What would birthdays be like without cake? Dessert without pie? And breakfast without cereal? Maybe we would all be healthier?
For the last few weeks I have been reading “Wheat Belly”. It’s a pretty interesting book that discusses how gluten containing grains including (especially) wheat, rye, spelt, barley were not that great for your overall health! The book also suggests limiting non-gluten containing grains and legumes as well. As this is not a comprehensive overview, I will focus on wheat.
A few things mentioned in the book that stood out to me were:
1. Even though you may not be gluten intolerant now, you can develop this intolerance later on in life. Gluten is irritating to the gut lining. If the gut lining is damaged or irritated this reduces the absorption of nutrients into the body and can also lead to leaky gut syndrome (where particles of food escape the intestines and circulate in your blood!).
2. The amount of gluten in ‘modern’ wheat is staggering. GMO crops have been engineered to have more gluten. Gluten is ‘gluey’. Do you remember making paper mâché in school? Yes flour was used as the glue! Do you really want that clogging your system?
3. The sugar molecules found in bread (white flour or multi grain) are absorbed in our system quicker than table sugar! This is shocking, that means bread raises our insulin levels more so than sucrose. Imagine what sweetened bread is doing to us!
4. Why is insulin important? Well essentially sugar in high quantities (which is what most people consume) is toxic. The body needs to rid itself of this excess sugar so the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin helps us to store sugar in our cells; in the liver and muscle as glycogen, and in the cells as fat (triglycerides)!
Over-spiking insulin regularly leads to visceral fat aka a wheat belly. Visceral fat is not only and unsightly irritant; it also causes inflammatory responses in the body. Inflammation leads to acne, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, etc.
5. Wheat is an appetite stimulant. Ever wonder why you can’t stop at just one muffin? It also contains opiate like molecules that cause it to become addictive.
6. Wheat consumption is linked to the obesity epidemic. Ever wonder why grain is used to fatten up cows, pigs, and chickens? Think about it!
Personally I have eliminated most grains (as evidenced by my blog title) from my diet even though I am not gluten intolerant. I suppose I got sick of the energy highs and lows of wheat consumption in the form of bread, cupcakes, cakes, cereals etc. Reading ‘wheat belly’ really answered a lot of questions about why I would eat 4 or 5 cupcakes at a wedding. I thought it was the lack of vegetarian food but it seems like the appetite stimulating effects, the blood sugar spikes and the opiate like results of wheat were the reason 🙂
Have a good Tuesday!