Many popular foods may be classified as whole grains. It is important to read the ingredients list on the label of prepared items such as breads, because the label may be deceptive. Look for 100% whole grains.
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat flour
- Bulgar wheat
- Whole wheat couscous
- Wheat germ
- Corn meal
- Oats & oat bran
- Whole grain pasta
- Whole grain breads
- Wild rice
Gluten – Are You Intolerant?
Perhaps you’ve been hearing or reading about gluten intolerance, a condition associated with celiac disease. People with celiac disease can’t tolerate the gluten found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats because it damages their intestinal wall. This leads to an inability to absorb nutrients, which leads to malnutrition, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, anemia, muscle wasting, edema, and other conditions associated with malnutrition.
Records indicate that only 1 or 2 percent of people have celiac disease. However, I believe many more of us suffer from gluten intolerance not as advanced as celiac. This condition may not be as serious as celiac, but can still make life very uncomfortable for us when we eat high-gluten foods.
The best option is, of course, to simply avoid eating grains containing gluten. This can be tricky, since it’s often hidden in our processed foods unter names like “cereal fillers” and “hydrolized protein.” I always recommend (for everyone) a diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts & seeds, and small amounts of proteins such as lean meats and eggs, as the best option for optimal health.
If, for any reason, you find yourself unable to abstain completely, make sure to minimize your intake and supplement with digestive enzymes and probiotics. A cup of slippery elm tea may also alleviate some symptoms.
Even if you aren’t aware of any problems from eating foods containing wheat, rye, barley and oats, you might try eliminating them from your diet for a week. You’re sure to feel lighter, healthier, and just all-around better. It may change your mind, and your life!