. It uses its political connections to rip off taxpayers. Not the same thing at all.

        Capitalism good. Corporatism bad.

        1. That would make Haliburton a private operator in a utility/gov’t function. Not all markets are free markets, only those with competition and alternatives, and an array of consumers. Professional markets are not free either, as there is no alternative, though competition. Utilities MUST be regulated, though the free market puts all the power in the hands of the consumer.

  4. Wheat belly is a great book btw. It’s what eventually pointed me towards the Primal Blueprint.

    I noticed when I stopped consuming lo-carb products that contained wheat, my weight started to drop again.

    1. Wheat Belly was my dive-off point into the world of paleo-dieting as well. Thanks Dr. Davis!!!

      1. I read Wheat Belly after I went Primal and, wow, what an eye opener!! If I wasn’t Primal before reading I definately would have been afterward.

      2. Hear! Hear! My entree also. And my friend’s at the same time. It stopped her endocrinologist from putting her on insulin as he was scheduled to do. Turned her a1c right around. Thank you, Dr. Davis! You made my life way better!

  5. Great write-up. I think this post is very timely. It is so true – after being paleo for so long, we often forget the “why” behind what we do. At this point I feel my food choices are just common sense, yet, when questioned, I am a bit rusty with my explanation. Thanks Marks.

    1. I agree. I have a hard time defending my eating habits because, duh, I’m eating FOOD, people!

      1. I get criticized for what I eat by people eating lunchables and coke. SMH.

        1. Yeah…people like to tell me I’m not eating right. Usually when I have a fish and veggies, or an apple, and they have a bowl of orange Kraft mac ‘n cheese.

        2. “What are those? Oysters?! Eeeeewww! Grosssss! That’s disgusting! I’ve lost my appetite! I can’t eat now!”
          Then they slather and slop more artificially sweetened jam and hydrogenated soy-infused peanut butter on their toast, meanwhile making a huge mess.

    2. I can totally relate! I was so much more knowledgeable in the early days. Now it just is what it is.

  6. What I didn’t see mentioned is that wheat, any kind of wheat, can become addictive for some people. They start craving it. Then the more they eat, the more they want to eat. Pretty soon veggies and other healthier foods get pushed right out of the picture in favor of bread, pizza, pasta, more bread, etc. I mostly avoid wheat products for this very reason.

    1. Same here. I cut sugar out first and found myself gorging on wheat products. As soon as a I cut that, my appetite has dramatically reduced. It feels great to not constantly think about eating.

      1. I also gorged on wheat products the second I “gave up” sugar. It gave me the same sort of high.
        Wheat (and sugar) both affect my Rosacea terribly. Besides making me bloated and giving me moods swings, I try to stay off the wheat because about 2 hours after eating it I get all hot and flushed, which paints my face bright red and the next day I break out.
        Does anybody else experience these Rosacea problems with wheat?

        1. My Rosacea has pretty much cleared up since I started eating Paleo/Primal. If I cheat, my face pays for it .

        2. Yep, I have the same problem when I eat wheat. I also break out.

    2. Star Trek episode: The Trouble With Tribbles. The more wheat they ate the more they wanted, until they ate themselves to death.

      1. Sorry, but my inner Trekkie can’t let that pass. The tribbles died from eating poisoned quadrotriticale (wheat like grain).

        The Klingons poisoned it to thwart a colonization attempt by the Federation.

        It was also an engineered grain, so we’re completely on topic, here. But don’t feel bad about calling it “wheat”. Kirk did too.

        1. Star Trek geek level 1: mentioning tribbles in a blog post
          Level 2: correcting that blog poster with facts about the episode
          Level 3: knowing the tribbles were eating “quadrotriticale”
          Congratulations, you have achieved true geekdom!

          (I bow to your superior trekkieness, as I am only level 2)

      2. Stargate SG-1 had a similar plot device: space corn (colloquially called “evil Orville Redenbacher”). It was engineered to contain an addictive psycho-stimulant. The withdrawals made people act violent and insane and engage in corn-seeking behaviour.

        1. John Green, a YA fiction author, wrote a short story about the evils of genetically modified corn. It turned people into zombies who’s only concerns were planting more corn and feeding more people the corn so that more corn could get planted. It was called, unsurprisingly, Zombicorns. I didn’t make the Stark Trek or Stargate connections until just now. Nerd out!

    3. Ditto. I don’t get that addictive quality with gluten-free grains, so I can eat them moderately without a problem at all (and can easily go without them as well). But when I was eating gluten all the time, I was all over the bread basket, the brownie pan, the cookie plate, etc. etc.

      1. Darn, this is supposed to go above this comment so I can go “Trekkie Geek Level 4”! Anyway, they made up the term ‘quadrotriticale’ to sound all futuristic, because triticale is (wait for it…) a type of wheat!

        1. Not exactly. Triticale is a cross (not GMO) between wheat (triticum) and rye (secale).

    4. Very well said, that is exactly what happened to me when I was eating wheat products, veggies and stuff got kicked to the curb. No wonder moms have a tough time getting kigs to eat their veggies.

  7. Good write up. Discovering Primal is what helped me to identify that years of chronic bloat and stomach ailments were due to gluten intolerance. I read Wheat Belly as well and found it informative. Beer, (especially during this time of year with all of the pumpkin ales) is the thing I miss the most since going gluten free.

    1. Do you actually notice symptoms if you have a pumpkin ale now and again? How long til the onset?

    2. Cider, Wine, Mead and GF beers (I personally hate GF beers but hey…)… oh yeah most distilled products will be relatively GF (but YMMV some people have issues).

        1. “your mileage may vary”…e.g. everyone’s individual results from a certain dietary change will be different

      1. If your distilled products aren’t Gluten Free, someone’s lying to you.

        1. But in beer, fear the unlabeled GMOs

          Must-read if you drink any beer. I’ve been blindsided by Guinness, kidding myself that it’s European, therefore cleaner (+ high hops are nourishing). Not.
          Every time I’ve requested a dark beer, in a glass bottle, from Europe, in what appears to be a well-stocked bar, I draw a blank (forget about organic). I’d be relatively pleased if a somewhat informed bartender responded, “If you’re concerned about ingredients, all I can say is that all our beers contain an unknown number of unknown chemicals, in addition to the water, hops, yeast and barley, so we can’t tell you because we don’t know either.” Mostly they don’t know what they don’t know.

          …Beer, especially American beer, is made with all sorts of ingredients beyond the basic hops, malt and yeast. There are numerous other ingredients used to clarify, stabilize, preserve, enhance the color and flavor of beer.

          When you drink beer, there is almost a 100% chance that you don’t know what you are drinking … The ingredients in beer are not required by law to be listed anywhere on the label and manufacturers have no legal obligation to disclose the ingredients. For regular beer, calorie levels and percent alcohol are optional and for light beer calories are mandatory but alcohol levels are optional.

          Michele Simon, a public health lawyer, author of Appetite for Profit, and president of Eat Drink Politics told me the reason that beer companies don’t disclose ingredients is simple: they don’t have to.

          “Ingredient labeling on food products and non-alcoholic beverages is required by the Food and Drug Administration. But a whole other federal agency regulates beer, and not very well. The Department of Treasury – the same folks who collect your taxes — oversees alcoholic beverages. That probably explains why we know more about what’s in a can of Coke than a can of Bud. You can also thank the alcohol industry, which has lobbied for years against efforts to require ingredient labeling.”

          German Beers are also a good bet. The Germans are very serious about the purity of their beers and enacted a purity law called “Reinheitsgebot” that requires all German beers to be only produced with a core ingredient list of water, hops, yeast, malted barley or wheat. Advocates of German beers insist that they taste cleaner and some even claim they don’t suffer from hangovers as a result.

  8. Really enjoyed the articles this week as this topic hits especially close to home as I am also gluten intolerant. It makes me wonder what if I had lived during the times when ancient wheat was the norm and the effects it would have had on my body.

  9. Add me to the long list of persons whose digestive problems disappeared within weeks of going primal and cutting out wheat.

  10. One question:

    Why is it that gut symptoms appear to be WORSE when you eat gluten after staying away from it for a long time? Before I went paleo/primal (and gluten-free), my gut issues were minor. Now, my gut feels great most of the time, but when I eat wheat, it’s worse than ever before (lots of gas, bloating and intestinal pain at a minimum). This surprises me, because it seems that if my gut were healthier, it would have more of a strong barrier against the occasional piece of bread, and I’d be able to eat some here and there without incident. I never had such severe reactions when I was regularly eating gluten! Same goes for me with dairy now…

    I also don’t find the argument that “you were just used to feeling bad all the time before you went paleo” all that persuasive because my gut issues were not really that big of a deal before. I went paleo/primal more due to energy and mood issues.

    Can anyone help me with this? Thank you!

    1. Honestly I think it’s just noticing it more. Before paleo eating my wife and I would barely notice if we were bloated or gassy or uncomfortable, it was pretty common. After paleo it’s rare enough that we really notice it now.

      1. This seems to be my perception of the issue as well. When I first started reading this blog, whenever someone would mention an instant reaction to some non-primal food, I would think to myself that they were perhaps being a bit too sensitive towards the cause and effect at work. Too many variables, the geek in me cried!

        Then I started eating primal. Then I started feeling better than I can ever remember. Then I ate a bowl of chili for the first time since going primal. Then I discovered what everyone was talking about, as I was barely half-way through the bowl before my stomach went nuts.

        Normally, I’d eat two or maybe even three bowls without any difficulty. Not any more.

        Now in retrospect, it seems that there were indeed too many variables, all in the non-food category, that is! Since eliminating these non-foods, and their subsequent effects, I’m starting to clearly see the relationships that were previously obscured by a lifelong SAD diet.

        And it is this clarity which has made going primal an obvious choice, since finally, diet, lifestyle and exercise all make sense as the old contradictions of Conventional Wisdom fall by the wayside.

        1. No, that is NOT why. The reason why you are more sensitive to foods is because all foods require enzymes to digest. Each type of good requires a specific type of enzyme, and your stomach produces enzymes on a supply and demand basis. So if you eliminate a category of food, such as grains, for a long period of time you will not have many enzymes on hand to digest that type of starch the next time you eat it and you will have indigestion. But if you eat some grain every day for a week, you will quickly start producing more enzymes and become more tolerant. It is true for every category –vegetarians will get indigestion after their once a year Thanksgiving turkey dinner, etc.

    2. I apologize for this “drive by” answer, it won’t be complete, but hopefully would lead you into the realm of more research.

      I think the probable answer might be your stomach had adapted to eating those foods with the production of special enzymes. It was not well adjusted but still, your stomach was in production of the chemicals to help digest your regular foodstuffs.

      Since you no longer eat those foods on a regular basis, your stomach no longer produces the correct enzymes. Thus, your reactions are much stronger because your stomach/digestive system is not currently producing the right chemicals to deal with gluten quickly or effectively.

      Basically, it’s a “low carb flu” in reverse. It takes time for your digestive system to handle big changes in food supply, but amazingly, it can adapt.

      I think our omnivoric stomachs have been the other great asset (brains being the first) to our long term success. I’m not sure there are many other animals on the planet able to adapt so quickly well to whole sale food changes.

      1. I think Amy and JohnC are both right. Because or me, it seems to be a combination of both. I suspect I was gluten intolerant since grade school, but didn’t figure it out for 30 years. In 4th grade, I used to get stomach aches nearly every day after lunch, and I would go to the school nurse. She would call my Mom to come pick me up. My Mom took me to the doc, who couldn’t find anything and said it was all in my head. Eventually my Mom refused to come pick me up, and I just learned to ignore it. I actually forgot about it altogether until I gave up gluten last year when my son was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity. Until I eliminated gluten, I had no idea it wasn’t normal to not feel bloated and achy after a meal. NOW, I eat just a little and I feel it within an hour. It seems worse than before, because now i know what true normal feels like.

        However, I also think Amy’s “low carb flu” in reverse theory has to be true. Whether a food is bad for you or not is almost irrelevant if your body isn’t used to processing it and lacks the enzymes. Last month, I suddenly started slamming shots of coconut oil. Bad idea! I backed off, then increased gradually tsp by tsp every couple of days with no reaction.

        1. I agree, and would add that the populations of certain species of microbes in our guts change (more or less) over time depending on the food we normally eat. I suspect that once certain species die off as a result of eating PB, the microbiome may become less adept at handling the foods we gave up, so reintroducing those foods could force adaptations within the microbiome as well as the body’s enzyme production. It could be that during such an adaptation process, the metabolic activity of gut bacteria generates a byproduct in the form of copious amounts of gas.

          Which could conceivably affect the disposition of your bed mate.

      2. Excelllent answer. My husband and I are almost 100% Primal, and if we eat SAD foods now, like a meal at a restaurant that uses lots of bad oils, we both get a bad digestive reaction to it. I am fine with this since it means I’ve got all that nasty stuff out of my system for good. There’s no turning back. I was one who was constantly bloated and crampy and thought that was just normal, since everyone else aroound me seemed to have the same issues. My primal body is my new normal and I’m so thankful.

      3. Sounds probable. Maybe we develop a tolerance. I’ve noticed that the more coffee I drink regularly(as long as it’s not huge amounts), the more I can drink without digestive issues, but if I go a while without it, one cup might stimulate a bowel movement.
        Currently I’m drinking tea and eating a little 100% dark chocolate instead because I’ve been drinking way too much coffee lately for my endocrine system’s good, and that from a plastic filter holder and pot.

    3. Like wearing poor fitting clothes & shoes, your body just sort of gets used to or more tolerant to feeling off. When I first started showing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, my knees and ankles would alternate between feeling fine and then feeling arthritic overnight. After a week or so being inflamed, I could jog on the affected part without too much difficulty, but when I’d wake up to a new sore joint, it was difficult to even walk. If there was some sort of objective pain metric, there likely wouldn’t be a big difference between the old tolerable pain and the new intolerable pain, but there would be a big difference between new pain and no pain.

    4. I’m in the same boat. When I went Paleo a few years ago, I didn’t really have an “aha, this is the cure for everything!” moment that some people had. I just generally enjoyed what I was eating more, and I lost some water weight.

      The longer I stay Paleo/Primal, the more I notice the effects when I stray. I went super-strictly Primal for 30 days, and my mood and well-being was so much better. It seems that after that, if I stray too much, I get hyper-emotional and the bloating takes longer to go away than it did when I first switched. Could just be age, but it’s made me increasingly more likely to stick to a stricter diet.

      On one hand, I do think I was more used to feeling bad, and now when I feel good, I want to hold on to it. On the other hand, I sure feel like I react worse when I stray.

    5. You can adapt to nearly anything. Teenagers can survive on nachos, twinkies and Mountain Dew. A large tenet of the Paleo diet is that you’ve adapted to carbs, and a transition period is required to get back to digesting fats.

      Your body was as adapted as it could get to survive on the crap you (and all the rest of us) were feeding it. Once your body adjusted back to running on premium unleaded super high octane, you weren’t tuned for the crap any more.

      Run a pizza through the blender and mix it in the fuel tank of an old diesel tractor, and you won’t notice a thing. Try that in your Ferrari and it’s going to cause missing and backfiring, just like in your gut.

    6. I also find this question interesting. Wouldn’t you expect that a healthy person could handle a little grain ones in a while? Imagine people eating their traditional diet coming into contact with our Western foods of commerce. If they would have immediately reacted as badly to white flower as Elizabeth or I do, they would never have started eating that stuff. Thus I guess, they were able to handle it for some time, before getting problems.

    7. you might not have the enzymes to process the wheat if you’re not eating it regularly. It could be the greater divide between a lack of suffering and a return to the mundane pains you recall. I’m just guessing here.

  11. Some people think it’s just a fad my going gluten-free,think I’m being picky and extremist but… come on… Honestly? Really? WHO IN THEIR RIGHT EFFING MIND would give up something as incredibly delicious as warm, home-made, fresh-from-the-oven-and-slathered-with-pastured-butter sourdough if they didn’t have a problem with it? NOT EFFING ME, that’s for sure.

    1. Your sooooo right. The mother inlaw is the one who just does not understand. I can make some of the most wounderful bread, But if I eat it I will have the worst head each for about 2or3 days. It is just not worth it any more.

    2. Completely agree. I was one told by a male friend that he appreciated that I wasn’t one of those girls who was deathly “afraid of bread.” Not long after that conversation I discovered my gluten intolerance. He was speaking to the tune of carbophobia, and understands a very little bit why I legitimately can’t handle wheat (and I did tell him that I ate gluten-free bread just fine), but it’s still sort of sad in retrospect. Since going gluten-free, my baking (especially bread baking) has decreased significantly. It’s amazing that simply removing gluten from my diet has drastically reduced my carb cravings. While I still eat some gluten-free grains on occasion, I don’t get the blood sugar swings and addictive effects anymore.

    3. Give up any type of bread in any form? Me. Easily. Never understood the obsession for, even in my prepaleo days, what is, essentially a filler. So many healthy things that taste so much better that I would rather eat in larger quantities. Having said that I am in the vast minority, giving up beer was insanely easy. I enjoyed this article from the perspective of you can see the progression from tolerable to the body, with some potential nutritional benefits, to the destructive problems we have today.

  12. As always, I appreciate your flexible approach Mark. Much better than railing about wheat being poison. Some people are not going to give up bread. That’s the reality. (I did, long ago.)

    1. Amen to that! I haven’t given up gluten-free bread, but being legitimately education on it as definitely influenced the frequency of my consumption of all grains (mostly that they simply aren’t that nutritious compared to all other real food). I don’t think heritage wheat is any more poison than shrimp is. Just because some people are highly allergic to it doesn’t make it toxic to all. It is even beneficial to some, and innocuous to many. But I believe a good education on the facts of grains can give people a more realistic idea of the value of it in their diet.

  13. Elizabeth,
    I would like to second your comment!
    I too wonder how abstinence from gluten causes a greater reaction upon its reintroduction.
    It seems that if you turn your back on gluten, it then turns its back on you!
    Counter-intuitive that if ditching gluten heals the gut then why does it become an even more ‘chronic poison’ with just a sampling of bread.
    Does the body need to be weaned back onto gluten and then the head fog and intestinal trouble will be less severe with the passage of time.
    It is a strange one alright and I too would like to know the theories that seem most reasonable.

    1. Ditching gluten WILL NOT heal you by itself. It will stop the damage, but won’t heal existing damage. You would have to go on GAPS diet or similar to heal the gut, then try introducing various foods in order (gluten being last) to see how you react.
      I agree about the reactions: mine are now much quicker and more severe after being GF for over 5 years and now grain free for over 1.5 years.

    2. I don’t have a good scientific explanation, but maybe a good analogy: if you have an old scratched up coffee table and you add a few extra scratches, it’s not going to be very noticeable. But if you sand it down and give it a good polish so that it looks like a new coffee table, any new scratch is going to look horrible.
      If your digestive system is chronically inflamed or damaged from wheat consumption, you may be functioning on a low level without too many outward symptoms. But when you stop eating wheat, everything eventually heals and starts working the way it’s supposed to again. So any damage from that point on is going to feel worse because you’re doing damage to healthy tissue.

      1. Ugh, I inherited my grandmother’s authentic Danish modern furniture. My parents had it beautifully refinished before it moved into my apartment, and then one day my cat decided to take a flying leap just after my husband dusted it with Pledge. That single scratch ticked me off to no end…

        1. Reminds me of one of my cats when I was 9 years old or so. It chewed on one of the pieces from my awesome carved wooden chess set. I loved that cat but it was retarded. In the backyard my family had a big clothesline and the cat was scared to walk under it if there were clothes hanging. It would walk all the way around.

    3. Like the rats in a certain area in Great Britain – they have adapted and become resistant to poison baits that used to control them. People also adapt and become resistant to bad foods, although only partially. The very weakest never thrive, and the strongest have no idea that good health is not merely the absence of obvious disease.

      1. People can become resistant to deadly poisons like cyanide by taking small amounts. It’s hypothesized that Rasputin did so.

  14. Elizabeth & Seosamh: I have the same issue and Mark covered it a couple weeks ago in a posting about non-celiac gluten intolerance. Go to the archives and find it, it was very helpful to me. Now if I eat one piece of whole wheat cereal my intestines blow up. Yikes.

    1. Lora, do you mean the post?

      It states: “It’s conceivable that gluten could be doing damage and causing constant, low-grade inflammation without you even knowing it. This is why folks who go Primal and give up wheat and other gluten-containing grains become more “sensitive” to wheat upon reintroduction. It’s not that going Primal has suddenly made them intolerant of gluten; it’s likelier that going Primal has made them more sensitive to their gluten sensitivity. It was probably always there, but they never knew what they were feeling until they removed it and then tried to reintroduce it.”

      My main problem with this argument is, why would people with a grain free diet start eating our Western diet if they would initially be so sensitive and immediately experience the kind of symptoms many people on a paleo diet notice.

      1. Hi Victor- Actually, I can’t remember how I know this (perhaps it’s from the book Wheat Belly) but many other nations have boycotted American-grown wheat simply because the gluten content is too high. I’m not sure if it has given people intestinal issues or what, but for whatever reason, no other countries seem to want it. I also know of a few folks who cannot eat American wheat, but can eat it while abroad. So, perhaps if you are grain-free and jump into eating American wheat immediately, you will get major symptoms, whereas possibly the less modified wheat from other countries is easier to transition into. Just an unresearched idea…

        1. That is a good argument, Elizabeth. If modern wheat flour produces stronger symptoms as grain products more than a century ago, that would solve that logical problem.

          And maybe there are also other changes that have made grains more offensive. Someone once suggested that fats protect the intestines against gluten. If that is true and people used to eat more fat, they may also have had less symptoms as a consequence.

  15. Perhaps the gut biota (biome?) change after going gluten free for awhile, and the new population is far less able to handle gluten without producing lots of gas and other discomforts.

  16. So you can pretty much say that it might not be wheat that’s the issue, but actually the quality of wheat available today. Just like pink Himalayan salt is actually good for low carb Primal eaters as opposed to refined table salt because they contain all the minerals our bodies tend to be deficient in. It looks like the issue is basic human overpopulation.

    We’re constantly trying to find cheaper faster ways to produce food to meet the demands. Foodwise, cheaper and faster means bad quality. There’s simply too many people alive, and we’re doing anything and everything to keep them alive. It’s not even risk-reward anymore, it’s more like cost-reward.

    1. Well JP, you are free to lead the way in decreasing world population. Forgive me if I don’t follow.

      1. I wish one could point out that there are too many humans on the planet without being invited to kill oneself.

    2. People who believe the Earth is overpopulated should lead by example and kill themselves. None of them are volunteering for that though; they all want to be the ones sitting on the panels deciding who lives and who dies.

  17. Thank you, great article! I am celiac, there’s no way I would trust any wheat! I sometimes will be told nonsense in a nice restaurant, because they don’t want to admit they are not making their own dressings. I have to let them know my condition and then they might tell me the truth!

  18. According to Dr. Davis, “Two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than table sugar, higher than many candy bars. Oddly, this doesn’t stop dietitians and the nutrition community from encouraging you to eat more of it. Eat more wheat, blood sugar rises increase in magnitude and frequency. This leads to higher and more frequent rises in insulin, which, in turn, creates insulin resistance, the condition that leads to diabetes.” AND MAY I ADD…FAT STORAGE.

    1. “higher than table sugar”

      How much table sugar? The bread is measured, but the sugar isn’t?

  19. Also worth mentioning is the addiction factor. I believe it was exorphins mentioned in wheat belly that bind with our opiate receptors. I think this is one of the biggest rewards no longer feeling like your cant live without bread!

  20. Great article, I was actually thinking about sending this question in today. Could it be possible that we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and a small, supplemental amount of heirloom, fresh, grains and sourdough products eaten by someone with a healthy body and gut, could be acceptable and healthy? Our bodies deal with toxins from nightshades, nuts, and other seeds just fine.

    1. There really isn’t any special micronutrient in grains that the average MDA reader can’t find somewhere else, and their macronutrients are even more easily replaced. I’d say that it would be like consuming legumes, if you go through all the hoops and aren’t sensitive or allergic they’d make for a decent enough meal. Our early agricultural ancestors wouldn’t have been dealing with these newer strains of wheat, and could quite possibly have been fermenting their wheat (at least by accident), yet archaeologists could probably tell you how much wheat an early farmer ate based on how bad the skeletal remains of his or her teeth are.

    2. Why even bathe the baby, if you’re just going to throw it out?

  21. I love your posts. They get me all riled up though. Its crazy how we’ve destroyed our food.

    1. +1 Amanda.
      It makes me sad too that legislation and red tape prevent people from exploring and maintaining traditional practices. The whole food monolith is a huge and scary thing now, and I wonder if anyone with clout will finally join all the dots.

      1. It’s up to us. The individual has to teach the child about non-food, genuine old-school food prep. and growing supplies from scratch if they want any grandchildren to see the other end of all this.
        Sounds like more of a thrill and challenge to me than being sucked in to the city five days a week, having the state drag my children up and slaving my guts out to pay a mortgage for an ego-house in a good suburb.
        Emotive words but what else is there to this, really?

    2. And yet, humans now live twice as long as when everybody was paleo, and all farming was organic.

      1. From what I’ve read, that may not be entirely true. The average lifespan was indeed around 30, but that’s only because the infant mortality rate was so high.

  22. I’ve heard that some evidence suggests that the “lactic acid” in sourdough bread (REAL sourdough) negates some of ill effects of phytates and gluten in sourdough bread. Seems a reasonable excuse for me to include it in my 20% (on the weekends).

    1. I have heard this too…. would a sourdough made from emmer, spelt, or einkorn also be a better “bad” choice?

  23. been trying to work in paleo with my family but this wheat thing is the hardest….. if I have to use a variety of wheat in a recipe, what would your best “bad choice” be? emmer, spelt,or einkorn?

    1. Why do you have to use that recipe at all? There are literally thousands of paleo/primal recipes out there to choose from!

  24. i didn’t read anywhere about the protein gliadin found in the dwarf wheat, that attaches itself to the opiate receptor cells and blocks your body’s own pain relief efforts and creating a constant hunger state. primal 8 months and loving life!! success story coming soon.. Thanks Mark!!

  25. The Broadbalk experiment does indeed continue today. I frequently ride my mountain bike up on the Rothamstead Station.

    This year they may have compromised the experiment as a new director of the research station planted an experimental GM wheat crop. No-one wanted it, and it required huge security resources to protect the crop.

  26. Amen to any article about any topic that references Gimli–or any other LOTR character, for that matter. Ever notice how slender Gollum looks on his raw fish diet compared to Sam, who eats a post-agricultural diet and washes it down with beer? Of course nobody wants to look like Gollum, but had he not been wasted by the Ring all those years, he’d probably be quite the looker.

    Anyway, true enough that new wheat is much worse than old wheat, and the article is excellent. However, as we all know already, no grains (nor any seed foods, including beans, nuts and seeds) are healthy–lectins, phytic acid, immunogenic proteins, fattening starches and fermentable carbs? No thanks. Pass the fish, please:)

    1. The descriptions of the two Gimlis were superb.
      And on that note…
      Is lembas bread primal?

  27. I had a weak moment and ate a large bread roll at a friend’s home recently.
    Within ten minutes my heart started pounding in my chest, and I could feel stranger flutters in my temples and extremities.
    After eating clean for months my body could not handle the wheat gluten anymore. Not to mention the gas and bloating that came later.
    I enjoy reading the scientific studies that Mark provides us to back up this different lifestyle that we have all taken on, it is helpful to have to keep the nay sayers at bay.

  28. Surviving off the food given to me buy a government-funded shelter (Salvation Army – a population control organization, for those who didn’t know), I end up eating lots of grains (and hotdogs, peanut butter, etc.) for lack of other options.
    A print-out on the wall says that every resident has the right to enough nutritious food. Is that why dinner is greasy deep-fried type stuff ordered from a restaurant, less produce is provided than the food guide recommends, and breakfast and lunch is almost always processed and somewhat poisonous?
    I often resort to cereals, oatmeal, and a bunch of milk so I can at least get some protein and a little micro-nutrition. Loaded up with [cream] cheese and cinnamon to combat the ensuing blood sugar spike.
    It’s a win-lose situation.
    I’ll maintain muscle mass and have enough energy to make it through the day and get some exercise but to do so I have to be uncomfortably full, unable to be lean, and crap out a bunch of partially digested food-substitute far too frequently.
    Eating primal = well formed logs.
    Eating CW = a nasty, foul-smelling mess.
    I’m considering returning to camping and collecting welfare checks.
    I’ve stayed in four shelters and one church program that provides shelter in the winter. In some way they are all corrupt and managed incompetently and illogically.

  29. Good reading. And nice to refer people to re wheat and its history.

  30. Ha, just as I was reading this I was thinking, “Yes! I can go out and buy some Einkorn pasta and forego all these terrible side-effects, guilt free!”
    But no. It’s always good to read up on the Basics of our primal diet because I too am confronted by questions which can be hard to answer at times. I know what my body likes and doesn’t like, but it’s always great to know the research that backs it up.

  31. The other BIG issue that has come from today’s engineered wheat, corn and soy…..metric tons of high-yield food that enables us to over populate both the US land mass as well as the Globe. If not for the high yield per acre push, and there wouldn’t be all this food to feed our 7 billion and growing hungry mouths.

    Population growth is good news to Monsanto, DuPont, and the rest of the Industrial Food monopolies….their financial models count on population growth…and sooner or later, we are going to hit the tipping point where even the agi engineers can’t crank the meter any further. But of course this is to be expected when the 3rd largest nation in the World, the US and 312 million people, are basically governed by corporations…in every industry and especially the food industry.

    Where’s the tipping point?

  32. I always love the articles here and appreciate the discussion points offered. However, to appeal to anyone who is interested in a non-scientific discussion point, I offer the following.

    For several years I ate Gluten-Free. My husband is the only person in my life who has been supportive of my change in eating habits. Everyone else thinks I’m just being difficult. Recently after noticing that weight loss is still difficult and that I still suffer from distended gut after eating other grains, I’ve decided to go grain-free. Again, I expect zero support in social situations from my family, so now when anybody asks why I don’t eat certain foods, my one and only point will be:

    I don’t eat foods I don’t like.

    It’ll be interesting to see if anyone will or can counter-point this position.

    1. Do what YOU feel is in YOUR best interest. It always helps to have the support of those around us but in the end it’s up to you. The best testimony will be the change they see.

      1. My usual reply is to launch into my “nickel” tour of Primal. If their eyes don’t glaze-over, I continue in more detail. After that I separate the wheat from the chaff. The “wheat” are few and interested, the “chaff” rarely ask twice about my eating habits.

  33. Is there any study that looks for vacination damage causing or contributing to this gluten reaction?
    None of my 60 and older friends have this here glutenitis.
    And quit fearing your food and hating the farmer. What’s with you dumbheads taking in that meme, ‘hook line and sinker’?

  34. Doubling the carbs doubles the bodies’ vitamin and mineral requirements.

    Man has 60 essential minerals and we lose and use some every day.

    Fibers carry away toxins and trace minerals.

  35. What we have today is in no way what we had even fifty years ago. That’s why when people tout the life-expectancy in Americans I have to remind them that those folks who are keeling over now didn’t eat the garbage people eat today when they were growing up. Ergo… they “appear” to be living longer when todays general population is actually afflicted with all sorts of poisons that will, come the day, kill you quicker unless you get off the federal food pyramid scheme. Garbage in garbage out. We’re all going to snuff it… it’s simply up to you how you’d prefer to go: quickly and painfully on their “schedule” or on your own terms.

    1. I was just checking out a copy of Canada’s food (mis)guide this morning. It says to cut off all the visible fat from meat.
      So basically they’re saying, “Don’t eat any animal fat but what’s in pasteurized dairy for your entire life.”

  36. Did the term “bullshit” originate from the fact that given a choice, cows will just eat grass? (and a similar diet crashes human brains)

  37. As noted above selective pollination is not the same as genetic modification. GM involves taking the genes from one organism and shooting them into the DNA of another different species, making an unknown gene sequence never seen before in the history of the world. In the case of the bt variety of corn or soy, the GM producers take the genes of a bacteria found in soil that produces a toxin (bt) and insert them into the corn or soy DNA. After completing the process and cloning each cell in the resulting plant produces its own bt toxin. When an insect eats the plant the bt toxin perforates their gut and they die. Contrary to the claims of Monsanto and the like the bt toxin affects mammals too. The rise in leaky gut among humans is related to consumption of GM corn or soy (which is in MOST prepared foods). Modern wheat is being the Fall Guy for GM foods. Check out the “Genetic Roulette” documentary on the web.

  38. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours nowadays, yet I by no means found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web can be a lot more useful than ever before.

  39. Is it just me, or does the “Gimli” comment make one identify Norman Borlaug with the Balrog?

  40. “Being shorter, it received less sunlight than traditional wheat cultivars”

    Err.. surely the amount of sunlight on the field doesn’t change?

  41. Einkorn wheat has 16 chromosomes. Modern hybrid wheat has 42! I am gluten sensitive and I can enjoy an occasional homemade knish made with Einkorn flour with no ill effects.

  42. I stumbled upon your blog this morning as I was doing more research about my gluten free diet. A year ago I went to my doctor and asked if I could be gluten intolerant and if I needed a test. She told me that I know best: If I eat something and feel bad, I probably should not eat it anymore. My diet change (I was already dairy-free for 4 years) solved almost all my awful mystery symptoms, namely extreme nausea and vomiting several times a day though I was eating a ‘balanced’ diet, avoiding drugs and alcohol, staying hydrated and living an active lifestyle.

    Now I work as a ski patroller and am part of a study about the effects of nutrition and proper body mechanics on performance at work. The woman leading is stressed the importance of eating lots of grain-based carbs and refueling with dairy products. I inquired as to what the best alternatives are if neither of these are an option. She retorted that she thought the ‘whole gluten thing is just another fad’ at which point I felt more than slighted. To have someone who makes diet and exercise her profession tell me that my sickness is just a fad is an outrage.

    So now I am doing more research about the scientific facts behind why I can live my life without fear of throwing up for no reason. It also is nice to learn about some of the reasons gluten intolerance and celiac is so prevalent because this is one of the biggest questions I encounter when I people find out I am gluten free. Thank you for your informative blog posts.

  43. I have suffered from chronic sinus infections; I cut gluten out and after a few years, I was free of them. Last week after being gluten free for 8 years I had 3 regular rolls at a diner. BAM! A week later, sinus infection. Lesson learned.

  44. I read the article and some of the comments but not the book. I have not seen any remark on where the cultivated wheat is being used or how wide it is spread. I grew up, in the 1950ies, on a farm where they ground (stone ground) their own wheat and baked their own bread. I believe that I would know what ancient wheat bread tastes like. Yes, most breads you get in the supermarket taste different and definitely not as good. However, there are breads that taste very similar, and when I make my own bread I get it to taste the same as the bread I grew up with. Therefore, calling gluten toxic, in my humble opinion, goes way too far.

  45. I have CD I have purchased flour form Italy and have no problems digesting it at all. Breads, pasta pizza ect….

  46. The Coeliac Society of New Zealand told me that if you don’t have coeliac disease (or at least an intolerance to gluten) a gluten free diet is actually a very bad diet. It’s also extremely unpalatable and horribly expensive.

    1. Laraine, please consider that a “gluten free” diet could mean fish, steak, eggs, pork, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, squash, salads with many lovely and varied vegetables, artisan cheeses, milk, berries, oranges, bananas, etc. that sounds extremely palatable to me. Perhaps you are referring to store bought processed food labeled “gluten free”, and in that case I would agree with you. Try shopping from the perimeter of the grocery store, and avoid the middle. You will find a wondrous variety of choices.

  47. Breakfast is my only problem, Primal-wise. I like eggs but can’t eat them more than twice a week (I don’t like them enough). Yogurt is sour, and must be sweetened to make it palatable for me. Bacon, though wonderful and beloved by the Paleo crowd, is undisputably processed meat, so I limit it. To fill in the breakfast gaps, I make my own muffins with whole grain organic Spelt flour that I grind in my own mill (very easy, it turns out), coconut oil, eggs, berries, walnuts, mashed bananas for sweetener, and just 1/4 cup maple syrup for 12 muffins. Despite having done all the research, I am still uncertain as to whether it is gluten itself that is harmful to us non-CD’s or the just the gluten in modern wheat. It is my “n=1” experiment, I’ll see how it goes. I keep the ground Spelt flour in the freezer and use it sparingly to thicken the occasional sauce or gravy, since arrowroot and the like make more of a jelly than a true gravy. Since that is the only wheat I’m getting, it seems like a low-risk compromise.

  48. Everything you said about wheat is CORRECT and I agree .
    However what happens to wheat when you SPROUT IT IS GOOD because by SPROUTING you turn a GRAIN into
    a VEGETABLE which makes it REALLY GOOD !!
    If you want it can be verified on the WEB

  49. Excellent. This is so helpful. Im loosely researching the moden “wheat” compared to historical wheat, and am saddened by our inexcusable, modern stupidity regarding nutrition and natural health. Thank you!