Gluten-Free vs. Wheat-Free

A funny thing happened to me when I gave up wheat many years ago… I was able to manage my weight fairly easily for the first time in my life. At the time, I had already embraced a healthy diet that helped me get a handle on my appetite and cravings and I was definitely on the path to better health. But giving up wheat was a game-changer. From that point on it was far easier to keep my weight down than ever before without really having to worry about every calorie I put in my mouth. For someone who had struggled with her weight from birth, this was a God-send.

In today’s Motivational Monday I discuss the potential benefits of wheat elimination vs. gluten elimination, and whether or not this is a viable option for you. To be clear, the only people who need to eliminate gluten entirely are those that have tested positive for Celiac Disease, for which gluten-free diets are the only treatment modality. But is it necessary for the rest of us to give up gluten? Or is giving up wheat sufficient? In today’s video I will review both, and review some of the results I have seen with these diets.

And lest you think that wheat-free and gluten-free diets are just another gimmick to lose weight, tune in to find out how altering your diet with regard to wheat and/or gluten may be a great treatment option for skin conditions, improved immunity and even mood disorders!

Once you’ve watched the video I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever followed a wheat-free or gluten-free lifestyle? If so, what was your experience with it? Did it help you get a handle on a health issue? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

If you read last week’s post then you know I am in Nepal at the release of this video… next week hopefully I will have some updates for you from here!

Wishing you a great week and much health!
xo
B

Share Your Thoughts...

23 comments on “Gluten-Free vs. Wheat-Free

  1. Doris Smith

    I use Spelt Flour with Almond Flour to make biscuits. Spelt Flour makes it easier to hold the biscuits together. Use 2 cups of Almonds and 1/2 of Spelt. It worked great.

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Well I don’t understand how wheat gets a bad rap all the time. Isn’t the staff of life mentioned in the bible. I hear in France they don’t do a certain thing to there wheat and so when people eat bread etc over there. They seem to be fine. I think if you get wheat in its unprocessed form you can eat it. There is wheat grass. You can Grind it to make fresh whole wheat flour. You can sprout it and make stuff with the sprouts.You can soak and cook the kernels for cereal or casseroles. I personally think too that over eating any type of grain isn’t good. But to totally eliminate wheat I’m not on board cause there is other ways to eat it. I’m sure wheat grass doesn’t have glutten in it . not sure about the sprouts. But wheat is also a good long term food storage item . great for if your in a famine state. I just think we all eat too much grain period cause its more for eating when we need it too curb our excess hunger . so I will not eliminate it but eat it more sparingly and stay away from overly processed foods . I realized some wheat products bug me and some don’t. Like I eat sprouted grain bread just two slices and feel fine. I eat a muffin or some cheap wheat bread I feel negative effects. So I say experiment with wheat before yo give it up totally. Like I said some products bother me and some do not. And of coarse the less processed the better in any food.

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      I find it interesting too that when a client of one travels to Europe and they eat wheat, there is rarely a problem even if they struggle with the wheat sensitivities here in the States. It somewhat implies that there is a difference between the way we manufacture/cultivate it. I’ve seen that phenomena over and over with various people and it is certainly odd. In any case, you make a good point on the the negative impact of overeating the wrong kinds of grains and/or overeating them in general. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

      Reply
  3. Gerri

    Hi Barbara,
    I think the information you gave on this video is great with one exception, there are people, like me, who do not test positive for celiac but have all the same symptoms as someone with celiac. We are labled as someone with gluten intolerance. Please be sure to address that in the future. Thanks.
    Gerri

    Reply
  4. Laurie L.

    Okay, I’m really confused. I thought Spelt was an ancient form of wheat but it’s okay to eat if you’re trying to go wheat free? I try to buy gluten free for my family and my 5 yo daughter also notices it on boxes and knows it’s healthy for us to eat it. She is a carb junkie, so is it healthier for her to eat gluten free rather than wheat? She also likes chips/crackers made with chickpeas and beans. Great topic! Thanks for all the info that you provide to help us stay on the road to good health!

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      I have found that although spelt contains gluten it often does not have the same consequences as wheat. If you are already on the road to gluten free and are feeling good than stick with it… And thanks for your comments and for letting me know that you are already training your daughter to read labels! A great education so early on in her life~ Love it!

      Reply
      1. Laurie L.

        Thanks for responding and the info on spelt. No, no problem with spelt. I don’t really eat much of it anyway. I like pasta once in awhile and I do bake with spelt flour. I agree about teaching kids young. I just hope it sticks lol. She eats like her dad sometimes but trying to sway her my way.

        Have a great day :)!

        Reply
  5. Allison

    That was a great video on the gluten-wheat-carb connections. As someone with celiac your explanation was very helpful.

    Reply
  6. Sandra

    I thought it was one in the same if you were following a Gluten free diet then Wheat free was what we were leaving out of the diet. I will have to look into Wheat free more. Where do I start I would image it would be a long process not something to do all at once.
    thanks

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      Hi Sandra. Thanks for watching the video and commenting. If you are eating a diet that is gluten-free, there are products besides wheat that you need to avoid, like barley and rye, and many unexpected food items such as sauces and condiments. However, in the video I suggest that sometimes just giving up wheat (as opposed to gluten) can be very beneficial, in which instance you could still eat rye bread, and other foods that contain gluten (so long as there is no wheat).

      It can certainly seem overwhelming when making any dietary or lifestyle change. So I recommend just taking things slowly and changing one small habit at a time. Perhaps if you eat a lot of bread, you could start eating a rye bread, instead of a wheat bread, or eliminate bread entirely. Baby steps 🙂

      ~ B

      Reply
  7. Nancy "Space"

    I have been wheat and sugar free for two years. It is so liberating! I equate sugar and wheat to my former addiction to nicotine. In the same way that tobacco no longer has a hold, is actually repulsive to me, so with wheat and sugar! All those pastries, snacks and desserts, sandwiches and burgers, have no appeal, no attraction. It’s not a matter of will power,; it’s knowledge, it’s knowing that wheat and sugar are as addictive, as poison, as toxic to my body as cigarettes. I do not have celiac disease, I could eat bread and live, the same way I smoked for 30 years and survived with now-healthy lungs , but why would I want to? Freedom from wheat and sugar, I am free!

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      Thanks so much for sharing this Nancy! Isn’t it amazing how food can so affect our bodies and minds!? It seems that you have felt “comfortable” in both ways of life, but so much better in one without cigarettes, sugar and wheat. Your story is truly inspiring.
      ~ B

      Reply
  8. Kathy

    Thanks for a very informative presentation. I was wondering what your thoughts are on Ezekiel 4:9 bread as it does contain some wheat. Does sprouting make it okay or not?

    Reply
  9. Lisa Dawn

    good explanation of the difference between wheat and gluten! i also think the gluten free thing has gone too far. the foods that are labeled gluten free are overly processed. like the first ingredient in gluten free pretzels is corn starch. that can’t be good for us. thanks for the info!

    Reply
    1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

      Absolutely Lisa. So many foods that are sugar-free, gluten-free, or fat-free are not really that great for us. It’s definitely as important to read the labels on “health” foods as it is on any other foods. We are certainly in a time where it is not easy for people to know what’s necessarily best for them, without educating themselves and paying attention. Thanks as always for commenting!
      ~ B

      Reply
  10. Jonathan Sheppard

    Thank for a super informative video Barbara!! As a practitioner (thanks to you !) of a wheat, dairy and sugar free lifestyle for about 4-5 years now, I can attest to the positive effects of eliminating wheat from one’s diet for ALL of the reasons mentioned in your presentation. I do also try to keep gluten to a minimum but have found great alternatives to virtually everything in my diet. As a marathoner , I find that “cleaner eating” has helped my performance and recovery from runs as well. Keep the great info coming !! -J

    Reply
    1. gail

      Hi, thanks for the video! I was wondering if you could recommend a source for wheat, dairy and sugar free foods that are not processed. My family’s diet features those three things at almost every meal and I’d like to move away from them gently so i don’t provoke a rebellion. 🙂 Thanks.

      Reply
      1. Barbara Mendez R.Ph. M.S. Post author

        There are no real packaged foods that are truly healthy and are wheat, dairy and sugar free. Best is to eat foods in their natural state so having rice or quinoa as a grain and fruit and things made from fruit as dessert is best. As for dairy free try Nut cheeses (made from soaking nuts) and I like coconut milk as an alternative to cow’s milk. I hope this is helpful!

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *