Why People Feel Better on Gluten Free Diets

March 4, 2015                         Matt Salis - Owner, Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver


Free Whole Grain Bread for You to Give to Your Friend (read to the end for details).


A good friend of mine lost a bunch of weight on the Atkins diet a dozen or so years ago.  You remember the Atkins diet.  It was the one that vilified even slowly metabolized whole grain carbs and glorified all forms of meat and cheese.  Avoid high fiber bran cereal, all natural granola bars and 100% stone ground whole wheat bread at all costs.  Enjoy all of the fatty ground meat in a casing you can stuff into your body.  Despite his weight loss success on the Atkins diet, my friend was unable to sustain this meat and cheese frenzy of a lifestyle for three reasons.  First and most obvious, the Atkins diet simply defies logic.  Heart disease is the number one killer in America.  It is believed to have killed the inventor of the diet, Robert Atkins.  Avoiding whole grains that are scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and replacing them with foods high in fat and cholesterol that are scientifically proven to increase the risk of heart disease just does not pass the common sense test.  Second, my pal is a bread freak.  Even before my wife and I got into this business, he used to love to eat a delicious turkey club and enthusiastically proclaim, “It is the bread that makes the sandwich!”  Third, our bodies tell us what they need.  My friend’s body was screaming for healthy whole grain carbs.  He could not take another bite of cheese steak, hold the bun.  He was craving a warm hunk of Whole Grain Sourdough in the worst way.  The final straw for my friend was when his gas grill caught on fire.  That is not supposed to happen.  But when the grill is covered in sausage fat and bacon drippings, bad things happen.  That grill had not roasted an ear of corn or grilled fresh whole grain bread in months.  Just like our bodies require balance, so, apparently, did my friend’s gas grill.  The fire scared him back into balance.  My buddy’s heart and I both thanked him!


The current diet trend that has a firm grip on the American population is equally logic defying…to me…a foodie.  My job is to turn natural ingredients into healthy and delicious food for people about whom I care a great deal.  After all, it is in my best interest that my customers live long and happy lives.  Because my wife and I devote a major slice of our life to this mission, we understand what science has proven about the food that we hand craft for the Denver population.  We understand that unless you are in the roughly 1% of the population that is allergic to gluten (as my celiac mom and sister are – we understand that a gluten allergy is a serious thing), wheat is not only not bad for you, it is actually quite helpful if you hope to avoid heart disease, diabetes and obesity.  Wheat has been nourishing our bodies for literally tens of thousands of years.  It did not suddenly become bad for us.  Wheat is getting a bad rap.



One of the claims that we hear quite frequently these days is that “modern wheat” is not like the wheat from 50 or 100 or 1,000 years ago.  This myth is necessary to convince people that this life sustaining nutrient from the beginning of time is suddenly evil.  This makes for good story telling and thus sells lots of books full of inaccuracies and down right lies.  The problem is, it is simply not true.  Don’t take my word alone.  The scientific community – the real scientists – not the book writers whose incomes depend on scaring you about something that is not really scary – agrees with me.  Brett Carver is the Professor of Wheat Breeding and Genetics in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Oklahoma State University.  Dr. Carver reports that the “modern wheat” that we are subjected to today is the same wheat that our ancestors have been eating for 8,000 years.  Naturally occurring evolution of wheat takes place over millennia.  Today’s wheat, according to Dr. Carver, is genetically 98% the same as that 8,000 year old wheat.  Wheat breeding, which should in no way be mistaken for genetic engineering, is a common practice of cross-pollinating to achieve better yield, drought tolerance and disease resistance.  Dwarf wheat is one of the most vilified wheat varieties.  While it is genetically the same as taller wheat, it is the choice of many farmers around the globe.  It is shorter.  That is all.  But shorted wheat is less likely to be destroyed by winds charging through the plains and valleys of Montana.  That’s it.  It is an explanation any of us can understand and defend.  It is not evil.  It is not genetically modified.  In fact, there is no commercially available GMO wheat anywhere in the United States.  It is not different from our grandparents’ wheat.  Almost all of us are not allergic to it.  So, this brings me back to the title of article.  Why do people feel better when they try gluten free diets.




The answer is simple.  While gluten is found in our 100% natural, 100% stone ground whole grain breads, that is not the problem.  The problem is that it is also found in abundance in processed foods.  When people try a gluten free diet, they cut out the weight gain causing and nutrient and antioxidant lacking processed foods.  When all of the processed food full of chemicals, fillers and addictive additives is removed from peoples’ diets, they are forced to add in more fruits and vegetables.  How ironic.  People cut out refined flours, but instead of adding in nutrient rich whole grains, they cut out wheat altogether and think living gluten free is the solution to their discomfort.  The solution is a balanced diet full of whole and unprocessed foods.  Fewer cookies and crackers and more apples and bananas is bound to make people feel better.  However, less processed white bread and more 100% whole grain goodness makes the body feel awfully good, too.


This is where you can help…help your friends who are caught up in the hype and help your neighborhood whole grains headquarters.

When you buy bread at The Great Harvest Bread Co. of Denver located at 765 South Colorado Boulevard and we will give you a free loaf of our best selling 100% stone ground whole grain Honey Whole Wheat bread to give to a friend, family member, co-worker or neighbor.  That’s right - free bread for you to give as a gift – no strings attached.

We will do this for a few days...maybe even a week.  You know, while supplies last and for a limited time...all that mumbo-jumbo.  Maybe your gift will brighten someone’s day.  Maybe it will turn someone on to our bakery.  Maybe, just maybe, it will convince someone that a whole food diet complete with whole grains will make them feel even better than accidentally cutting out a healthy staple while cutting out processed junk food.  In any event, it feels great to give something so good!

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Great Harvest Bread Co.

of Denver

765 South Colorado Boulevard

Denver, Colorado 80246



Open Mon. - Fri.  6am - 3pm

Sat. 8am - 3pm, Closed Sun.