If in doubt cut the wheat out
When it comes to improving world health, wellbeing and prevention from disease, if I were to take a bullet for all human kind then the number one food I would eliminate would be all and every wheat based product. I see week in week out with my clients the almost miracalus improvement in so many conditions when wheat based foods are eliminated e.g. bloating, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, brain fog, constant tiredness, weight loss, improvement in joint pain, cholesterol lowering etc.
Over the past year Dr William Davis has been interviewed by a number of excellent low carb loving bloggers/writers on his excellent book called Wheat Belly – lose the wheat, lose the weight which is in my recommended reading section of this site. In this article I will explain why dumping wheat could be the single most important act you can take to feel and look your best.
Lets start with Dr Davis himself explaining a few simple facts that he expands upon in his book.
I remember years ago learning about the Glycemic index and it kind of passed me by that wholewheat bread was digested higher than almost any other product listed. It’s the equivalent of swallowing a big spoon of pure sugar! The idea that whole gain wheat is some how better for you is simply untrue on two fronts –
1. Increase in blood sugar levels – as mentioned above, some whole grains increase blood sugar levels so quickly you might as well be eating sugar and then causes a massive spike in insulin levels. By the way that’s really really bad if you want to drop fat and aviod diabetes.
Ditch the wheat if you want a flatter stomach. Taking a WILD guess here and call me crazy but I am going to say she does not do lots of wheat in her diet.
2. But you need the fiber, right? – Well no you don’t need it from the likes of bread because firstly bread is quite a poor fiber source and secondly the fiber it does contain basically acts like a really harsh sweeping brush and it’s more of a gut irritant than anything useful, plus as you will learn, it contains a whole range of toxins. Get your fiber from your veggies and some fruit and have a read of my article going against the grain if you need more convincing
Getting back to Dr Davis, in his book he describes how wheat can make up 20-30% of our total daily calorie intake which means there is huge vested interest by the grain industry to keep us consuming the so called ‘staff of life’. However, I do predict a return to more traditional breadmaking which would to some degree lessen the harmful effects of wheat and how it’s been modified over the past one hundred years. You can see this change as the massive corporate breadmakers e.g. Aryzta executives in €33 million windfall, begin to buy up the artisan bakers. Before I read the book I was thinking wheat and bread were not a good food choice but after finishing the book I was left thinking, wow it’s way worse than I thought it was.
What follows will give you a better understanding on why wheat could just be one of the most damaging foods you can consume –
- History – back in the 50’s and 60’s with the fear of global food shortages wheat was modified/hybridised to produce a higher yielding crop yet at no stage did anyone consider would this still be fit for human consumption and there was zero testing done to examine this possibility. The wheat we consume today is nothing like what existed over 100 years ago and there has been an explosion of coeliac disease and a range of conditions that can be hugely improved through the simple elimination of wheat.
- The gliadin effect – this is a protein contained in wheat that has appetite stimulating properties. It cranks up the opiate receptors in the brain which is one of the primary reasons why people can have such a difficult time ditching the wheat and it can also lead people to experience withdrawal symptoms.
- Amylopectin-A – this is a component of the complex carb part of the wheat which makes the food so quick digesting and rocketing up your blood sugar levels. I see this all the time as clients come to me with weight issues, joint problems etc yet at almost every meal they continue to spike their sugar levels up with wheat based foods e.g. bagels, bread, cereals, cereal bars, pasta etc
Strength training is one of the big keys to assisting in weight loss and optimal blood sugar level control
- Weight loss – Cutting out the wheat can help people restore leptin sensitivity thus massively aiding in the weight loss process. Wheat is a pro-inflammatory food so eliminating it can help people to eat less and feel more satisfied when they eat rather than experiencing the pringles effect any time they have wheat i.e. once you pop you can’t…..
For some people elimination of wheat can be seen as a step too far but when there is so much evidence to show how damaging it is then you really have to ask yourself do you value your health, energy and waistline enough to go wheat free?
If you are wondering where do I go from here then I recommend you start with my article So What Am I Supposed to Eat where you can print out recipes. If you are really struggling for wheat free options I have found good success with clients using oatcakes and rice cakes as substitutes. I really enjoy them with some nut butters, butter, tuna, avocado, salmon, boiled eggs and of course chocolate almond butter!!
Cut the wheat out and remember to mail, link and share this with friends and family you know would benefit from going wheat free.