Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.


By Stephenie Karony

Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Nothing silly about
wheat intolerance

Question: I believe eating wheat products makes my joints ache. Is this "downright silly" as my husband suggests, or can there be some truth to it?

Answer: Any feeling we experience is never downright silly, and in the case of wheat products there may be a simple physiological reason for what you're feeling.

I recommend you see a doctor that does food allergy testing. You may find that you have an allergy to, or are very sensitive to, wheat gluten.

Wheat gluten is the substance in wheat that provides it with its strength and elasticity. Painful joints are often the result of an intolerance to wheat.

If you do have an intolerance to wheat, you'll want to eat less wheat products, and incorporate more wheat alternatives into your diet.

There are many tasty and nutritious replacement grains available today. They're often ancient in origin, and all of them are easier to digest than wheat.

Kamut, for example, is nutritionally superior to wheat. It's place of origin is Egypt and it was found sealed in the pyramids.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), although not a true grain, cooks and looks like one.

Quinoa is an ancient Incan crop and is closely related to the vegetable beet. It's high in protein and it contains eight amino acids (the building blocks of protein). It's very tasty.

Amaranth, from South America, is a grain product that's become very trendy to eat. It's also high in protein and contains eight amino acids.

Amaranth does contain some gluten, so if you're diagnosed with celiac disease, avoid eating this product.

Spelt, also from Egypt, contains eight amino acids. It's very palatable, which makes it a suitable grain for making pasta.

Rye, as we all know, makes great bread. Read labels carefully because bakers often mix rye flour with wheat flour.

Any grain, including wheat and rice if they're not refined or polished, has many health benefits. Plenty of grains should be included in everyone's diet.

As consumers become more aware of the variety of wheat grain alternatives, consumer demand will make them even more available.

If you do have an intolerance to wheat, and you choose to eliminate wheat from your diet, be sure to read labels carefully. Wheat is very often used as a filler in food products.

Also, be patient, because it will probably take at least two weeks of a no-wheat diet before you'll notice any change.

If the pain persists beyond that time, consult with your doctor, as there may be other causes of your discomfort.

Q: Are Bocca brand meatless nuggets part of a healthy diet?

A: Yes, this product gets a thumbs-up from me.

Bocca nuggets are low in calories, just 180 per 3-ounce serving.

They contain only 6 grams of fat, and hardly any of it is saturated. They contain 4 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of soy protein per serving.

Bocca brand nuggets also contain less sodium than other meatless varieties; consequently they taste better.

Compared to McDonald's chicken nuggets, Bocca brand is by far a healthier food choice.

McDonald's nuggets contain twice the fat--12 grams, with 4 of those grams saturated. And they taste greasy, whereas Boca nuggets have a nutty, chicken flavor.

Health Events

Stephenie Karony is a certified health
and fitness instructor, a personal trainer and the author of
"Body Shaping with Free Weights." Send questions to her at
P.O. Box 262, Wailuku Hi. Her column appears on Wednesdays.

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin