October 30, 2014

30/10/2014: Does wheat make us fat and sick?

by Fred J.P.H. Brouns, and Vincent J. van Buula of Maastricht University, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Department of Human Biology, Health Food Innovation Management, The Netherlands and Peter R. Shewry of Rothamsted Research, Plant Biology and Crop Science, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom in the Journal of Cereal Science
  1. After fat and fructose, it is now suggested that wheat is a main cause for obesity.
  2. Whole-wheat consumption is discouraged by current (non-peer reviewed) publications
  3. We make recommendations on the basis of scientific consensus rather than speculation
  4. No data justifies a negative opinion about whole-wheat products in a healthy population
  5. Gluten-sensitive individuals can benefit from a diet without gluten from wheat
After earlier debates on the role of fat, high fructose corn syrup and added sugar in the aetiology of obesity, it has recently been suggested that wheat consumption is involved.

Suggestions have been made that wheat consumption has adverse effects on health by mechanisms related to addiction and overeating.

We discuss these arguments and conclude that they cannot be substantiated. Moreover, we conclude that assigning the cause of obesity to one specific type of food or food component, rather than over consumption and inactive lifestyle in general, is not correct.

In fact, foods containing whole-wheat, which have been prepared in customary ways (such as baked or extruded), and eaten in recommended amounts, have been associated with significant reductions in risks for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and a more favourable long term weight management.

Nevertheless, individuals that have a genetic predisposition for developing celiac disease, or who are sensitive or allergic to wheat proteins, will benefit from avoiding wheat and other cereals that contain proteins related to gluten, including primitive wheat species (einkorn, emmer, spelt) and varieties, rye and barley.

It is therefore important for these individuals that the food industry should develop a much wider spectrum of foods, based on crops that do not contain proteins related to gluten, such as teff, amaranth, oat, quinoa, and chia. Based on the available evidence, we conclude that whole-wheat consumption cannot be linked to increased prevalence of obesity in the general population.~

Copyright Clearance Centre Inc
Journal of Cereal Science
Volume 58, Issue 2, September 2013, Pages 209–215

Read more HERE.

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