Give us this Day our Daily Bread

Bread, or at least the wheat from which it is made, is ubiquitous in the modern Western diet.  You want street food?  The burger, hotdog, kebab will arrive in some kind of bread; the fish will be battered and the sauce will be thickened.  Even if you just want the chips, they may have been dipped in flour before freezing to stop them sticking together in the bag.

In the kitchen wheat and gluten are everywhere too.  Not just the bags of flour bought to make bread, scones, cakes, biscuits, pancakes, desserts…..but in tins of soup, meat and others, sauces, crisps, liquorice – it is everywhere.  It is in the Bible and in our prayers, so it must be good; yes?

Possibly not is the answer and for some people definitely not.  Coeliacs cannot tolerate even the smallest amount of gluten (which is present in all grains, not just wheat). The gluten that presents problems for coeliacs comes from wheat, barley and rye and alternative flours are used to prepare “wheat identical” substitutes of favourite foods which can be tolerated.

NICE guidelines published in 2009, suggest that the prevalence of coeliac disease in the UK population is under diagnosed.  About 1% are known to have the disease but many studies indicate that this could be much higher; up to 18% in populations where a relative has the disease.

Gluten intolerance or sensitivity has been linked to autoimmune diseases.  Here is a sample page. Take time to search further and many studies can be found.

So maybe our Daily Bread is not as good for us as we like to believe.

 

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