flat lay photo of bread

You are probably on, or have tried the gluten free diet. Well, a study recently presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Session, suggests that low gluten diets may be associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes. A possible explanation is that participants in the long-observational study who ate less gluten, tended to eat less cereal fiber which is known to protect against developing Type 2 diabetes.

Italians among who wheat is a staple will tell it’s not bad. I also argue that it is the form of wheat (refined over whole), end products of wheat (samosas, andazi, cakes, cookies, pastries, which are mostly deep fried and/or prepared with a lot of sugar and oil/fat) and the frequency with which we consume these products that is a challenge.  As such, unless you have gluten- the wheat protein that is responsible for elasticity during the baking process and a chewy texture in finished products- intolerance, either in its severe form –celiac disease- or as an allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you could actually be missing out on good nutrition.

According to WHO, a healthy diet comprises of among other foods, whole grains which includes unprocessed wheat and related grains. Wheat is also one of the key vehicles of food fortification (deliberately increasing the content of an essential micronutrient, i.e. Vitamins and minerals in a food, irrespective of whether the nutrients were originally in the food before processing or not). That is why you will find flour fortified with vitamins A and B, iron, making it a better option.

Going by the current price of maize, we may need to rethink out wheat consumption. However, more research needs to be done to establish the relationship between gluten consumption and Type 2 diabetes.

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