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Sprouted vs. Whole Wheat

Ask Dina:

For people suffering from wheat sensitivity, is there any difference between eating whole wheat or sprouted wheat?

Dina's Response:

For people with celiac disease, there is no type of wheat that is acceptable. This is because all wheat -- whole, refined, and sprouted -- contains the protein gluten, which is the part of wheat that causes a reaction. However, some people have some degree of wheat allergy or gluten intolerance that is not true celiac disease. For some, but not all of these people, small amounts of wheat are tolerated.

If you test negative for celiac disease but find that you are ultra-sensitive to wheat and/or gluten-containing foods, follow the dietary advice given for celiac disease. If you seem to be able to tolerate small amounts of wheat, sprouted wheat bread may be the way to go. Indeed, sprouted wheat bread may be better tolerated than bread made with whole or refined wheat flour. This is likely because the sprouting begins enzymatic action that starts to break down the gluten, rendering the wheat more easily digestible. Also, sourdough bread may be better tolerated by gluten-sensitive people, according to a 2004 study. Researchers concluded that the bacteria fermented the flour, which altered the structure of the gluten.

The only way to know with certainty whether you'll be able to tolerate small amounts of wheat, such as sprouted or sourdough bread, is to follow a controlled test diet and carefully track your symptoms. This may be done under the supervision of a medical professional such as a registered dietitian specializing in food sensitivities. You can also read about such diets in my book, Food Allergy Survival Guide.

January 19, 2005 in Ask Dina | Permalink


Is "Whole grain" just as beneficial as "sprouted millet, soy etc".? What brand bread do you reccomend?

Posted by: | Mar 29, 2006 8:07:21 AM

I have been hearing and reading about how gluten forming grains can have an effect on those trying to loose weight. Is this true?

I found your response to the question on Sprouted vs Whole Wheat very interesting.

Posted by: Diane | Jan 5, 2007 7:47:22 PM

Is it true that once sprouted, the wheat is not a grain anymore but a vegetable???
Thanks for your reply.

Posted by: | Jul 25, 2007 7:49:49 PM

I am wheat/gluten intolerant and have been drinking a superfood that claims it is gluten free but contains wheat sprout powder. Should I be concerned that this is affecting my health - I only just noticed and am baffled as to how they can call their product gluten free. Please help....

Posted by: nadja kadenbach | Oct 2, 2007 8:57:50 AM

I am celiac tested will wheat grass juice
have any gluten in it

Posted by: Sharon moss | Mar 15, 2009 3:57:49 PM

Wheat grass is fine for celiacs.

Posted by: Luke Jezeph | Aug 9, 2010 12:06:59 AM

There are new genetic studies out that have found that there are two different genes in play with gluten issues. You can have gene A, gene B or both. Gene A is the heavy duty gene. It is the celiac gene. It overrides everything. Gene B is a gene that seems to cause gluten intolerance/allergies, but NOT celiac. If you have neither of these, you are ok with gluten. If you have gene A, you have celiac. If you have gene B, you have allergies that can range in tolerance and reactions. If you have both A and B, you are have celiac, and probably the most extreme kind - very highly reactive.

This is why there are a range of gluten tolerancies.

Posted by: Heather | May 19, 2011 2:55:55 PM

Wheatgrass juice, grown from the wheatberry is not a gluten.

Posted by: cherie | Aug 26, 2011 12:53:40 PM

I've found that I do not have any problems with sprouted breads. I also like the taste and texture. I DO have a lot of problems with all other wheat or combo wheat flour and whole grain breads that have added gluten or refinement. I personally think that the gluten that's being used/added in our foods is tainted either by chemicals and/or GMO, and that is why SOOOOO many people are all of a sudden having problems with wheat. I ate wheat and gluten my whole life and only started having problems in the past 4 yeaars.

Posted by: Jean | Nov 12, 2011 2:04:32 PM

They say if u eat wheat u can't lose weight. Is it ok to eat spelt bread

Posted by: patti buchanan | Nov 18, 2011 10:13:11 AM

I do not have gluten intolerance that I know of. However it seems that this problem has increased dramatically in recent years. I believe that this may have something to do with the continual breeding and genetic modification of wheat to make it disease resistant and so on. People may fine that the very old wheat strains do not cause the same problems, once they have improved their health and digestive ability.

Posted by: Lucy | Dec 2, 2011 9:04:23 PM

Thank you, Dina. This was very informative.

Posted by: Cris | Jan 2, 2012 4:07:43 AM



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