Why is modern wheat worse than older wheat?

Wheat is a very controversial food these days.

On the one hand, we have people who tell us that it is extremely harmful, and a doctor calls it poison.

Then, on the other hand, we have dietitians and the government tells us that whole wheat is an essential part of a "balanced" diet.

Well ... an inescapable fact is that humans have been consuming wheat, in one way or another, for Thousands of years.

It is an old food ... and most of the diseases related to the diet are relatively new.

Therefore, it does not make sense to blame the old wheat for these new health problems.

However ... it is important to realize that today's wheat is it's not the same As it was a thousand, a hundred or even 60 years ago.

How has the wheat changed?

Today's wheat is completely different from the wheat that we eat today.

First, it is processed differently. The new techniques in grain processing at the end of the 19th century allowed to create massive quantities of refined wheat at a low cost.

Now we can separate the nutritive components of the grain (the bran and the germ) from the endosperm, where most of the starchy carbohydrates are found.

This led to an obvious reduction in nutrient density and gave refined wheat the ability to increase blood sugar very fast.

But we also used to prepare our grains differently. They got soaked, sprouted, fermented and the bread was cooked with slow-growing yeast.

Sprouting and fermenting grains leads to many beneficial effects. It increases the amino acid lysine, reduces antinutrients (such as phytic acid and lectins), deactivates enzyme inhibitors and makes nutrients more accessible (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Today, the flour is bleached and the bread is baked with fast-growing yeast. Grains are certainly not soaked, sprouted or fermented.

Just because of these factors, it is clear that the bread and pasta that we eat today is very different from the traditionally prepared wheat that we have been eating for thousands of years.

Bottom line: Wheat is processed and prepared differently these days, which makes it less nutritious and more harmful than traditionally prepared wheat.

Today's wheat is genetically and biologically different

The plants of which the wheat is made are not all the same.

There are different races of wheat ... just as there are many different breeds of dogs (a Chihuahua is very different from a German Shepherd, for example).

In the past, we used to consume old varieties such as wheat Emmer, Einkorn and Khorasan (commonly known by the brand name Kamut).

However, almost everyone The wheat that is consumed today is high yielding dwarf wheat, which was developed by cross-breeding and raw genetic manipulation around the year 1960.

Dwarf wheat has shorter stems and a much higher yield. Therefore, it is much, much cheaper than older varieties and more economically feasible.

The benefits of a high yield crop are obvious, but now we are learning that this also had some major drawbacks.

Specifically, modern wheat has some subtle but important differences in its composition of nutrients and proteins.

Bottom line: Modern wheat was introduced around the year 1960. It was developed through cross-breeding and raw genetic manipulation, which changed the plant's nutrient and protein composition.

Modern wheat is less nutritious

The Broadbalk Wheat Experiment is one of the oldest scientific studies in history.

Since 1843, scientists have cultivated different strains of wheat and analyzed several factors, including the composition of nutrients.

From 1843 until about 1960, the nutrients in the wheat did not change much.

However, from the year 1960, which coincides with the introduction of modern wheat, the nutrient content begins to decrease.

The concentrations of zinc, copper, iron and magnesium were 19-28% less in the years 1968-2005, compared to 1845-1967 (6).

At the same time, there was no evidence that the soil had changed. So, it is clearly something about the nature of modern wheat that makes it less nutritious than the older varieties.

Another study that also compared different strains of wheat found that older varieties contained significantly more selenium (7).

Given how incredibly The widespread consumption of wheat really is, it is easy to see how this may have contributed to nutrient deficiencies.

Bottom line: Modern wheat is less nutritious than old wheat. The amount of minerals such as zinc, copper, iron and magnesium has decreased by 19-28%.

Modern wheat is much more harmful for celiac patients

Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.

When people with this disease eat wheat, the immune system in the gut mistakenly assumes that gluten proteins are foreign invaders and mounts in an attack.

However ... the immune system not only attacks gluten proteins, but also attacks the lining of the intestine, which causes the degeneration of the intestinal lining, the leaky gut, massive inflammation and various harmful effects (8).

Celiac disease is a serious issue ... it has been on the rise for decades, rising almost four times in the last 45 years. At this time, approximately 1% of people have celiac disease (9, 10).

Another condition, called sensitivity to non-celiac gluten, is thought to be much more common, and perhaps affects about 6-8% of people (11, 12).

Gluten is not really a single protein, it is a family of different proteins and only some of them are recognized by the immune system of celiac patients.

One of the gluten proteins that seems to be problematic is called Glia-? 9. One study found that the amount of this protein is significantly higher in modern wheat (13).

Therefore ... many researchers have speculated that modern wheat, due to its greater amount of problematic glutenes, may be worse for celiac patients than older wheat varieties.

Interestingly, this has been proven in several studies.

One study compared the effects of Einkorn (old) and modern wheat on the intestinal cells of celiac patients. Compared to modern wheat, Einkorn had no harmful effect (14).

In another study in 12 celiac patients, Einkorn's gluten caused significantly less adverse reactions than modern gluten and was even better tolerated than rice - A grain without gluten (15)!

The way in which wheat is prepared can also be important. In one study, sourdough bread (bread made from fermented wheat) did not cause a reaction in celiac patients in the same way as regular bread (16).

Of course, these studies do not suggest that celiac patients should start buying Einkorn wheat or sourdough bread. This should be studied much more before we can make recommendations.

But what these studies suggest is that modern Wheat has a unique ability to trigger an autoimmune reaction in the intestine and is probably the main reason why celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are on the rise.

Bottom line: Modern wheat contains more problematic buttocks and there are some studies that show that older wheat varieties do not cause a reaction in celiac patients.

Studies show that modern wheat is also more harmful for healthy people

Almost everyone agrees that wheat can be a problem ... for celiac patients.

The awareness and acceptance of non-celiac gluten sensitivity has also increased.

But one thing that most skeptics waste Accepting is the possibility that wheat may also be harmful to other people. That is, people who do not You have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Well ... I also found a couple of studies in healthy people.

One was published in early 2013. This study compared Khorasan wheat (an older variety of wheat commonly known as Kamut ™) with modern wheat. It was a randomized controlled crossover trial with 22 healthy participants (17).

Participants consumed Kamut or modern wheat, for 8 weeks each.

This is what happened with your cholesterol levels and mineral content in the blood:

As you can see, Kamut wheat caused a reduction in Total and LDL cholesterol compared to modern wheat. It also increased the concentrations of potassium and magnesium in the blood, while these minerals decreased with modern wheat.

Kamut also caused a slight reduction in fasting blood sugar levels (3 mg / dL), but that is not shown in the chart.

In addition, excess inflammation in the body is linked to almost all modern diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, Alzheimer's, arthritis and many more.

Kamut led to a significant decrease in some important inflammatory markers (IL-6, IL-12 and TNF-?), Whereas modern wheat did not. In the case of TNF-, modern wheat caused a increase, although it was not statistically significant.

What this study implies is that Kamut wheat is, at least, much "less bad" than modern wheat.

There was also another study that tested an old Italian wheat variety and noticed a significant improvement in blood cholesterol and inflammatory markers compared to modern wheat (18).

Bottom line: In relation to the oldest wheat varieties, modern wheat has adverse effects on cholesterol, the content of minerals in the blood and inflammatory markers, which potentially contribute to the disease.

Is there such a thing as healthy wheat bread?

If you can get whole grain bread made with Einkorn or some of the older varieties of wheat, then maybe it can be part of a healthy diet.

Another way is to do it yourself.

You can dig and find someone to sell whole wheat grains of the old breed, then you can grind and ferment the wheat and bake your own healthy bread.

Or you could just save yourself the problem and skip the wheat completely. It does not contain any nutrients that you can not get in larger amounts from other foods.

Reference: https: //www.healthline.com/nutrition/modern-wheat-health-nightmare


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