Study Supports Eating Wheat, Despite the Gluten-Free Trend

As more Americans shun wheat in favor of gluten-free diets, a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2013, gives insight into why giving up grains may not be the answer to our growing health problems. The research studied the effects of replacing standard whole grain products in subjects’ diets with ancient khorasan wheat, and found that doing so reduced their metabolic risk factors, raised their antioxidant capacities, and decreased inflammatory activity.

Khorasan wheat, known under the brand name of KAMUT, is a grain unlike most of today’s versions of wheat because it has not been genetically modified, hybridized or grown with chemicals or pesticides, so many people allergic to other brands of wheat can eat it without ill effects.

“This grain has not been altered by man since ancient times and therefore remains virtually the same as it was when first gathered from the wild when man first transitioned from a hunter/gatherer to a farmer,” said Bob Quinn, founder of KAMUT International.

KAMUT brand khorasan wheat is higher in many minerals, protein and lipids than modern versions of wheat. It is especially a good source of selenium, a powerful antioxidant, which would explain why the test subjects in the study measured higher antioxidant capacities after their trial period eating the wheat compared to standard wheat products.

Quinn explained, “We have demonstrated measurable and significant health advantages of eating KAMUT brand khorasan wheat compared to modern wheat in a controlled double blind cross over human study. Since these advantages deal with increasing antioxidant capacity and reducing inflammation, they may hold the key to combating two of the most common and serious diseases plaguing the human population today, heart disease and diabetes.”

Modern wheat has been bred without nutritional value in mind, Quinn said. Faced with feeding a larger population, farmers focused on producing cheap and plentiful food with no regards to its consequences on human health. An unanticipated result of this is an increase in the amount of people with wheat allergies.

“It seems counterproductive to me for the whole population to reject wheat altogether and its valuable source of nutrition because 1% cannot tolerate it or because most of the 15% experiencing sensitivities have not eliminated those problems by eating ancient grains such as KAMUT brand khorasan wheat,” said Quinn. He compared the recent popularity of gluten-free diets, encouraged by books such as Wheat Belly, with the trend several years ago of eliminating all fat from the diet, when scientists and nutritionists know that some good fats are beneficial and necessary to the human diet.

The clinical study followed two groups, one an experimental, and one a control group, as they either ate KAMUT wheat or standard whole grains during an 8 week period. After a rest period, the two groups switched places for another 8 weeks. Although the control group ate organic, whole-grain wheat, the experimental group eating KAMUT wheat showed better results in the mineral contents of their blood as well as improvements in their inflammatory profiles. Further research will study inflammation caused by modern wheat and how a diet of ancient grains can help those suffering from specific diseases.

“Most Americans think they must turn to drugs to solve all their maladies,” Quinn said. “Our finding supports an entirely different concept, which harkens back to the teachings of Hippocrates of ancient Greece, who taught that food should be our medicine and medicine should be our food.”


Also Read:

7 Whole Grains You Should Be Eating

Celebrities Going Gluten Free – Fad or Health?

Ancient Heritage Wheat Might Help the Gluten-Sensitive


Written by Sarah Shultz, for Diets in Review


Danii P
Danii P1 months ago


Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

Great info! Thanks

Edvanir L.
Edvanir L4 years ago

Thank you.

Danuta Watola
Danuta W4 years ago

Thanks for the article!

Aud Nordby
Aud nordby4 years ago


Connie O.
Connie O4 years ago

I am assuming this is still not good for people with celiacs disease.

jessica r.
jessica r4 years ago

Thanks for this information- GMOs & hybridization are, I think, a huge part of the problem that people are having when eating foods that have been eaten for centuries.

Michael Maday
Michael Maday5 years ago

I appreciate this article very much. I must say that I have been aghast at the growing "trend" of people avoiding wheat--and gluten--despite the obvious fact that only a minority of people have a problem with it. It reminds me of the anti-carb craze that hit so many people ten years ago, or the eat-for-your-blood-type nonsense before that. Wake up, people! Find a reputable doctor and trust him or her. I suggest Dr. Andrew Weil!

JoLi Nevares

Thank you for this article. I wish the title had been worded differently to reflect that there may be a certain type of wheat that GFers could consider. I noted that the author mentioned concern regarding the whole population dismissing traditional wheat over the GF options. I don't think that's what the marketing intention is. Having been a diagnosed celiac for almost 10 years now, the market is making this eating choice (or requirement) so much more convenient and tasty. If this Kamut wheat is okay for GFers, than the market will go through yet another change to create and market products that are made with this wheat type. In any case, I don't believe that the intention is to advocate against or mandate that others completely refrain from traditional wheat products. There are just more choices out there now to help all people enjoy more of what they can (and are able to choose to) eat.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago