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What is wrong with gluten?

By February 10, 2009 - 3:49pm
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I've been reading some messages, and found some suggestions that to lose weight or just "eat healthy", that it is best to avoid gluten.

Why is this?

I thought gluten was wheat, and whole wheat is healthy for us (in moderation, of course!).


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EmpowHER Guest

Does a sprouted bread such as Essene Bread, baked at a low temperature, have gluten?

March 18, 2009 - 8:45pm
(reply to Anonymous)

I believe it depends what type of grain the bread is sprouted from. According to Coach Virginia's list, if the ingredients on the Essene Bread contains wheat, then there may be gluten. If the bread is sprouted from another non-wheat source, then there may not be gluten. Can you tell us what the ingredients are?

Most, if not all, pre-made foods will say "Gluten-Free" visibly if there is no gluten.

January 24, 2010 - 7:32pm

Gluten is a protein found in WHEAT and its relative grains such as barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale and products like bulgur and semolina. Oats are included on the list of gluten containing grains because in many cases oats get contaminated during growing or processing. Whether you eat the whole grain or refined product from these list of grains, your body will be exposed to gluten.

However, there are other grains that are NOT related to wheat genetically and as such they do not contain this gluten protein in their genetic composition. These are:

Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Montina (Indian rice grass, Quinoa, Rice, Sorghum, Teff and Wild Rice. I add flaxseed to this list even though they are seeds and not grains. I eat flaxseed bread which I get from my local healthfood store.

As you can see, you can still eat grains and not gluten whether whole or refined. My preference is to eat them WHOLE (without any processing)to gain greater nutritional value. By the way, your second list shows brown rice as containing gluten, I think that may be an error.

Sprouted breads contain the whole grain that has been allowed to sprout for an specified time before using it for bread making. As you know, a healthy diet should include sprouted vegetables and grains because they offer a greater nutritional benefit.

Does this help?

February 13, 2009 - 1:41am

Free2beme, there are also a lot of people who have a slight gluten intolerance or allergy and may not know it, but when they stop eating it, they find themselves feeling better, losing weight and having more energy.

A story in USA Today discusses many aspects of the new trend toward gluten-free diets, and also mentions how many processed foods and fast foods have gluten in them. And that when people start to cut out those foods, they feel better. It might be because they are cutting out the gluten, but chances are it's also because they're eating more fresh food, fruits and vegetables.

Here's that story:


February 11, 2009 - 10:10am

This is a great question! I can tell you from personal experience that once we decided as a family to eliminate gluten from our diet we started to lose weight.

The original plan was not weight loss but a way to detoxify the body. Within a week or so, I had lost 5 pounds, bloating and other intestinal symptoms improved or simply disappeared not just mine but the kids and my husband as well. Since then, we have limited our intake of wheat to sprouted or whole grain breads. However I still notice the difference on my body when I eat other types, I get bloated.

According to Peter Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York City, "no human digests gluten very well" this is because humans did not evolve on a diet that had gluten in it. Many people develop serious sensitivities to gluten but many go through life with symptoms that mascarade other health conditions that get wrongly treated with prescription drugs instead of dietary changes.

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic that can help understand the differences between whole wheat, whole grain, gluten, etc. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/whole-grains/NU00204

February 11, 2009 - 1:05am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Coach Virginia)

Oh, brother! You eliminated gluten from your family diet and began losing weight. The problem with fat Americans is that they eat too much, too often. My family eats gluten and we are all thin. We eat proportional meals and get regular exercise. We also do not eat fattening foods after 7pm. That is fruit time. Maybe instead of eliminating gluten more Americans should discover fuits and vegetables instead of fast food and snacks.

My family likes when I bake fresh bread - yes, with gluten! We can eat an entire loaf during dinner. None of us is fat. People should stop blaming gluten and instead be more accountable to the large sums of high fat foods they eat. They should also stop watching so much television. Maybe take up tennis or go for a walk. Passing blame instead of taking personal accountability is a big problem in America today.

January 23, 2010 - 4:42pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

To Anonymous. I've always been one to watch my nutritional intake, and my portion sizes and still over the course of the last ten years gained thirty pounds. I can't relate how many times my friends would get on my case about eating more during meals. Still, I was over weight. In April '09 I started a low carb diet as an experiment and since then have lost 16 pounds and KEPT it OFF!

Not long after starting this diet, I also recognized that certain intestinal issues began to subside. I suspected either gluten intolerance or a wheat allergy might be to blame, so decided to cut wheat from my diet. The end result was years of intestinal problems completely subsiding. After doing some online research, I learned that one symptom of untreated gluten intolerance can be weight gain.

Trust me when I say cutting out wheat from my diet has been no picnic. I adore pasta, breads, and pizza, but they don't like me.

Furthermore, one person's diet does not necessarily work for another. I worked for a vegetarian who was overweight. Clearly cutting meat from her diet was not doing the trick.

February 3, 2010 - 9:53am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

not really replying specifically to anonymous...i have been eating low carb for nearly 2 years...i make breads at home that have very low carbs (less than 2 net carbs per slice), using flax, soy, almond, or coconut flour but for any bread recipe when making breads out of non traditional ingredients like the ones i listed, i always add vital wheat gluten..without it bread will not rise, I have seen receipes that are gluten free and substitute the vital wheat gluten for guar gum or something similiar but for my money vital wheat gluten gets a better result.... think gluten is being demonized. If you have an allergy to it, or Celiac disease I understand keeping it out of your diet. just an opinion...i was very fit and lean when i began reducing carbs in my diet, and i skipped breads for about 1 year before i began making my own. I eat nearly 2 loaves a week on my own, and i never notice any digestive issues. yes, i am still very fit and thin.

September 3, 2012 - 4:12pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

this post is mine and i wanted to add that i can not over state the importance of exercise...i work out 7 days a week.

September 3, 2012 - 4:21pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I think the part you failed to address is exercise. Gluten does not equal weight gain. Eating more calories than you burn equals weight gain.

June 16, 2010 - 12:30pm
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