How come Europeans Do Not Have Gluten Issues Like Americans?

When I go to the grocery store it seems like more and more shelf space is taken up by gluten free products and even the term “Gluten Free” is used as a marketing ploy  and placed on non gluten products such as almond milk.

Have you ever wondered why the rise of gluten intolerance is on the rise? Or is it the gluten that is causing many gastric distress? There is a book called Wheat Belly…and of course he concludes i this book that gluten intolerance comes because wheat itself has changed.

As I was searching for information on gluten intolerance I sawthat a lady had asked the same question on a blog. She had been gluten intolerant and for 2 years been using a gluten free diet. She then travels to Europe and had a hard time resisting all the breads and baked goods as she traveled in Europe. Surprisingly she finds that after eating the baked goods in Europe she had NO digestive distress!

So why is that? The following came from a survival blog

Is Bread Improperly Prepared?

loaf-of-bread-300x226Improperly prepared bread can be problematic. Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is increasingly more common among Americans. Commercial breads are known to spike blood sugars after eating it, then causing blood sugars to crash, leaving the eater hungry and fatigued. This is a particular problem with diabetics. In a majority of diets bread is often one of the first items either restricted in the diet or removed altogether, due to its contribution to weight gain.

                       Do you Think Whole Wheat has lower glycemic than White?

From the internet post Naturally Leavened Bread by Jacques de Langre the follow excerpt is found:

“With commercial yeast, rising of the dough is lightning fast, coupled with a reduction (baker’s yeast is a strong reducer), followed by a strong oxidation during the baking and often accompanied by an alkalinization. This is increased even more when a portion or all of the bran is removed. We witness here a phenomenon totally opposed to the normal laws of life. The end result of this biological decay (staling of bread), is a deficient oxidative energy that changes into a glycolysed energy, as evidenced by monster, or anarchistic, cells that are an exact duplicate of human cancer cells, according to the research of Dr. Warbourg, M.D.”

See full excerpt from blog

This quick rising yeast leads to nutritional and digestive disorders. Celiac disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, heart burn and acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea and diabetes have all been associated with bread. The bran is removed to increase the shelf life of the flour but in the process removing a large portion of the nutritional value and dietary fiber. The quick rising yeast used in American baking is not a naturally occurring organism but in 1984 was created in a lab. It appears to be increasingly connected to the rather resent surge of health problems associated with wheat.
 What was the difference in European wheat and American? The first difference was that quick rising yeast was not used in Europe. It is easy to assume that the slow rising yeast must be the answer to our bread problem. Yet, having been to Europe, it is easy to tell that the hard crusted bread served in Europe is nothing like the soft yeasted loafs made with slow rising yeast.

Historical evidence of “yeasted bread” has been found and dated to 30BC in Egyptian artifacts. Wild or Natural yeast is in the air all around us. It doesn’t come in small packets or hard bricks. It enriches the bread through the slow growth process of the yeast breaking down harmful enzymes in the grain and converts wheat into an easily digestible food that will not spike your blood sugar level.

 Do you Think Whole Wheat has lower glycemic

than White?

The answer depends on what type of yeast that was used in the process/

The glycemic index of is naturally lowered by the organic acids produced during the yeast fermentation (2004, Emerging Food Research & Development Report), it not only lowers the glycemic response to bread but to all carbohydrates and that response remained lower through the next meal and several hours after that. When compared to whole wheat bread, wheat with barley and white bread, they all spiked with surprisingly whole wheat bread spiking the highest, but the glycemic response from white bread leavened with natural yeast remained level.

Natural yeast also called San Francisco Sourdough Bread, is the ingredient used for sourdough bread. This should not be confused with commercial sourdough bread, which is actually quick rise bread with vinegar added for the “sour” taste.

Natural yeast maximizes the nutritional availability of vitamins, minerals and the fiber in wheat. Sourdough bread is low in fat, contains no trans-fats or cholesterol and is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals, including selenium, folate, thiamin and manganese.

Natural yeast also turns the phytic acid found in wheat into a cancer-fighting antioxidant. The use of natural yeast or wild yeast changes the digestive process, especially when using whole wheat. It helps slow down the digestive process, adding a “full” feeling to a meal, making it a natural way to eat less.

Naturally leavened bread can help control heartburn and acid reflux when eaten regularly. In most cases, medication used to control acid reflux can be eliminated. It has been shown in clinical trials to boost your immune system and reduce the incidence of cold and flu.

Bone health is improved by the increased vitamin absorption that occurs from eating this bread. “Sourdough…enhances iron absorption and is a better source of available minerals, especially magnesium, iron and zinc” (Nutrition, 2003) Not only are blood sugars not spiked but the effect continues through at least one more meal, making this a must have prep for a diabetic. It leads to a feeling of satisfaction that discouraged weight gain.

Mail off for a slow yeast starter

 That’s when I found I could send off for a 100 year old culture with $2 and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Much better than the 2 sacks of flour I went through, trying to grow my own starter.

For a Mild Starter:

Original Fast Food
1221 N. 1270 W
American Fork, UT 84003

For a Sour Starter:

Oregon Trail Sourdough
PO Box 321
Jefferson, MD 21755

The starter came in the mail as expected and was in powder form. It was easily reconstituted with some flour and water. Following the enclosed instructions I had the starter doubling every 4-8 hrs and was ready to bake bread.

The starter can be refrigerated and kept untouched for up to a week. Just let it “grow” for about 8 hours, then refrigerate. A large portion of the starter still needs to be removed and flour replenished weekly. Needing a way to utilize the removed portion, sourdough pancakes were discovered. They are easily made with sourdough starter, stirring in an egg and milk until it’s the right consistency and cook as any pancake would be made. Personally, I have not eaten pancakes in years because of the weight gain and fatigue that was suffered after eating pancakes. It also gave me a sugar rush, leaving me hungry soon after eating them. Pancakes made with the starter are different. They are a little heavier and chewier but they stick with you, even after adding syrup there is not a sugar rush and a feeling of fullness remains far longer than would be thought. The sourdough pancakes don’t absorb syrup, so a much small amount can be used and still achieve a “sweet taste”.

The starter can be thinned out even more than pancakes to make a type of a crepe and savory or foods can be spread onto them and then rolled up similar to a tortilla. The slightly sour taste adds another layer to the meal. Sweet breads can be made through natural yeast as well.

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About the Author

Caroline Heinemann has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward Nebraska. She has coordinated a variety of educational programs in her local community and conducts regional business training events and teleconference training calls. She become personally interested in health when she experienced some personal health issues and found that alternative medicine has been the key to her health. She shares tips on staying healthy. She is a former and teacher and has owned her own health education business for the past 30 years

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