Why wheat is not good for any of us
The reasons for avoiding wheat go way beyond an allergy or a gluten intolerance. The plot of this wheat story is far more complex. Dr William Davis, in his excellent book “Wheat Belly” provides some very convincing reasons why no-one should be consuming wheat. In this post, I summarise some of his main points.
So why should we say bye-bye to breakfast cereals, muffins, pasta, bread and biscuits?
Wheat can give you a fat tummy
Wheat increases blood sugar more than beans or candy bars. It therefore causes extremes of blood sugar and insulin, i.e., highs and lows . If your body rides this roller-coaster enough times, visceral fat will begin to grow around your liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart and intestines. The result? A lovely round “beer belly” or “spare tyre”.
Having a big tummy is not just an aesthetic issue – it is a serious health issue. Your risk of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and colon cancer are much higher when you have belly fat.
“Wheat elimination is a vastly underappreciated strategy for rapid and profound weight loss, particularly from visceral fat.”
Wheat affects your brain and nervous system
Wheat affects the brain in the same way as opiate drugs do. Cravings and obsessing over the next “fix” is characteristic of someone addicted to wheat. The addiction becomes evident when one cuts out the wheat and experiences withdrawal symptoms such as extreme fatigue, mental fog, irritability and even depression.
Research studies have observed that wheat makes the symptoms of schizophrenia, autism and ADHD worse. Wheat is also an appetite stimulant. It basically makes you want to eat more – and all the wrong foods too!
Very often people who suffer from migraines find relief when they cut wheat out of their diet.
“Amongst food, wheat is unparalleled for its potential to generate entirely unique effects on the brain and nervous system.”
Wheat can give you a leaky gut
The gliaidin protein of wheat has the ability to damage the lining of your intestinal walls and make it permeable (leaky). What that means is that your poop doesn’t always stay in the loop. Stuff leaks out from your intestines into your blood stream which causes an inflammatory autoimmune response. This can lead to autoimmune diseases such as MS, Asthma, Crohn’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and Hashimoto’s.
Do you suffer from IBS or acid reflux? Cut out the wheat and your symptoms should improve.
“Outside of gliadin, few things share such a lock-picking, intestinal-disrupting talent.”
Wheat can affect your bone health
Wheat is one of the most potent sources of sulfuric acid. Even more so than meat. Wheat and other grains are responsible for disrupting the body’s PH levels towards acid. To try and neutralise this acid effect, the body draws on calcium from your bones. This increases your risk of osteoporosis.
“The adoption of grains into the human diet was followed by archeological evidence of increased infections, osteoporosis as well as diabetes.”
Wheat can age you prematurely
AGE stands for “advanced glycation end products”. Seriously – it does! AGEs are responsible for stiffened arteries, wrinkles, cataracts and dementia. They are found in abundance in older people. AGEs are also a by-product of high blood sugar. The higher your blood sugar, the more AGEs will accumulate and the faster you will age.
Even just two slices of whole-wheat bread can raise your blood sugar above the normal range. From a blood sugar perspective, wheat products are worse than nearly all other foods – even table sugar. So if you want to halt the aging process and look 10 years younger, you know what you need to do!
“Wheat products such as your roasted vegetable focaccia are triggers of extravagant AGE production.”
Wheat can put you at risk for heart disease
That bran muffin you had for breakfast (the one that was full of wheat flour) can shrink your LDL particles . It is the small, dense LDL particles that causes plaque in the walls of your artery. This puts you at risk for a heart attack. Small LDL particles are formed when a diet is high in carbohydrates. Today, people are eating carbs (wheat) at almost every meal as well as their in-between meal snacks. No wonder heart disease is the number one killer.
“Even people with zero small LDL particles can be forced to develop them by increasing the carbohydrate content of their diet.”
Wheat can give you acne
Recent studies have pointed at carbohydrates as the trigger of acne formation due to increases in insulin formation. Insulin triggers a hormone which stimulates the production of sebum. Increased sebum levels leads to pimples. So the whole-grain bread you feed your teenager is just making the problem worse. Other ways that wheat gluten affects the skin include oral ulcers, psoriasis, vitiligo, skin rashes and hair loss – and that is not a complete list.
“Cultures without acne consume little to no wheat, sugar or dairy products.”
In conclusion, even if the packaging says “vitamin-enriched”, or “stone-ground” or “whole-grain” – it is still wheat. And because it is still wheat it will trigger high blood sugar and insulin, AGEs, visceral fat, small LDP particles and inflammation.
Next time you want to tuck into that bowl of pasta, sandwich or slice of cake, remember what you have read.
Hopefully it will give you the motivation to make some changes.
So think seriously about dropping (or at least reducing) the wheat and put you and your children on a path to good health and aging well.
For more information check out www.wheatbellyblog.com.
Blog content reference: Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis