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Concurrent Session: Has the nutritional value of wheat changed? The science behind gut health and the Gluten-free explosion

Saturday, May 7, 2016
3:30pm - 4:45pm


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Dr. Chibbar will present his research on the nutritional properties of Canadian wheat grown from seeds over the past century disputing the contention in popular diet books linking wheat to obesity and other chronic diseases. Dr. Jones will address the research surrounding gut health, the role of gluten and wheat proteins, the science surrounding changes in the gut microbiota and when to eliminate gluten based on medical literature vs reports in the popular press

The science of gut health and the gluten free explosion
Dr. Julie Miller Jones

This talk will review the latest science on who should and should not go gluten – free. It will clarify the differences between celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, grain allergy and adverse reactions to certain components such as FODMAPs. Differences in the causes, incidence, and dietary strategies for each will be explored.  The talk will discuss the rise in allergies and other autoimmune diseases and possible reasons for this including alterations in the microbiome. There will be a further discussion that builds on the fact the wheat has not changed and will look at what may have triggered changes in the microbiome. It will also address the role of gluten, dietary fiber and whole grains and gut health and overall health.  It will compare traditional gluten- containing foods and gluten-free foods in terms vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and cost in the context of whole diet. 

Nutritional composition of wheat over a century, remains very similar
Ravindra N. Chibbar

In human diet wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a staple food and major source of nutrients. In a wheat grain, carbohydrates are the predominant (two-thirds to three-quarters) macro nutrient followed by proteins accounting for one-fifth to one-sixth of grain weight. Minor nutrient components include phenolic compounds in bran, fats, vitamins and minerals that also contribute to the nutritional quality of wheat-based food products and human health. Wheat grain constituents were analyzed from selected wheat varieties that included heritage wheats introduced in to Canada in the middle of nineteenth century to some modern varieties that were developed till the beginning of twenty first century. Results show that the nutritional composition of the wheat grain, (protein, carbohydrates and minerals) of modern day varieties are nutritionally similar to that of heritage wheat varieties that were grown in Canada in the middle of nineteenth century.



Dr. Julie Miller Jones

Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emerita, Foods and Nutrition, St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN

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