Sunday, March 4, 2007

Wheat, Wheat, What???

I haven't posted for a few days. I've been working on my new web site. , still a work in progress.
This topic may agitate a nerve with a large number of people. Wheat has become a staple of the SAD (standard American diet) and is often a primary ingredient in many of the common comfort and convenience foods. Wheat itself is not a bad food. More and more whole grain wheat products are replacing those with nutrient stripped enriched white flour. This overall is an excellent trend to support, and certainly not a problem.
It is the sheer volume of wheat consumed daily that is of concern. Typically individuals are eating cereal or bagels for breakfast, a sandwich of some sort for lunch, and for dinner pasta or pizza or some other food served with a side of rolls. I would consider three servings daily a lot, but the average person eats more than a half cup of cereal for breakfast, or more than two pieces of pizza, and certainly more than one dinner roll. It is more than the frequency, it is the serving size that is of concern.
Wheat is a common food allergen, along with soy, dairy, eggs, and corn. These allergens can often slide silently under the surface contributing to inflammation without visible signs for years. Unfortunately for some individuals, the effects are more noticeable: GI distress, allergies, eczema, joint pain, etc. But too often the connection between the symptom and the contributing agent is never explored.
With the proper help, these foods can be found and eliminated successfully. I personally only eat wheat on special occasions. Maybe a couple slices of pizza every few months. I miss the food a little. But I don't miss those 10 extra pounds of water weight, or the nagging soreness in my left knee and right shoulder that just would never go away... until the wheat did.


Lauren said...

I was so excited to find your site Dr. Swanz!! Do you treat patients on a long distance basis? I'd love to get in touch with you to get and stay healthy! I will be checking in with your site daily, now that I found it, to stay up to date with your latest remedies! Write me back when you get a chance, I could be quite the "project" for you! Love to you and the girls from Buffalo!

Unknown said...

I recently learned that I am allergic to wheat through allergy testing. It is what the doctor called a minor allergy, but I am still supposed to remove it from my diet. The greatest problem with this is that I am presently at college, so I can't cook special wheat free foods (or anything else). I need to find some more foods that I can eat that can be prepared in my dorm or come pre-made. What can I eat besides basic meat, fruits and veggies?
Please help me!

Peter Swanz, ND, FHANP said...

For individuals with a wheat sensitivity without celiac disease, the celiac websites and supports can still be a great place to start when looking for ways to incorporate a new way of eating and living into their live. Here are two of the main celiac support sites:

There may be sites or celiac groups formed in your geographic location that I am sure would welcom any new members.

Thanks to the mainstream recognition of gluten sensitivy and intolerance, there are sections in just about every supermarket these days with wheat/gluten free products. It is still important to read the labels because they may be much higher in sugar than some of the conventional counterparts.

I personally try and stick to the basic fruit and veggie routine. It is a bit more time consuming, but you can prepare your snacks on Sunday and have them on hand for the rest of the week. I will also typically have some rice crackers around to top with salmon salad.

Thanks for your comments.