Why do so many people now have trouble eating bread even though people have been eating it for thousands of years?


Mind boggling.. :O

In: 728

Part of this is that it just *seems* like a new thing. Bread has been so common across most cultures, people didnt have an easy choice to avoid it. And the science understanding gluten or similar sensitivities is relatively new. So, previously, people would have these bad reactions and just suffer through them.

We didn’t have an obvious way to pinpoint the cause casually because bread is so endemic.

This is true for quite a lot of things. If your read older literature, youll see people described as ‘sickly,’ or ‘feeble.’ Those are vague of course, but in many cases, if you could time warp those people to this time, we would know what it was and maybe be able to treat it.

It think there is also a dose of probable poor self diagnosis in this. Bad diet, other bad habits, hearing about the new science or from people who legitimately have gluten sensitivities, they experiment on themselves. And it can easily be something else, like too much sugar, which is, to make it simple, sorta what very processed bread turns in to.

The bread we have now is not like anything we have had before. The first issues we saw was in the 1800s when we started bleaching flour to make it look white. But this also removed important vitamins so people got scurvy from eating it. This is why flour is required to have certain vitamins and minerals added to it. And we are still eating bleached flour.

We have also been selectively breeding the grains to produce a lot of gluten and carbohydrates. This makes the bread fluffy and taste sweet. A lot of people who are allergic to gluten can eat the bread we were making 200 years ago but not modern bread. And modern bread contains a lot more easily digestible calories so you are more likely to get fat from eating bread then every before.

Another thing which have recently being highlighted is that modern grains have a lot more fructanes then ever before. Fructanes are sugar which is hard for your upper intestines to absorb but easy for your gut microbes to feast on. You may know fructanes from its part in darker beers and wines which have a negative effect on your digestion system. The lactose in milk is also a fructane but 30% of the population is immune to it. And now modern bread also have a lot of fructanes which does change how our digestion system reacts to it.

Edit: fructone -> fructane (curse you chemists for naming things so similarly)


It’s cheaper and much faster but more likely to cause inflammation.

Real bread baking takes time.

Worth keeping in mind that we live in a different world, and our bodies reflect it. A study was done recently that found that the Black Death selected for resistant humans, but that resistance likely came with mutations for autoimmune diseases.

Our bodies used to be riddled with parasites and exposed to lots more bacteria than now. Diets also had more wild plants, and a higher tolerance for bitter foods, both likely giving us plant compounds we no longer get. Our food was less clean, so we were also ingesting bread with more insect parts in it. This is all to say that our bodies evolved with very different inputs in mind than our highly processed cleaner foods.

We also know that ancient people suffered from a variety of chronic stomach issues, so we can’t even be sure this is a new thing.

Diagnosis bias(I think that’s what it’s called)

These problems always happened just as they do now.

People just weren’t as aware, if aware at all.