Is Wheat Bad For Everyone Why Should I Stop Eating Gluten

We’ve all heard that whole grains are good for us and we should eat more of them but recent studies are suggesting that isn’t the best advice---at least not for everyone.

When humans first walked the earth we mostly ate vegetables, fruits and meats. It wasn’t until later that some wild grains were added to our diet. Over time the grains we eat have changed and many are no longer healthy for us.

Just because something tastes good doesn't mean it's good for us. I've heard antifreeze has a pleasant taste but it will kill you if you eat it.

What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein in wheat that holds things together; it’s what gives dough its elasticity but for some people it’s like a poison.

Why go gluten free?

You’ve probably heard this quite a bit lately and wondered why people are saying no to wheat and wheat products. What is suddenly wrong with wheat and is it bad for everyone?

There are a few reasons to go gluten free.

Celiac disease

This is an autoimmune disorder that affects 3 million Americans. They are unable to eat even the tiniest amount of gluten due to a host of medical symptoms. The immune system attacks the small intestine and prevents the absorption of vital nutrients, which can result in malnutrition.

Gluten intolerance

For some of us we simply can’t digest it properly and it ferments in our stomach like beer, which sounds kind of cool but not so much. The result can be some or all of these symptoms: diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, vomiting, nausea, skin irritation, fatigue, muscle cramps, fog and depression.

You might have noticed some of these symptoms sound suspiciously like Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it has been suggested by some clinicians that many cases of these disorders may in fact be gluten intolerance.

Weight loss

For many, passing on gluten is an addition to many other carbohydrates they no longer eat. Bread, pasta and potatoes all add padding to our middle so cutting back or eliminating them can make a big difference.

Less carbs for better breast health

A recent study found that women who increased their starch intake by 2.3 grams that’s half an ounce of potatoes and half a cup of pasta over a one-year period had a higher risk for breast cancer. “Carbohydrates increase insulin levels, which may fuel tumor growth,” says Jennifer A Edmond, M.S., lead researcher of the University of California.

Source: June 2012 issue of Natural Health

Wheat has changed over the years

Wheat has been bioengineered to have more gluten in it than it did in the beginning. Why? More gluten makes fluffier breads and cakes. You may ask why that is bad if the outcome is a better bakery product; the problem is it’s harder to digest.

Once upon a time, before scientists changed the grain, we could digest small amounts of wheat (we were never intended to eat large quantities). Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo and like-minded physicians believe that some blood types have evolved to break it down better than others. Those with B and AB blood types can tolerate some forms of wheat while O and A blood types still can’t digest them properly.

More stress on our digestive system can lead to other health problems like colitis, colon cancer and many other issues.

Hidden wheat

If you have Celiac disease or a wheat allergy you will need to be aware of some of the hidden places you can find this grain.

It is used as a thickener in foods and even some health and beauty aids like toothpaste, lipstick, lip balm, medications and vitamins.

They don’t always list wheat in their ingredients so beware of generic names like “flavor”, “natural flavoring” or “other natural ingredients”. It is natural but for people with allergies it can be dangerous.

The Food and Drug Administration is working on this but products like cosmetics that aren’t consumed are in a different category not to mention many are made in other countries without the same regulations we have here in the United States.

To be on the safe side only use cosmetics from health food stores that specify gluten free or wheat free. Bert’s Bees is a great brand with hypoallergenic ingredients.

Gluten free products aren’t always healthier

When they take out flour they often substitute with cornmeal or potato flour, which is just as bad or worse for those with O blood types not to mention the calories they add.

Read your labels and don’t assume what you are buying is going to be healthy just because it says, “gluten free.” The trouble with food companies is that when they take out an ingredient they tend to load it down with chemicals or other bad stuff. If you don’t understand a word, look it up and if it doesn’t sound appetizing or good for you pass and look for a better alternative.

Eating out

As you can imagine dining at your favorite restaurant will be a challenge and some should be avoided altogether like Italian cafes.

Some are becoming more accommodating for their patrons but just like baking mixes substitute unhealthy ingredients, so do restaurants.

Asking a chef what is in the dish will help in some cases but many use prepackaged mixes and don’t really know what is included. Food factories often change ingredients and how they prepare items so if you go home feeling sick it may not be the cook’s fault.

Any foods with a thick sauce, gravy or pudding should be avoided since flour is the most used ingredient for thickening dishes.

Major chains will give a menu online and you can usually stay safe with salads just so you avoid their salad dressing, potato salad or other creamy additions and of course croutons are a big no-no.

Alcoholic beverages

Most beer and some liquor have wheat in them. You need to be careful, especially with beer because they don't always list all of the ingredients on the label.

You can be safe with wine so long as it’s on your list of foods that don’t give you problems.

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Comments 32 comments

CASE1WORKER profile image


As a life long sufferer with ceoliac disease I have seen it become more prominent- I was asking my mum how she deat with it when I was a child some fifty years ago- she said that few foods other than things like bread and cakes contained gluten- not like now where you have to check everything- even ice cream. I personally think that is why there are now so many sufferers. As a child I did not know any one else who had it; now there are many

Great hub, voted up etc

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

This is so informative. Thank you for providing these facts. I know many people who have gone gluten-free just by choice, not because they have health issues. They ALL report feeling better, losing weight and more energy. According to your hub, I guess they made a very good decision. Has me thinking, that's for sure! UP!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

CW, they do seem to put wheat in everything these days.

Fpher, some blood types do much better without it and those who are intolerant or celiac feel much better.

Thanks for reading.

Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

There is also a link between gluten and epilepsy. Some people have fewer or no seizures when they eliminate gluten and can reduce or even stop medication. It doesn't apply to all epileptics but if you have seizures it may be something worth researching.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Interesting, Mazzy, I haven't read that before but not surprised they are finding all sorts of nasty side effects from eating wheat. I firmly believe it is part of why so many Americans suffer with obesity our diet has a ridiculous amount of wheat in it.

kashmir56 profile image

kashmir56 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Pamela, This is all great information and advice to help all those who have gluten intolerance or have wheat related problems,well gone .

Vote up and more !!!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thanks, Kashmir.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

I find the whole issue of gluten to be very confusing. Recent studies suggest that actual gluten allergies are quite rare. Who knows!

Kalmiya profile image

Kalmiya 4 years ago from North America

I did a hub on this called 'Gluten Epidemic' as I think this is exactly what is happening. Gluten is now hidden in foods like sauces so we don't even know we're consuming it and I also believe that with the genetic manipulation of wheat that our grain has been transformed into a new species. Thanks for helping raise the awareness!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Breakfastpop, it's not just allergies, many people have trouble digesting it plus some studies suggest it amplifies other allergies. If a person is having health or digestion issues it is worth trying to go gluten free for a while and see if it doesn't help.

Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

Many autistic people have a problem digesting gluten and also a milk protein, casein. Protein is usually broken down first into peptides, then into amino acids. Apparently, many autistics only manage the first stage, and the resulting peptides can have an opiate effect on the brain. Many autistic children have shown improvement on a gluten/casein free diet. I wonder if this also affects some non-autistics.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

We have managed to cut wheat products from our diet so that we notice a healthier body weight and energy level. Wheat is processed differently now and it does not have the same benefits. Great information and so useful. Voted up.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 4 years ago

Thanks Pamela. I'll give it a try.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

That's interesting, Mazzy. My daughter has Asperger's and was born allergic to dairy products and citric acid. She doesn't like anything spicy so the casein isn't a problem. I haven't been able to convince her to give up wheat but may try again. (She's 18)

Teaches, it is amazing how much more energy we have when we cut it out of our diet. I no longer feel like I need a nap after lunch.

Good luck, BFP.

Mazzy Bolero profile image

Mazzy Bolero 4 years ago from the U.K.

I read about this years ago as a relative's child had autism. The child improved very much on the gluten/casein free diet, although it is not a cure. There is an interesting personal account in a blog here:

Daffy Duck profile image

Daffy Duck 4 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

Very useful hub. I've heard that gluten free is better, but I never understood why until now.

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

I enjoyed this. Its only since I have gotten Aspergers diagnosis last year that I have I stopped having wheat and it definitely makes a difference. Although as you say sometimes the alternatives can have ingredients in them that are just as dubious so you still have to be careful. Good read and I will follow you.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Thewritingowl, my daughter has Asperger's but she is 18 and stubborn so I haven't been able to convince her to let go of wheat. Thanks for reading.

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Yeah she'll have to want to do it for herself, I lapse sometimes even though I know I'll suffer afterwards. At 18 I was a nightmare (some would say I still am!),I think hormones affect AS people very badly.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

She is sweet but stubborn. I'm learning telling her to do something doesn't work but convincing her with statistics or just making conversation sometimes works better.

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 4 years ago from Ireland

Yeah I always went on the offensive if someone said I had to do something but if I was persuaded to see the sense of doing it then that was always a good strategy.

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Partly Asperger's and partly teenager. She's a great kid, better than a lot of teenagers I know.

Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

Pamela- I have been wondering what the deal was with the increase of gluten free foods. Your hub sheds some light on it. I have a question, under 'gluten free products aren't always healthier' you mentioned that the substitution of cornmeal or potato flour is not good for those with O blood types.. I was just curious why you mentioned that blood type in particular. Are O blood types more likely to be more allergic? It just sparked my curiosity because that is my blood type. Anyway, great hub, voting up!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jamie, Peter D'Adamo has written books on that subject. According to him, potatoes cause arthritis symptoms in people with O blood types and corn can cause gastrointestinal problems as well as allergies.

I've been on his diet for about 8 months and have seen an improvement to my health.

Jamie Brock profile image

Jamie Brock 4 years ago from Texas

How interesting, thank you for getting back to me on that. I'm going to look more into this. Happy 4th!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Happy 4th, Jamie and thanks for reading.

icmn91 profile image

icmn91 4 years ago from Australia

You are right, Pamela. A lot of people out there just do not seem to realise how many would be better off on a completely gluten free diet. I had a really bad experience at my fully catered university college (that claimed to offer gluten free fare, but dismissed me when I brought up the cross contamination issues (more about it on my hubs - feel free to comment)) and failed university. The head of hall responded and I published that on my profile as well.

Thankfully, I'm getting back in order now that I'm back home and that I actually have control over what I eat!!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

The best thing to do when you have food limitations, icmn91, is to prepare them yourself with fresh ingredients. That's the only way you will know what's in your food.

Jean-ette profile image

Jean-ette 4 years ago

Very interesting and helpful hub. Food and health - one of my favorite subjects, and you can never learn enough about it. That is interesting about the potatoes and O blood types. My husband is O blood and has arthritis and guess what his favorite foods are - potatoes and bread!

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 4 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Jean-ette, giving up bread and potatoes is not easy but it can be done. I've substituted sweet potatoes for white and like them. Giving up bread was easier than I thought since I feel better not eating it.

copywriterbill profile image

copywriterbill 3 years ago from MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina

As I read this, I hear a lot of what is possible to be bad. I've read that the new wheat has been engineered differently and that is not good. I don't have gluten allergies but the consensus seems to be to avoid gluten. I still can't see a definitive article that is medically specific that this is just plain bad for everyone. As I get older, I'm paying more attention as to what I eat and drink, this one keeps me puzzled. I've know some who have to stay gluten free, but if one is, is there nutrients they are lacking? I have drastically reduced wheat from my diet, but should I be a fanatic about it?

Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 3 years ago from Oklahoma Author

Copywriterbill, I don't think it's bad for everyone and that is what I was trying to convey in this article. In my opinion, eating it in moderation is best.

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