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Agricultural News

Dr. Jones Talks Gluten, Preview of 'The Truth About Wheat' OETA Special

Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:25:16 CDT

Dr. Jones Talks Gluten, Preview of 'The Truth About Wheat' OETA Special Americans are divided over gluten. Some call this a fad diet, others say it represents a change in the American diet. That topic will be debated on an upcoming TV special on OETA, called "The Truth about Wheat, a health and wellness discussion about gluten and wheat". Fellow farm broadcaster Ken Root is serving as the moderator, while the panel consists of Dr. Brett Carver, Regents Professor and Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture from Oklahoma State University, Dr. Julie Miller Jones, Board Certified Nutrition Specialist and Licensed Nutritionist and current Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn., and Sara Olsen, a Colorado wheat farmer, mother and Colorado Wheat Administrative Council board member. The show is scheduled to air on OETA-HD at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 3; 10 p.m. Sept. 7; and 6:30 a.m. Sept. 10. It is also scheduled to air on OETA-OKLA at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 14; 7 a.m., Sept. 22 and 4 p.m. Sept. 22.

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays interviewed Dr. Jones following the taping of the feature on Tuesday. She said Celiac Disease is more common today with one in every 133 Americans having Celiac Disease. When she started teaching in 1974, one in 3,000 people had the disease. There is also a half of a percent of the population that is allergic to wheat. There is also a new disorder called non-Celiac gluten sensitivity. Some medical professionals don't believe the condition exists, because it hasn't been validated. Jones said it has been estimated that three to as much as six percent of the population has gluten sensitivity.

This has some people removing gluten from their diet, even if they don't have Celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Jones said it can be dangerous to exclude gluten. In 1988, the U.S. and Canadian governments mandated that refined flours contain folic acid. Folic acid is necessary for the making of DNA and RNA, which is critical to the formation of a newly formed fetus. Since 1988, the incidence of Neural tube defects in North America has decreased by 48 percent. Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord.

"The Center for Disease Control said that the fortification of flour with folic acid was one of the ten most important health promoting measures of the entire last century," Jones said. "So, the risk of, particularly women in their child bearing age, of not eating foliate fortified food can have some impacts that really scare me."

If Americans give up wheat, they are also lowering their fiber intake. The dietary guidelines have noted dietary fiber is already a nutrient of concern because only four percent of Americans meet the dietary fiber requirement and less than one percent of the men from the age of 14 to 50 meet the fiber requirement.

"So, now we're going to take away one of the major sources of fiber - whole wheat, whole grain, wheat bran and we're going to make this worse," Jones said. "So, I really am concerned about that."

Going forward, Dr. Jones said the American diet needs balance in choosing all food groups, moderation and common sense. She said we need portion sizes that make sense. Often times, restaurants are serving meals that are several times larger than an individual portion. In looking at the latest dietary guidelines, she said about one third of the daily requirements are grains. She said half of those gains should be whole grains, which no one is doing. She said Americans are eating less than one serving of grains daily and some aren't eating any grains at all.

"We're just not using the balance and moderation," Jones said. "What we ought to look at, is what's wrong with our diet, rather than what's wrong with any particular food in that diet."

In our interview, Dr. Jones also addresses several myths about wheat. Click or tap on the LISTENBAR to hear the full interview.

Ron Hays interviews Dr. Julie Jones, Professor Emeritus at St. Catherine University, St. Paul, Mn.
right-click to download mp3


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