Is Einkorn Paleo?
I got asked this great question recently, and I thought I’d share the answer with everyone since it can be confusing.
Quick Answer To Is Einkorn Paleo?
No, it’s not Paleo, because einkorn is still a grain and still contains gluten.
What is Einkorn Wheat or Flour?
Einkorn wheat is considered to be an ancient grain (wheat) first cultivated perhaps 5000 to 10,000 years ago. Einkorn flour is the flour made from einkorn wheat.
I like to think of einkorn wheat as an old ancestor to the wheat we eat today. So, they share some similarities, but the ancestor is perhaps a tiny bit better looking.
Einkorn has gotten a lot of press in recent years as a healthier version of traditional wheat, and it’s become popular for many searching for a healthier diet. You can find einkorn wheat and flour sold in many health stores and online. But I personally don’t think it’s the long term health solution people are looking for.
Scientifically, there is a small study that showed that the gluten (gliadin) in einkorn is less toxic to celiacs than than in modern wheat, but that gluten could still cause long term damage to your intestinal tract over the long run, and there would have to be more scientific evidence to convince me.
So that’s really where the good news ends.
Is Einkorn Better Than Regular Wheat?
Potentially – there are definitely suggestions that einkorn is more digestible than regular wheat, but I personally am not willing to risk it especially since it’s still not nutritionally great (there are plenty of other delicious foods out there that will beat it in terms of vitamin and mineral content!).
If Einkorn Is An Ancient Grain, Then Does That Make It Paleo?
Sadly not! For 3 reasons:
- Einkorn is not Paleolithic ancient – Einkorn is estimated to date back perhaps 10,000 years, but when we talk about eating like our ancestors, we’re talking about eating like people did in the Paleolithic times (that’s like 2 million years ago)!
- The gliadin in Einkorn is still likely toxic to us – the protein in all grains (and especially the gluten in wheat) cause digestive issues in humans over the long run, which is why the Paleo diet removes all grains including einkorn.
- Einkorn (like all grains) is NOT very nutritious – while einkorn may be slightly more nutritious than regular wheat, it’s still pretty poor when compared to lots of other Paleo foods. As pointed out by Dr. Loren Cordain, “consumption of cereal grains actually reduces the overall vitamin and mineral content of the diet because cereal grains on average are less nutrient dense for the 13 vitamins and minerals most lacking in the US diet when compared to fish, seafood, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruits.”
Have You Tried Einkorn Wheat or Flour?
If so, let us know in the comments below your thoughts on it.
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