Whole grains have been given a bad rap in recent years because of the whole gluten-free craze. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of some people’s needs to eat gluten-free and I’m happy to see this craze leading to a bunch of new options for people. The reason I refer to it as a craze though, is that unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or some other medical issue that requires you to avoid gluten; whole grains are actually an extremely important part of a healthy diet!
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which gluten – a protein found in wheat – damages the lining of the small intestine, which is the same part of the gut that absorbs nutrients from food. According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, it is believed that 333,000 Canadians (approximately 1% of the population) are affected by celiac disease, but only about 110,000 have actually been diagnosed.