This post was initially intended to be sent out to a patient of mine, then I thought of another, then another who needs to hear this and before I knew it, I realized, everyone needs to know this information. The information I am sharing is about the detrimental effect the consumption of wheat has on our body.
I do not accept the concept of “healthy whole grains” that has been pounded into our minds over the years. These grains (particularly wheat) are in no way similar to what they were prior to man “improving” upon them via genetic engineering and hybridization. As we have worked to improve crop yield by altering wheat, we have never looked at the effects this has had on the composition of wheat and the effect these changes has had on our body. The nutritional value of wheat has changed dramatically to the point that consuming wheat (as in bread or other sources) raises blood sugar more than consuming table sugar. Today’s wheat is full of proteins called gluten, gliadins and others that have a detrimental effect on our body.
Since the time that consumption of healthy, whole grains has been promoted, the obesity crisis has continued to spiral out of control. Wheat consumption significantly increases blood sugar and elevated blood sugar raises insulin, the result is epidemic obesity, as well as a number of other diseases. Visceral fat accumulation is highly associated with numerous disease states and wheat is a major contributor to this problem. Wheat is not the only cause of the obesity epidemic but it is a major player. Two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar.
On my continued search for the optimal diet for an optimized life, I would like to recommend, Wheat Belly, by William Davis, M.D. This book is an outstanding investigation into this topic and clearly outlines the risks involved with the inclusion of wheat and whole grains in our diet. When we became an agricultural society, our health suffered in many ways. The wheat grown years ago in no way resembles the wheat that we are eating today. There are numerous diseases associated with wheat ingestion, celiac disease being one of the most well known (increase 400% in the last 50 years). Wheat sensitivity is a spectrum and though full blown celiac disease is not always the case, there are a number of conditions/illnesses that are associated with wheat and grain consumption.
Wheat consumption contributes to insulin resistance/diabetes and a poor lipid profile (elevated triglycerides, increased cholesterol), resulting in the formation of small particle LDL (the kind highly associated with heart disease). Wheat consumption has been associated with obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts, skin wrinkling, acne and even dementia. These conditions are not only associated with celiac disease but occur as a spectrum of wheat sensitivity. Wheat metabolism actually creates peptides called exorphins (similar to endorphins) which inhabit the same receptor in the brain as opiates (morphine, heroin) do. Yes, some may become addicted (bread is my crack!) to wheat and it’s effects and a mild withdrawal is possible.
I have included some links to allow further exploration as I believe this is an important topic to consider in your overall health plan. If you’re dealing with excess weight that won’t go away despite your best efforts, skin rashes or lesions you can’t cure or rid yourself of, insulin resistance or diabetes, brain fog or a poor cholesterol levels, then try a wheat free diet for a month. You will not die from a lack of wheat in your diet and you will likely feel better once you have eliminated wheat from your diet. I have primarily discussed wheat in this post and used the term interchangeably with grains, though other grains are not necessarily free of problems.
I would strongly recommend you read Wheat Belly to gain further perspective. You will be surprised at what you find and likely disappointed that you/we have always been told of the health benefits of whole grains in our diet. This is another opportunity to educate yourself and not take the recommendations of our officials as gospel. Drop the wheat, drop the weight and further improve your health. No one said it would be easy but if you want to live and feel well, this is a great option to consider.