5 Good Reasons To Give Up Wheat Even If You Don’t Have To

image: istock Getty images

image: istock Getty images

It’s taken me some time to get to a place where conventional wheat products are no longer a staple in my house.  But I am there. There are simply too many reasons NOT to eat wheat products.

The notion of wheat-free seemed at first to go against my grain. However, having worked in the processed food industry for many years,  I have long known that the processed food industry works to deliver the least expensive, fastest-produced, ultra-long lasting ‘belly-filler’ to our dining tables. And wheat products such as bread, pastries, cookies and breakfast cereals are no exception.

However,  it wasn’t until recently that I read the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and found out there were so many more reasons to avoid wheat than I had ever imagined. Some of these include:

1) ‘Franken Gluten’ When industry scientists created cheaper, high yield wheat, consumers got wheat with gluten proteins that mother nature had never intended. In fact the hybridization that created modern wheat, resulted in wheat gluten proteins undergoing considerable structural changes some of which are found in neither parent plant.  Scary. But compound this with the fact that tests confirming the affects of this franken-gluten on human health were never done. Super-scary.  Did any of us ask to be guinea pigs?

2) Diabetes. Modern wheat spikes blood sugar worse than does regular table sugar. The Glycemic Index was developed in the 1980’s by Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto (my alma mater). The higher the Glycemic Index foods cause a spike in blood sugar vs. low GI foods. Evidence is pointing to higher GI foods being linked to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Are you surprised to hear that whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than does table sugar? I was. This translates to ‘whole wheat bread raises blood sugar on a gram for gram basis the same or worse than does eating a candy bar or drinking a soda pop’. Higher blood sugar leads to the natural aftermath of low blood sugar. The body compensates with by wanting more food and you can easily overeat.

3) Heart Trouble. Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, confirms that wheat does trigger high blood sugar, increased visceral fat, and inflammation. As these are all contributing factors to diabetes, obesity, and inflammation.  And anyone of these issues, can go hand in hand with being seriously bad news for your heart.

4) Skin Afflictions. Wheat is to apparently to blame for advancing the telltale signs of time on our skin in the form of wrinkles and lost elasticity. And wheat is also linked to other skin problems, including psoriasis, and acne. And we thought chocolate and soda pop was solely responsible for the acne of our youth.

5) Osteoporosis. Wheat generates more sulphuric acidic when consumed than meat, apparently wreaking havoc on the acid/alkaline balance of the body.  Excess acid causes calcium to be drawn out of your bones. And where it used to be thought that osteoporosis was a problem of post-menopausal women due to lower estrogen levels, science now has evidence that calcium bone loss starts much earlier in life with a marked decline by age 40. And guess what is implicated..large quantities of wheat in our diets.

These are just some of the issues associated with wheat consumption that Wheat Belly outlines AND supports with scientific evidence. Of course everything in moderation but with wheat products being commonplace at breakfast, lunch and dinner, it becomes a potentially very serious problem. Who else thinks it’s time to re-think excessive wheat consumption?