Fiona is a Naturopathic Registered Nutritional Therapist and Colon Hydrotherapist specialising in gastrointestinal health, menopausal issues, chronic fatigue and weight issues.
Tel: 07817 921916   Email:

Photo of Fiona Corliss, nutritionist and colon hydrotherapist

Wheat – is it the Staff of Life or a Pain in the Gut?

For the last 10,000 years wheat has been a staple part of our diet and today even more so. The problem with modern wheat is that it is very different from the wheat of pre-1950. Cardiologist, Dr. William Davis has written an excellent book called Wheat Belly and in it he describes this new wheat as ‘Frankenwheat’.

He explains that since the Second World War wheat has gone through genetic modification to make it disease and drought resistant and to massively increase its yield. The modern wheat plant is half the height and produces a much higher yield than ‘old’ wheat. It contains more gluten and the gluten has a changed biochemical structure.

There is emerging research that genetic modification of wheat may be responsible for its effect on inflammation, the immune system, imbalanced hormones and weight gain.

Wheat contains a protein called gluten, which is what gives bread its elasticity. The more springy the bread, the more gluten it contains and many bread manufacturers add additional gluten to the flour. Gluten is extremely difficult for the human digestive system to break down and the longterm effect can mean health issues of the digestive system, anaemia, brain fog, depression and fatigue.

So is avoiding wheat better for your health?

Eating less wheat inevitably means eating less cakes, biscuits, bread and pasta which is good for insulin balance. All carbohydrates are converted to sugar in the body. Eating large amounts of wheat means the body produces more insulin in response in order to lower blood sugar. Any carbohydrate eaten to excess will be converted to fat by insulin and laid down in the body cells, causing weight gain, usually around the abdomen.

It is possible to have imbalanced insulin without being diabetic. The result is fluctuating blood sugar levels and the associated symptoms of food cravings, irritability and weight gain.

So in conclusion; reducing carbohydrates from wheat, reduces the production of the insulin hormone which in turn reduces the amount of fat stored.

So, what are the alternatives to wheat?

Going wheat free is much easier than it was 10 years ago as there is a much greater choice of wheat free foods. Here are some suggestions for wheat free foods:

Oatcakes: rice: millet: porridge: buckwheat pasta: quinoa: wheatfree pasta: corn pasta : brown rice noodles:

Spelt is an ancient species of wheat which contains gluten that is more easily digested than modern wheat. Many people who don’t do well on ordinary wheat, find they can eat spelt bread and pasta.


If a food is labelled gluten free, then it is wheat free. A gluten free diet excludes all other forms of gluten in addition to wheat gluten, namely rye, barley and often oats, although unless you have a condition, such as Coeliac Disease, oats have a minimal gluten content. It is also possible to buy gluten free oats.

How wheat and other grains can affect our bowel and gut health
How wheat and other grains can affect our bowel and gut health

Contact details

Tel: 07817 921916

The Chilston Clinic
12 Rusthall Rd
Tunbridge Wells

The Wellington Centre
44 Wellington Sq
Hastings TN34 1PN

“Any clinic would be incredibly lucky to have your experience and expertise. You are the consummate professional and definitely provide a 5 star service!!”

S. Houghton, Kent.

"I met Fiona at a networking event about two years ago where she was giving a talk on Colon Hydrotherapy, and was immediately impressed with her knowledge and quiet, calm manner. I have been seeing Fiona for nutritional advice and regular colon hydrotherapy treatments ever since and highly recommend her. (I had been looking for someone to go to for colonics for years, and was very happy to finally find someone I felt comfortable with). Fiona gives regular talks to groups and offers her excellent treatments in Tunbridge Wells, Battle and Hastings.  She works to a very high professional standard and is gentle, caring and sensitive. I recommend her to many of my own clients as I feel that nutrition and colon hydrotherapy is so key to overall health and well being - certainly critical to skin condition!"

A Pattihis - East Sussex

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