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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Wheat Belly

The Wheat Belly

The Wheat Belly written by Dr. William Davis is an amazing look into what wheat has done to the health of our citizens in the past 50 years.
As he states in his book, “Wheat Belly explores the proposition that the health problems of Americans, from fatigue to arthritis to gastrointestinal distress to obesity, originate with the innocent looking bran muffin or cinnamon raisin bagel that you down with your coffee every morning.”
Just think about how much wheat is in our food. Think about going to the grocery store and of all the aisles that contain wheat products. The bread aisle; white bread, whole wheat, multi grain, seven grain, rye, pumpernickel, sourdough, French bread, baguettes, bagels, flax bread, pitas, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, hot dog buns and don’t forget the artisan bread. The bakery department with cakes, cookies and pies. The snack aisle with pretzels and crackers, followed by the baking aisle with bread crumbs, croutons, and flours. The dairy case has crescent rolls, cookies and frozen pies. Breakfast cereals, pastas and frozen foods, all contain wheat. Apart from the soap and detergent aisles and fresh produce wheat it in every product.
Bread dates back to before Christ and it always seems that to break bread with someone is a special event.
During the 19th and 20th centuries wheat changed little. Then in the latter part of the 20th century what we called wheat changed. The wheat we grow today is so different from what was grown a century ago that we should be calling it by a different name.
The demand for a higher yield, decreased production costs and a longer shelf life was instrumental in the genetically changed wheat. But are we now paying for our mistakes?
Celiac disease in on the rise and one in 133 people are Celiac. Many others have an intolerance to wheat and gluten. Many people have no symptoms, but that does not mean their bodies are okay with consuming wheat. Look at the rise in cancer and diabetes. All this can be linked back to the time that we changed the type of wheat we are growing.
What really got me was Dr. Davis’s statement that, “ Did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can? How can this be possible? We have grown up in the past 10 years of hearing eat more whole grains, it will do your heart good. Well maybe not. This cardiovascular doctor says that wheat is the cause of my illnesses including heart disease.
So what are we doing to our bodies?
A Neolithic breakfast would have been a meal of fish, game meat or some berries or insects.
 Today we start our day off with a carb and end it with a carb. Boxed cereal, which contains mostly cane sugar and processed wheat flour, muffins, biscuits, toast, oats, croissant, bagels, pancakes or a breakfast bar.
We then have a sandwich at lunchtime, or a bowl of soup and crackers, maybe even a doughnut at mid morning break. Dinner might consist of pasta or frozen dinner which will contain wheat. We don’t exercise enough and we wonder why diabetes and obesity is on the rise?
Foods that increase blood sugar also cause diabetes. Carbohydrates trigger insulin release from our pancreas causing visceral fat, which then causes insulin resistance and inflammation. Look at the common illnesses of our world, most are based on inflammation. Diabetics are told to cut fat, reduce saturated fat and include healthy whole grains, beans and legumes in each meal. Yikes what are they thinking, all these foods turn into sugar in the body.
Perhaps if we say goodbye to wheat, we might even say goodbye to diabetes and many other health related illnesses.
If you want a good informative read with a bit of humour thrown in, read the Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, be informed about what you are putting into your body.

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