Reducing your wheat intake isn’t just for celiac sufferers anymore. In his book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis MD explains why wheat may be as big a concern as high fructose corn syrup in our diets. Let me share a few thoughts/quotes from his book: There is hardly an organ that isn’t affected by wheat in some potentially damaging way. Wheat is among the most consumed grains on earth, constituting 20% of all calories consumed. Wheat is only exceeded by corn in acreage of farmland planted. When going to the grocery store – look at how many aisles are exclusively dedicated to wheat based products. One whole aisle is bread and snack cakes; there is usually a cracker and chip aisle, not to mention the frozen waffles and toaster products, and lest we forget the cereal aisle.
Genetic changes have been introduced to increase yield per acre for wheat. 99% of all wheat grown worldwide is of the dwarf and semi dwarf variety. The small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to wheat protein versus none at all. 95% of the proteins of the newly created offspring are the same as the parents but 5% are unique to the new species. The genetically changed crops were never tested for safety on animals or humans. Plants such as wheat have the ability to retain the sum of the genes of their forebears. The wheat species of today are hundreds if not thousands of genes apart from the original wheat that was bred naturally. In fact, wheat that has been modified by humans is unable to survive in the wild without human support such as nitrate fertilizer and pest control. This is because strains have been developed to be compatible with specific pesticides and herbicides.
Aside from some extra fiber, eating 2 slices of whole wheat bread is really little different and often worse than drinking a can of sugar sweetened soda or a candy bar. This is because the most digestible form of carbohydrate is found in abundance in wheat. The Glycemic index of wheat is higher than a snickers bar. In diabetics white and whole grain bread increased blood sugar 70 to 120 points (mg/dl) over starting levels. Because of its impact on sugar wheat is an appetite stimulant.
To learn more consider adding Wheat Belly to your summer reading list.