Why is Wheat Bad For You? The Bitter Truth Revealed

A picture of Why is Wheat Bad For YouIn certain circles, wheat is considered one of the worst things you can eat.

Right up there with sugar.

When I tell this to people, they are often surprised.

Wheat is everywhere, and they’ve been eating it pretty much every day since they were old enough to chew.

They’ll say: “But I eat wheat and I’m fine”.

True. Some people eat wheat and do fine, at least on the surface.

But if you look around you, if you look at the general population, then you will see that things are anything but fine.

There is a major epidemic of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases.

Something must be wrong. Sugar is probably a large part of it, but I think wheat plays a major role as well.

Let me explain why.

Why is Wheat Bad For You? Gluten is Part of the Reason

Wheat is the biggest source of gluten in the modern diet.

It is common knowledge that gluten can lead to a disease called Celiac Disease. This has been known for a while, but it is now believed that a large part of the population may be “sensitive” to Gluten.

This is characterized by the immune system “attacking” the peptides that gluten forms when it is broken down in the digestive tract (1).

Controlled trials in otherwise healthy people show that it can damage the intestinal lining, cause bloating, pain, stool inconsistency and tiredness (2, 3)

What this means is that wheat is probably unhealthy for most people, not just those who have diagnosed celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

A High Glycemic Index, Causing Blood Sugar Spikes

Wheat has a high glycemic index, even higher than sugar, ice cream and many soft drinks (4).

What this means is that the starch in wheat gets broken down and absorbed very rapidly, leading to blood sugar spikes.

When blood sugar elevates quickly, insulin levels go up. Elevated insulin will bring the blood sugar back down, and a drop in blood sugar tends to cause hunger. This is the blood sugar “roller coaster” that I’m sure you’ve heard of or experienced.

Elevated blood sugar can also cause glycation of proteins, which is one of the causes of ageing. This effect is especially pronounced in those who are insulin resistant or diabetic.

Appetite Stimulating, Potentially Addictive

If you have ever gotten unnatural cravings for wheat containing products (such as pizza, pastries, bread, etc.) then it may have a biological mechanism.

One of the hallmarks of celiac disease is a damaged intestinal lining. It is known that under these conditions, substances are sometimes able to “leak” from the gut and into the bloodstream.

The peptides formed when gluten is broken down by digestive enzymes are able to stimulate opioid receptors, which are the same receptors stimulated by endorphins and drugs like morphine (5).

Another indicator of gluten peptides being able to cross the blood-brain barrier is the fact that gluten consumption may increase risk of mental disorders like schizophrenia, and that celiac disease is associated with a 3-fold increase in risk of this disease (6, 7)

The administration of an opiate-blocking drug also changes the physiological responses to gluten, a strong indicator of it having an opiate-like activity (8).

Is wheat really addictive? Only time will tell.

Given how common unnatural cravings are to wheat (and sugar) containing products, the idea seems plausible to me.

If you think this is crazy, try not eating wheat for a week or two. Chances are that powerful cravings will show up, cravings that have nothing to do with hunger.

Whole Wheat and Blood Lipids

I’m going to tell you about a study that I find very interesting.

In it, researchers randomized 36 men into two groups. The groups were instructed to eat either oat cereal or wheat cereal, providing a total of 14g/day of fibre, for 12 weeks (9).

At the end of the study, the researchers extracted blood from both groups to measure their blood lipids.

The result: oat cereal decreased LDL cholesterol slightly, as well as small LDL (bad) and LDL particle number. Basically, whole oats for 12 weeks improved blood lipids significantly.

However, what I find to be a lot more interesting, and the authors don’t really highlight, is that whole wheat significantly worsened blood lipids compared to what they were at the beginning.

In fact, the whole wheat group increased LDL cholesterol by 8,0% and small LDL by 60,4% (The Really Bad Type). There was also a trend (but not significant) towards an increase in Triglycerides and Total Cholesterol in the Wheat Group.

There are subtypes of LDL cholesterol, small LDL being the one that is actually related to heart disease. What this means, is that wheat significantly harms blood lipids and increases atherogenic small LDL, the one that is highly associated with heart disease.

Be aware, that we’re talking about not-so-“healthy whole wheat”. Not the refined type.

Whole Wheat is the Lesser of Two Evils

You’ve probably heard million times that whole grains are better for you than refined grains.

Well, it is true, and whole wheat is definitely better for you as it contains more fibre and nutrients.

However, whole wheat is the lesser of two evils. It’s like comparing a filtered cigarette to an unfiltered cigarette. The filtered one is less harmful, but that doesn’t mean that it is good for you.


I personally believe wheat to be an extremely harmful food. Many people aren’t happy about this as wheat is the third most consumed grain in the world.

To make things difficult, the gluten in wheat has certain glue-like properties that make it very popular as a food additive, and as a result gluten is found almost everywhere.

If you want to avoid wheat, then you better start reading ingredients labels.

If a damaged intestinal lining, bloating, tiredness, potential addictiveness, a blood sugar rollercoaster and a 60% increase in small LDL isn’t a good enough reason to give it up, then I don’t know what is.

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  1. I will definitely try to stop eating wheat. I want know whether i can have Rice instead of wheat ?

    • Kristjan says:

      Yes, rice is fine.

      • White rice often has gluten in it, best bet is to stick to brown rice

        • That’s incorrect. Rice does not contain gluten, ever. You may see so-called ‘sticky rice’ sold as ‘glutinous rice’. This does NOT contain gluten, and can safely be included in a gluten free diet. Rice never contains gluten, whether white or Brown.

          • Rice does NOT have gluten. But white rice is nothing more than brown rice with it’s hull removed, and with the hull goes most of the nutritional qualities of rice. White rice is not much more than eating cardboard or tree bark with slightly more flavor. It has very little nutrition compared to brown rice.

          • Daniel Newhouse says:

            Wrong, brown rice is not better for you than white rice. The brown part of the rice is actually toxic to humans. It is a natural defense mechanism of the plant. Therefore white rice is actually healthy while brown rice is not.

      • What about sprouted grains? Any difference?

  2. Thank you for putting the truth out there. And I always heard that wheat is ‘the staff of life’? I really appreciate all your efforts to make us all healthier!

  3. Hi Kris,

    I eat steel cut oats everyday- is that okay? I
    Is there any kind of new bread that is good to eat?

    • Kristjan says:

      Oats are fine.

      I’m not a big fan of bread. If you must have bread in your life, then choose one that doesn’t contain wheat.

      • To remind you that other grains that include gluten in large amounts are barley, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut, and some oats. Also, watch for foods that contain cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch and tapioca starch since they don’t produce the same opioid response in the brain but still cause high spikes in blood sugar. So if you are trying to lose weight, prepackaged gluten free foods might still not be the answer.

    • I would look at Dr. William Davis’ book, “Wheat Belly”. Einkorn is the best.

  4. Thank you, I’m learning a lot about what I should not be eating. Could you point me in the right direction on what I should be eating, maybe a sample of what your typical day looks like?

    • Kristjan says:
    • Dianna Haussler says:

      If you are looking to go specifically Gluten Free than here are your best resources: http://www.celiac.com and http://www.csaceliacs.info. These sites have info about foods that contain Gluten which is the actual best behind wheat issues. I will tell you that going Gluten free should not be done without speaking to your family doctor first. Avoiding Gluten is not easy, as it is in most everything and can be overwhelming. I was diagnosed with Celiacs Disease after many mis-diagnosis and when I began my journey to Gluten free it was frustrating but within 72 hours I could feel a difference. My entire family, although they can eat wheat/gluten have significantly reduced their intake and everyone has felt a difference. I hope the information above helps.

  5. oh so great blog! It should add that spelt is really just as bad. Lot of people belief spelt to be a healthy food.. Considering gluten, it is just as bad..

    Have you read the book The Wheat belly? It´s worth reading.

  6. Roger jackson says:

    Hey, gave up eating wheat in November and since then have lost 20lbs feel better and sleep better. Experienced all the symtoms afformentioned in your article. I am now highly sensitve to anything with wheat in it and if I fall off the wagon ( I sometimes eat a dessert when out have a slice of pizza in company if every one else is eating it etc thinking it won`t affect me) think again!!, It really screws up my intestines and all thats associated with that region to the point of
    I wont do that again. Sort of like when I gave up smoking 30 years ago I know in my mind that there is no such thing as one quick puff won`t hurt. Like cigs wheat is gone for good.

  7. There’s no doubt that wheat is a hot topic in the paleo and nutrition world. Obviously there is a dark side to wheat. However, bread for example was traditionally prepared to reduce toxins/anti nutrients and make it more digestible, as is the case with real sourdough bread. I wonder had we continued that tradition and people had better gut health, whether wheat would be as problematic for people?

  8. Thanks for sharing this article. I’ve never been fully convinced that whole wheat is a problem, but this has caused me to have a re-think. I don’t eat much of it anyway, but will eliminate it completely for a while and see if there is any difference. Also, is ‘small LDL’ the same as VLDL?

    • No it’s not quite the same. Small LDL is a subtype of LDL, but VLDL is a bit different.

      LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) has two main subtypes:
      “Small, Dense LDL” – also known as Pattern B and “Large, Fluffy LDL” – also known as Pattern A.

      Small, dense LDL is highly associated with heart disease, while large, fluffy LDL is benign.

      I’ve learned a little bit about lipoproteins in med school, and they are ridiculously complex. There are many different types, many different proteins and receptors, and then the different lipoproteins actually communicate with each other and exchange material.

      I don’t really understand all of it myself, but we will go into much more detail when we start the cardiology course in a few years.

  9. Kristjan, thanks for linking up today. I agree with much of this. I am still not 100% wheat free as on occasion I will have a sourdough bread (traditionally prepared). I think one of the biggest issues is with wheat is what has been done to modern wheat. The genetic modification and hybridization has really caused the most harm to what we now eat as wheat. This was not the case 50 years ago.

    Also, it would be interesting to see a study on wheat and other grains that doesn’t utilize cereal. Cereal is generally high heat processed and denatured so it is hard to see how that study justly compares wheat and oats. Are there any other studies out there on that? Curious.

  10. Very interesting… thanks for the information! What do you think about sourdough bread? What types of bread (or I guess which types of flour) are better for your health?

    • Sarah, not sure if you are asking me or Kristjan. But I prefer freshly ground organic rye or spelt. Rye has less anti-nutrients and spelt is an ancient grain that has not had the hybridization that other forms of wheat have.
      Freshly ground just before souring is required so that the true nutrients are retained. Souring/fermenting removed most of the anti-nutrients that block mineral absorption. It also lessens the insulin spikes that accompany most other forms of bread.

      But Kristjan is correct, wheat should not be eaten in excess as is common these days. Unfortunately, the type of sourdough that most people are used to is not prepared in the manner described above. And it does cause the many issues outlined in the post.

    • What Jen said!

      • Thanks Jen and Kristjan! What about sprouted grains/wheat? What difference does it make that they are sprouted and are they healthy?

        • My personal opinion is that sprouting/soaking does not remove enough of the anti-nutrients like phytic acid. Souring/fermenting removes most of it. If you are going to eat it, it’s best to ferment it. But this is just for wheat and grains, with legumes sprouting is fine if allowed to sprout for 2-3 days.

          Also, many people have various health problems related to gut issues that can be exacerbated by grains no matter how they are prepared. Unless you know that you have good gut health (and most of us just starting this real food journey do not), it might be wise to remove wheat or grain from your diet to allow your gut to heal before jumping through these hoops just to eat wheat.

          Just my two cents from what I have gathered in my own research.

        • Hi,
          I try to avoid wheat, mainly for all the reasons given, and I was advised to eat Ezekial sprouted wheat bread, if I wanted bread. I did try this bread, and I got more intestinal problems than I ever had, not sure why, but I now avoid this completely.

  11. Barrie Templeton says:

    I grew up in Saskatchewan, where the licence plates said, “The Wheat Province.” At the time, the Canadian prairies, as well as a large part of the U.S. plains states, grew wheat much more than other grain crops. In that environment, bread and wheat pastas were predominant. Who knew?
    It was pointed out by a poster here that genetic manipulation has rendered modern wheat much more difficult for human guts to handle. Unfortunately, we can’t un-modify the stuff. I doubt if the old strains are still in existence, and, even if they are, getting farmers to plant it would be difficult. The modified strains are more disease-resistant and higher-yielding, providing more bushels per seeded acre and better grade of grain after harvest. (The GMO grains, which are glyphosate [Roundup] or other chemical weeders resistant, are another kettle of fish)
    But a lifetime of eating wheat products isn’t easy to change! I’ve been trying to adopt the Paleo style of eating, but keep drifting back to grains. The suggestions here that wheat is an attictive substance rings pretty true to me. Even though I feel crappy after eating a bun or some toast, chances are I will have more the next day.
    This article has encouraged me to redouble my efforts to stay away from grains and to eat more raw greens.

    • Since the late 1940s, Wheat researchers have been experimenting with, and producing, new varieties of wheat using a process called “chemically induced modifications”, followed by the newest method of producing genetically modified wheat. Any variety of wheat resulting from these two methods of new-variety-development are a part of today’s grains lacking in needed food value, and out of balance with nature. It is true that farmers can now produce more grain to feed a growing world population. But at what cost? The taste of grains have diminished as well as the nutritional value. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Genetically Modified (GMO) wheats are made to be used with Roundup (produced by Monsanto). Monsanto claims that Roundup disintegrates quickly in the atmosphere and soil, but new research is showing that Roundup has a gradual/residual buildup in the soil that is holding on to micro-nutrients thereby preventing uptake of these micro-nutrients in each succeeding year’s crop. As a result, the human population is continuing to become increasingly deficient in necessary micro-nutrients when there is too much consumption of foods from land that has had Roundup used on it for many years. Result? Declining health throughout the general population. For proof, simply look at a side-by-side comparison of nutrients found in the “ancient grains” compared to the modern grains.
      For those who are not dramatically suffering from gluten intake, try going one month free of gluten intake, and then begin introducing a balance of whole grain flour made from 50% Kamut and 50% Spelt. When possible, add up to 25% Quinoa flour to the previous mixture, and learn to make baked goods from this blend. If problems still persist, then avoid all gluten and find your nutritional needs elsewhere.

  12. I have been thinking alot lately about having either a wheat or dairy intolerence. I always have stomach issues. It sometimes feels like someone is squezzing my insides. Its very painful. I have been to the doctors and had ultrasounds and everything looks ok. is the best they can give me is Zantac for it. Which help but I really hate taking meds. What are the other signs of a wheat or diary intolerance? I know your supposed to cut them out and then reintrodce them to see what happens but what do you suggest using in place of things like bread, milk, yogurt etc. Hopefully you have some tips that will help. Thank you.

  13. Are there any breads that are safe to eat?

  14. latisha says:

    what about ezekiel bread?

  15. Philippa says:

    I used to have problems eating bread, as many of you have described. I wondered if wheat was the problem but noticed that I didn’t have the same issue with pasta. I eventually found my problem was too much yeast in my diet and moving onto yeast free bread (even though it was still wheat) made a massive difference.
    Is it wheat on its own that is so bad or is it particularly the wheat combined with yeast? Do you know if anyone has studied this?

    • I’m not sure about this. Maybe you just had a problem with the yeast.

    • Jeremiah says:

      I believe that yeast might be a major culprit. This is why in the old testiment they made breads without yeast commanded by God. There was the “festival of unleavened bread” and at ezekial 4:9 yeast is not in the ingredient list. Also, cheese is one of the hardest things for your stomach to digest and causes intestinal problems as well as heart disease. The man made homogenization process found in milks, yogurts, cheese, etc., cause scaring in your artery walls therefore causing colesterol to cling and cause blockages. All grains and animal products do not digest together and cause massive digestive issues. As a whole, all man altered foods such as gmo, processed flours and rices, inorganic foods as well as poor soil farming practices all cause health issues. So when people eat pizza and blame just wheat, really, it is a combination time bomb that is destined to blow up and take it out on your gut and your health. In general, cheese also is a big no no and it is impossible for cheese and bread or bread and meat to digest for they both take different digestive enzymes to digest them and your stomach will produce both kinds, one being alkaline and one being acidic. Together they neutralize each other therefore not digesting.

      • Jeremiah,
        I have been told that the soils in which GMO foods are seeded are experiencing a residual buildup of Roundup (which DOES NOT completely break down) causing the micro-nutrients (trace minerals, for example) to be tied up and not available for plant uptake. Therefore, our foods that are grown on such soils are not able to produce food that is nutritionally up-to-par. After enough time, these deficiencies are producing or causing the onset of a number of diseases in both animal as well as humans.

  16. I’ve been eating low carb wraps only on the weekends, during the week I have no grains at all. However, I think I should even cut those out. I feel noticeably bloated when I have the wraps, even the low carb variety.

    • Jeremiah says:

      If you have a chicken wrap, the grains and meat do not digest together and if you have cheese and or mayo on it, not a good digestive combo.

  17. Michelle says:

    Very informative. I’m a 26 year old female who suffered from horrible cystic acne as a teenager. I went to so many doctors and was told multiple times that diet did not cause acne. Finally at 18 I went to a chiropractor for back pain (was in a horrible car accident as a teen and fractured two vetebrae) and he told me cutting out milk, sugar, and wheat would clear up my skin. And it worked. Milk and sugar, even in small amounts will bring on a breakout so I rarely consume either, but wheat doesn’t seem to affect my complexion much, although I’ve only eaten it maybe 2-4 times a month for the past 8 years, if that.

    So yeah, I agree wheat is not good, while it doesn’t affect my complexion I have noticed an increase in appetite and bloating whenever I consume it. But I do love the occasionally bowl of pasta or fresh bread, and since the effects are so minor I doubt I will ever give it up completely, so I aim for once a week or less

    I think it’s all about finding a balance between health and food enjoyment.

  18. The McLeans article in Sept. (google it) explains this very issue here in Canada. Very contraversial due to the Canadian food guides and a wheat producing economy. Modified proteins are fully explained and it is not being taken seriously. Shocking. I see the addictive qualities when I go low carb for weight loss.

  19. Barrie Templeton says:

    @Leigh: I read your comment about Macleans Magazine’s take on the Canada Food Guide.
    You suggested Googling the mag. for the article. I just spent about two hours scouring the Macleans archives, trying to find the story. The closest I came was an article about a new high-end cooking oil being produced in Midale, SK, and sold at hoidy-toidy stores in Toronto’s Yorkville.
    Can you give us the story title and perhaps the exact issue where the story ran?

  20. I was born and raised in southeast asia. Our diet back then had little wheat (if any) and we didn’t consume milk beyond our infant years. We remained skinny. Now the western diet has invaded that part of the world and people are getting fat. In those days where bread was a non-item on the breakfast table, we used to eat rice cooked with coconut milk, boiled food such as banana, tapioca, yam, sweet potato, eggs. Rice porridge was common too. We would add extras such as sardines, fresh anchovies, peanuts to the morning rice dishes. Just to share some ideas of stuff to eat instead of your wheat bread….

  21. What can I use to substitute bread/pita for sandwiches?

  22. Michael Pollan says corn is bad. You say wheat. Maybe it’s just carbs in general. This makes the most sense since we’ve only been eating carbs the way we do for the past .05% of our existence.

  23. Wheat? Really? Is there anything we can eat now or do we need to starve to death to be healthy? In addition to bread and pasta, wheat is in almost everything you buy besides vegetables and meat. So now I can’t even have a sandwich for lunch… Or cereal for breakfast. Please tell me one bread that doesn’t have wheat in it…. Multi-grain, rye and oat bread not only contain wheat, it’s the first ingredient.

    • Kristjan says:

      You’re right. Wheat is everywhere, so is sugar.

      You can do whatever you want. What I am saying here is that according to my own research, wheat may cause health problems for a lot of people.

    • Reg Grundies says:

      You can stamp about in your own piddle puddle as much as you want Ben, or you can man-up and rise to the occasion. Up to you!

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve wondered about this very thing for quite a while now. I was diagnosed with MS about 1 year ago and a lot of studies suggest eliminating glueten as part of treating the disease. It’s something I’m willing to try, but I just can’t come up with any ideas to replace my peanut butter toast in the morning. This probably seems trivial, but it’s something that has been a big stumbling block for me. Its the only breakfast food that I have ever enjoyed (too much protein, like eggs, just makes me feel sluggish). Any thoughts on a replacement?

    • Roger jackson says:

      Hey Elizabeth, like you I enjoyed toast and “jam” not peanut butter so giving up wheat was also a challenge for me but I solved it by making my own bread from a package of gluten free mix you can get from the health food store. its rice flour in it. i`m a guy and its easy to make so it might be worth a try for you. I jazz my loaf up with raisins sunflower seeds dried apricots or craisins what ever we have in the pantry(not all in the same loaf, but thinking about it I might try that too next lol. sounds good)
      My wife gave me a gluten free bread recipe book but so far my efforts hav only produced a few hockey puck replacements. back to the package ! it slices well and also freezes and toasts really well although you have to run it through the toast cycle twice from frozen
      From start to finish takes me about an hour to make it and one loaf slices up to about 12 slices for me and one slice believe ti or not is about all I can handle now at breakfast.
      Hope it helps good luck

    • Elizabeth, I have a severe wheat allergy and have been gluten free for a year. It has been very difficult for me, but the thought of going to the ER keeps me on track. Many grocery stores now have GF products. If you are looking for bread, Udi’s has the best consistency and tastes the most like “real” bread. It is expensive, but so worth it. And it is actually better toasted, which will work great for you. Good luck!

  25. I would love it if you would address gluten sensitivity in addition to celiac and it’s relationship with eczema in adults and children

  26. Nalliah Thayabharan says:

    Wheat raises blood sugar higher than most of the other foods. 4 slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar higher than 12 teaspoons of sugar. That’s a simple fact as per the table of glycemic index.
    Almost all wheat in USA is from a dwarf strain, which produces a far greater yield but has contributed to the current obesity epidemic.

  27. Adrian Egan says:

    I am looking to buy sausages with rusk/wheat flour in them, my presumption was this is OK because the amounts of wheat are low.. is this correct?

    I am also cutting out bread, pasta etc (unless it is the wheat & gluten free varieties )

    Can I confirm that the sausages mentioned are not a ‘major problem’ (it’s for weight loss)

  28. Gina D. says:

    I live up in Maine, we have great sources of gluten-free products & local bakeries that make gluten free desserts. I happen to like udi’s brand of breads, which is the closest thing to the taste of regular bread, expensive but it comes frozen. We are seeing more & more Restaurants serving gluten free pasta’s, Pizza’s & Sandwiches but, these breads do taste better if toasted. Everyone who goes on a Gluten free diet loses weight PDQ….. & yes, the wicked Agra-food Corporation switched from the larger higher height wheat which had lower gluten levels to a shorter higher gluten wheat which gets a better yield but, look how much money the Medical & Drug Business is making on all the sick people from this wheat !
    Do you really think, they didn’t know gluten would cause digestion problems? Follow the money, how many billions is the Drug companies making on stomach problems and obesity ?

  29. I’ve been wheat-free for three weeks now and I have to say I’m really quite amazed at the results.

    The first week was difficult. I had a severe headache all day on day 2, and then felt irritable and twitchy for the next 4 or 5 days, very similar to how I felt when I quite smoking cigarettes.

    But then, I actually stopped craving wheat-containing foods by the second week and now I really don’t miss them. Sure, I often think about how good my homemade pizza is, not to mention the joys of a good chocolate chip cookie, but I don’t “crave” them like I used to and I’m happy to give them up. I just reward myself with premium ice cream or good dark chocolate on occasion instead.

    After three weeks: Much better complexion (no acne, no puffiness, and a nice healthy glow); much less food cravings in general (virtually no midday snacking anymore); more energy; less afternoon fatigue; weight loss.

    It’s not that difficult of a transition as long as you’re already used to preparing most of your own meals using whole ingredients.

    I highly recommend a two-week trial to anyone who will listen.


  30. So what is a replacement for wheat, and what can you do to stop the cravings. Also I thought HDL was the bad one, and LDL was the good. one.

    Exercise Science student. Just wondering if that was a typo.

  31. Thanks so much for all the great information! I am sick of being bloated and over the weight I want to be. I was before eating too much wheat/ oats and not enough green vegetables.

  32. Thanks for all of the great information! I recently met with a chiropractor and nutritionist about my lack of energy, weight and stress. She suggested a trying a low-glycemic diet, with an emphasis on no wheat (and of course eliminating pasta, rice, etc.) I was so desperate to regain my energy that I eliminated bread, pasta and rice immediately. It has been two weeks and I feel so much better. This has also prompted me to study nutrition as well and I am learning so much!!!

  33. Is Rye a good option?

    • Both rye and barley contain gluten. Buckwheat is OK but you have to be careful because sometimes they add wheat flour to the buckwheat flour as a filler.

      We use Quinoa as a substitute for rye and barley.

      Also be careful of packaged corn and rice cereals as they often contain wheat starch for “crispness”.

  34. any rice will do, kris?

  35. hi Kris,
    I have been following your blog and reading up about wheat and gluten. One thing I can’t get my head around is how come the Mediterranean diet, which is heavily based on refined wheat is considered one of the healthiest in the world? Think white bread, pasta, pizza, more pasta….
    Italians traditionally eat a lot of carbs and wheat and are yet one of the healthiest nations in the developed world.

  36. Awesome article totally agree with you

  37. Dear Kris, I dont completely agree with this. Well in the developing and under developed countries wheat is considered to be healthy. We have been brought up by eating wheat every day and I am fine with it. If we stop eating wheat what is the alternative of it. Wheat is the poor men diet.

    This problem can arise when we are filling the stomachs with no work outs. Rice eating during night is also considered bad during dinner. What about view on this ?

    This problem may have arisen due to increase use of pesticides and fertilizers. Have you done research on organic wheat. Kindly let us know.


    • If you eat wheat and you’re healthy, then there’s probably nothing to worry about.

      If you are unhealthy, overweight, etc. and happen to eat wheat, then removing it may help.

      It’s the starches and proteins in wheat that are bad, it probably has nothing to do with the pesticides and fertilizers.

  38. Wheat may be a problem, but it isn’t because it’s wheat. Modern wheat varieties are deficient in vitamins and trace minerals because of overuse of the soil and the constant use of Roundup. Additionally, wheat is processed and bleached and so many additives are now included in the products made from wheat that it is no wonder wheat gets blamed for so many problems, and all the negative comments may be justified. But it isn’t because wheat can’t be good for you. My suggestion (which my wife and I have experienced) is to (First) avoid wheat that is not organic. (Second) Avoid modern wheats whose varieties are a result of over-hybridization, genetic-modification and chemical mutation – which includes all modern day wheats. (Third) Locate a source of the ancient wheats that are grown organically. Spelt and Kamut are the two most common varieties. Kamut for instance, even has a slightly different genetic structure than modern-day what varieties. If you make your own flour and bake your own breads, I would suggest you try a 50% Hard White Wheat with 50% Kamut or Spelt to make breads and pastries. Kamut alone will work well for making pasta. Don’t give up on bread until you have shed a few hundred years of human experimentation with wheat. Modern-day wheat is not good for us anymore. But the ancient varieties, and a few varieties like Hard White Wheat (which hasn’t been around long enough for man to destroy it’s nutritional value) are still worth using for now.

  39. I grow and juice wheatgrass. Is there any connection between wheatgrass and wheat foods?

  40. Great article buddy! Just wondering, I have oats that contains gluten as it is packed in plastic. Your thoughts?
    Thank you!

  41. Kris,
    I have a severe wheat allergy and I don’t eat anything with gluten in it. How bad are processed gluten free foods for you? Obviously I shouldn’t be eating anything processed, but when I go to parties or places I know won’t have ay GF options I will bring my own crackers, bread, etc. Should I avoid GF breads and flours such as corn, almond, rice, tapioca? What about if I am doing a low carb diet?
    I found your site via Pinterest and love your articles! Thanks for your time :)

  42. César M González Betancourt says:

    As soon as I stopped eating whole wheat bread my belly started to disappear. It is tragic how hospitals and nursing homes still feed junk food to their patients. I see it in a nursing home where I do volunteer work.

  43. Catherine says:

    What can I have for breakfast in the morning!! I do like bread, my children never liked it but I have noticed them beginning to crave bread a lot more lately! I’m going to give it up. I kinda always thought I eat so much fibre including bread and should be having huge bowel movements everyday but it isn’t always the case! I’m stopping wheat! Watch this space :)

  44. Is all wheat bad for you or just a certain kind?

  45. Is wheat on the stalk before harvesting ok to eat or is the gluten still in effect?

  46. Frances says:

    What many people don’t realize is that wheat allergies don’t always present with gastrointestinal symptoms. A large percentage of people who are allergic to wheat will display respiratory symptoms instead. If you are allergic to grass, you could have a cross-sensitivity to wheat as well.

    I could never understand why my nose was always stuffy and my eyes always itchy, even with allergy medication, until I went wheat-free. Then everything dried up and cleared up. One piece of wheat and I am wheezing and coughing again.

    There are many alternative flours with which to make baked products if you just can’t give up bread products, you can make them gluten-free and sugar-free as well. You will feel better and be healthier, too.

  47. Most pastas and rice have gluten. Almost anything you buy from Wal-mart or any store has gluten in it. Gluten is in literally anything, I have been doing the gluten free diet for two weeks. I am on the depo shot so I didn’t lose much weight, my mom lost eight pounds in two weeks from not eating wheat!

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