We often hear that white bread and white flour products are not healthy foods. And if we ask why, more likely the answer would be – because these foods lead to obesity. That’s right. Another reply would be – because of gluten. Allow us to say a few heretical words about gluten. Yes, gluten-related disorders do exist, but they are very rear and lie at around 1% of the population. Moreover, they occur in people who are genetically predisposed. So, if you are not allergic to wheat, forget about gluten. Anyway, this is only the upper part of the iceberg. Let’s see what’s hidden in the depth.
1. Vitamin B deficiencies
You probably do not know that about 25% of American adults are deficient in B12. We can get vitamin B12 only from animal sources. B12 is an exceptional, unique vitamin. This vitamin is of vital importance for us because it is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body. It plays a key role in the normal functioning of our brain and nervous system, the red blood cells formation, DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. No fungi, plants, animals or humans are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Animals must obtain vitamin B12 directly or indirectly from bacteria. Daily value of vitamin B12 is 2.4mcg (micrograms) for average adults
The chemical treatments of the grain results in the formation of a byproduct, alloxan, that is used in medical research as a poison to induce diabetes in healthy mice. Alloxan is a toxic glucose analogue, which selectively destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas
The rise in asthma and allergies may also be related to white flour: one of the enzymes commonly used in bread making is amylase, which is known to cause asthma.
4. Digestive problems
Ask your grandma if she know how to make “glue” out of flour and water. No wonder that white flour is called the “glue of the gut”. Today, we eat so much food made with white flour: breakfast toasts, pasta, hamburgers, sandwiches, bread, cereal, cakes … you can continue the list. When you chew bread, some of it can be broken down by the saliva in your mouth. The enzymes in the stomach are incapable of breaking it down because of a very high acidity level. Therefore it moves into the intestinal and turns to glue; it is without fiber, it clogs the system, slows down digestion creating a sluggish metabolism, and can often be the cause of headaches and migraines.
5. White flour is acidic!
Acidity is another problem. Most Americans eat an acidic diet caused by too much salt, sugar, white flour, dairy, meat and cola drinks. Many experts consider over-acidity to be one of the major causes of chronic inflammation, arthritis and other chronic illnesses.
6. Gluten intolerance and Celiac disease
Gluten (the term came from the Latin gluten meaning glue) is a substance that gives elasticity to dough helping it to rise and to keep its shape. In Europe, the average consumption of gluten is 10g to 20g per day. Modern industrial baking methods are likely linked to a rise in gluten-related disorders such as celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten ataxia, dermatitis herpetiformis and wheat allergy.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder affecting primarily the small intestine that occurs in people who are genetically predisposed. Classic symptoms include gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhea, abdominal distention, malabsorption, loss of appetite, and among children failure to grow normally.
The only known effective treatment for gluten-related disorders is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet, which leads to recovery of the intestinal mucosa, improves symptoms, and reduced risk of developing complications. If untreated it may result in cancers such as intestinal lymphoma.
The incidence of celiac disease and of wheat allergy is estimated each to lie at around 1% of the population.