What’s up with Wheat?
I’ll tell you what’s up with it. For one thing it contains gluten, and gluten bothers a lot of people – perhaps you and you might not even know it. Believe me, it was years before I was convinced that eating bread, pasta, cereal, crackers and bagels were doing me harm. But truth is truth, and the truth is I really feel a big difference in my body when I eat wheat. And for me, it’s not good.
Just as in Celiac’s disease (a condition caused by true gluten allergy), gluten sensitivity can affect all body systems and generate a wide variety of symptoms. Gastrointestinal symptoms can include diarrhea, bloating, cramping, abdominal pain and constipation. Behavioral symptoms can include “foggy mind,” depression, schizophrenia and ADHD-like behavior. Other symptoms include anemia, joint pain, osteoporosis, migraines, lethargy and leg numbness.
By the way, gluten is not just in wheat, but it’s also in barley, spelt, rye and kamut and often oats, due to cross contamination with wheat. It’s used in gravies, sauces, meatballs and all breaded food. Everything made out of flour has gluten in it – so that includes cakes, cookies and muffins.
Grains are a relatively new food option for us in the grander scheme of our history on this planet. We used to wander around as hunter- gatherers and never stayed in one place long enough to plant and harvest wheat or any other grain. So for lots of us, our bodies don’t handle wheat and gluten very well because we just aren’t used to it, evolutionarily speaking.
I had someone ask me today if I ate bread and I said that for the most part I don’t eat it or any other gluten products. I don’t have Celiac’s disease, so I can eat wheat and other grains when I choose to, and often do when I go to my favorite Italian restaurant Angelini Osteria. I will also have the occasional slice of Ezekiel bread. But I don’t harm my body on a daily basis, meal after meal and waste my time eating pasta at the Olive Garden, pizza from Domino’s or sandwiches at Subway. Not only does my body feel bad when I do eat wheat, but there is much compelling evidence that gluten in wheat causes a number of diseases.
“A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)”
“We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.”
“Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.”
“Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone–but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.”
Now here are some interesting facts about wheat that I bet you didn’t know:
“Wheat has been bred in the last 25 years to have 4X more gluten in it. In case that wasn’t enough, we had an acquaintance tell us that when he was a baker, for every 40 lbs. of flour they used, they added 10 pounds of gluten. Why? It makes the dough springier and easier to work with AND, in this case, because it increased the shelf life. Seriously.”
“Wheat in biblical times was a whole different type of wheat. What we have now is not the heirloom, Einkorn wheat from back then — it’s dwarf wheat, which has been genetically altered to be a higher yielding kind of wheat and higher in starch. That super-starch is called amylopectin-A and it’s super fattening. It’s what makes dough fluffy, like in those big loaves of bread and in pastries. Think Cinnabons. Unfortunately, this engineered dwarf wheat is not only there.”
“How is it making you fat? A few ways. That high starch now means that 2 slices of WHOLE WHEAT bread raises your blood sugar THE SAME AS 2 TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR. That’s right – I said “whole wheat”. There is little-to-no difference at this point between whole wheat and white bread — it would be better to avoid as much of both as you can.”
“How ELSE is it making you fat? Well, gluten is really inflammatory, especially in the amounts we’re eating it. You know those ads on TV, that say “Stressed? Have belly fat? Take this pill!” It’s because stressors (everything from life to food reactions) causes inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of everything from heart disease to cancer. “
“Oh, and inflammation raises cortisol levels, which makes you gain weight.”
“But I don’t have digestive problems! You don’t have to — gluten has plenty of other places it causes damage. It has been linked to many autoimmune disorders (Hashimoto’s, for example, has a 100% correlation rate), many neurological disorders (long-term depression, anxiety, bi-polar, ADD, etc.) and many digestive disorders (heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, etc.)”
“It’s like morphine, you say? Yes, this wheat also contains proteins that mimic morphine (they’re actually called gluteomorphins) to make you addicted, hungry, and crazy. You thought you just didn’t have will power and that it was all in your head, but it’s not.”
Some more interesting data:
“An interesting example of wheat’s addictive potential pertains to the Roman army. The Roman Empire was once known as the “Wheat Empire,” with soldiers being paid in wheat rations. Rome’s entire war machine, and its vast expansion, was predicated on the availability of wheat. Forts were actually granaries, holding up to a year’s worth of grain in order to endure sieges from their enemies. Historians describe soldiers’ punishment included being deprived of wheat rations and being given barley instead. The Roman Empire went on to facilitate the global dissemination of wheat cultivation which fostered a form of imperialism with biological as well as cultural roots.”
“The Roman appreciation for wheat, like our own, may have had less to do with its nutritional value as “health food” than its ability to generate a unique narcotic reaction. It may fulfill our hunger while generating a repetitive, ceaseless cycle of craving more of the same, and by doing so, enabling the surreptitious control of human behavior.”
I do like bread, crackers, tortillas and pizza. And I love banana bread and muffins. So I use alternatives to wheat. I use flax meal, almond meal and coconut flour as substitutes and they work fine for me. Does the bread taste like Wonder Bread when you make it with flax? Absolutely not – it’s more like a dark focaccia, thank goodness.
Here are some recipes:
If you want to get rid of the affects of wheat and give your body a clean slate I strongly suggest my 21Day Purification/Detox program. After 21 days you can try wheat again and see if it affects you adversely or not. You’ll be able to tell then- I promise!
These recommendations are for the reduction of stress only. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care.