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Wheat Free vs. Gluten Free – What is the Difference?

wheat free gluten free what is the difference

There are many who advocate not only a Gluten free diet, but a wheat or grain free diet. The theory here is that even non-gluten containing grains like oats and corn contain gut irritants such as lectins and mineral binding phytates such as wheat germ agglutins. While gluten-free, barley and rye are not wheat free.  In reality about 1-2% of the population has true Celiac Disease although many remain undiagnosed. An additional 6-7% have some form of wheat or Gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

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Going Gluten-Free or Wheat-Free – What’s Best for Me?
It is possible for someone to be on a wheat-free diet, but not a gluten-free diet. This is because gluten is in all wheat products, but not necessarily the other way around. So, if you have gluten sensitivity, a wheat-free diet is necessary to ease the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance. The main difference between the two sensitivities however is that a gluten-free diet is necessary for people experiencing irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, gas, bloating or an allergy to gluten. A wheat-free diet is best for those who may have an allergic reaction to wheat itself. A wheat allergy might cause skin irritations such as rashes and hives, digestive tract issues and nasal congestion.

Top Reasons to Consider Going Gluten Free

  • Better Digestion
  • Increased Energy
  • Possible Weight Loss
  • Reduced Inflammation

Article By Jeff Pearl, MD

Dr. Jeff is a trained general, pediatric cardiac, and transplant surgeon. Nutrition has always been an important concern for surgeons in regards to patients healing from surgery. He has had a longstanding interest in health, nutrition and supplements, and been an advocate of the use of nutrition and supplements in the hospital setting to aid in his patient’s recovery. He has a history of basic science and clinical research and a keen ability to interpret studies and statistics to determine their true significance. He is the father and step-father to several teenage athletes and knows firsthand the challenges they face in balancing their time, eating habits and use of supplements. He is adamant about trying to educate our youth about better nutrition. Dr. Jeff recognizes the challenges that healthcare faces and the need for people to take charge of their own health and disease prevention. He loves being outside and is one of those crazy few seen hiking or biking in the middle of the day in summer.
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