Today I thought it would be great to give a quick review of the book Wheat Belly. The cliff note’s version if you will. I hope you enjoy! – Nate
Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
Weight loss/maintenance is not all about calories in/calories out. If this were true than today’s athletes need to exercise more or eat less. Wheat Belly argues that the problem with the S.A.D diet is not fat, not sugar, not the rise of the Internet and a more sedentary lifestyle but it is wheat or what is being sold that is called wheat.
People of the fifties and sixties didn’t engage in near as much exercise as we do today (planned activity) yet the average weight for a female was 110 or 115 pounds and 150 or 165 pounds for a male. Today we carry 50, 75, even 200 pounds more than that!
Documented effects of wheat on humans includes: appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins, exaggerated blood sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with heightened appetite, the process of glycation that underlies disease and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses.
The advice we have been given to eat more “healthy whole grains” has deprived us of control over appetites and impulses, making us fat and unhealthy despite our best efforts and good intentions.
Wheat: The Unhealthy Whole Grain
A wheat belly represents the accumulation of fat that results from years of consuming foods that trigger insulin, the hormone of fat storage. The fat we store around our middles is called “visceral” fat, unlike fat in other areas of the body, provokes an inflammatory response, distorts insulin response, and issues abnormal metabolic signals to the rest of the body.
Why just single out wheat? Because wheat, by a considerable margin, is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet.
Did you know that eating two slices of whole wheat bread can increase blood sugar more than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar can? Whole wheat bread increases blood sugar as much as or more than table sugar, or sucrose.
The wheat of today is not the same grain our forebears ground into their daily bread. It has changed dramatically in the past 50 years under the influence of agricultural scientists.
The first wild, then cultivated, wheat was einkorn, the great granddaddy of all subsequent wheat. Einkorn has the simplest genetic code of all wheat, containing only 14 chromosomes. Shortly after the cultivation of the first einkorn plant, the emmer variety of wheat made its appearance in the Middle East, including 28 chromosomes.
Wheat has been modified by humans to such a degree that modern strains are unable to survive in the wild without human support. No animal or human safety testing was conducted on the new genetic strains that were created. So intent were the efforts to increase yield, these products were released into the food supply without human safety concerns being part of the equation.
Wheat starches=complex carbohydrates (glucose)
Candy, soft drinks, etc= simple carbohydrates (sucrose)
Glycemic index (GI)=measure of glucose level increase from carbohydrate food
Wheat and It’s Head-to-Toe Destruction of Health
Wheat can dictate food choice, calorie consumption, timing of meals and snacks, and influence mood and behaviors, as well as dominate thoughts. When people stop ingesting wheat products, 30% experience something that can only be called withdrawal: fatigue, mental fog, irritability, inability to function at work or school, depression.
Gluten is one of wheat’s main proponents. Gluten is degraded to a mix of polypeptides. Once having gained entry into the brain, wheat polypeptides bind to the brain’s morphine receptor, the very same receptor to which opiate drugs bind.
Wheat is an appetite stimulant: it makes you want more both wheat containing and non-wheat containing foods.
The most dramatic evidence of failed adaptation to wheat is celiac disease, the disruption of small intestinal health by wheat gluten. The protein of wheat gluten has the unique ability to make your intestine permeable, allowing various components of what to gain entry into the bloodstream.
If national wheat consumption is averaged across all Americans, the average American consumes 133 pounds of wheat per year, or a bit more than half a loaf of bread per day.
Acids drive pH down, triggering a panic mode response from the body to compensate. The body responds by drawing from any alkaline store available, from the bloodstream and the bones.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), is the name given to the stuff that stiffens arteries, clouds the lenses of the eyes (cataracts) and mucks up the neuronal connections of the brain (dementia). They are a by-product of high blood sugar, the phenomenon that defines diabetes.
LDL particle size determines whether the LDL particle will accumulate in the walls of arteries, such as those of your heart, neck or brain, or not. High insulin levels efficiently transform carb into triglycerides, which are then packaged into VLDL particles.
Wheat’s effects reach the brain in the form of opiate-like peptides, called polypeptide exorphins (the breakdown product of gluten). Exorphins cause your brain to instruct you to eat more food, increase calorie consumption and desperately scratch at the bottom of the box where there is nothing else left.
Your skin is the outward reflection of internal body processes. Cultures without acne consume little to no wheat, sugar or dairy products.
Say Goodbye to Wheat
Food to consume in unlimited quantities: vegetables, healthy oils, meats and eggs, non-sugary condiments, flaxseed, avocados, coconut, spices
Consume in limited quantities: full-fat cheese, raw nuts and seeds, fruit, non-wheat/non-gluten grains, legumes
Consume rarely or never: wheat products, unhealthy oils, gluten-free foods, dried fruit, fried foods, sugary snacks