A few weeks back we discussed gluten sensitivity/intolerance {See What’s the Big Deal About Gluten?} and the fact that gluten is, in fact, a poison inside of a grain (which is really a seed) meant to ward off animals and pests to allow survival of the seed.  Though humans have not adapted in the same way some birds and insects have to be able to digest this poisonous protein some people tolerate gluten much better than others. Gluten alone, however, does not seem to be the main issue in today’s health crisis prominently featuring such players as Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune illnesses, infertility, some types of cancer, and even depression.

Dr. William Davis, MD, author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health” believes modern wheat, bred to produce high yield, pest resistant crops, is the culprit behind the obesity epidemic and that by avoiding wheat in its many forms we can not only lose weight but reduce or eliminate chronic illnesses and their often severe symptoms.

In his practice, Dr. Davis is seeing countless patients losing between 30 and 150 pounds just by cutting wheat.  Those may sound like staggering and somewhat suspect numbers but considering modern wheat contains the protein gliadin which is an opiate that stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain which, in turn, stimulates appetite to the tune of an average 440 extra calories a day.  (Hmm. Wonder if that’s why bread baskets are passed around so liberally in restaurants.)  440 calories x 365 days a year.  That’s 46 lbs worth of calories in a year!  If you are lucky enough to be very active, that may not sound like a lot, but if you are one of the countless numbers of couch potatoes out there that may be one major cause of, what Dr. Davis affectionately calls, the “bagel butt”  or “man boobs”  many today are sporting.

Those of you who have read A View from the Kitchen knows how I feel about the numerous diet theories out there though I am well aware that different things work for different people.  Raw vegan diets agree with some, while others are more suited to being “careful omnivores”.  One of the biggest challenges I face today as a holistic nutritionist, however, is getting my clients to see that anything grown or made in a lab or by a lab (and that includes genetically modified plants, grasses, and grains) is not food.  Natural foods do not cause inflammation in the body.  Fake foods do.  Inflammation is a major cause of many illnesses (including the steep rise of countless numbers of autoimmune illnesses!) so cutting lab created, genetically modified “frankenfoods” out of your diet is rapidly becoming the number one key to balanced health.

Modern wheat is one such creation that I believe should be not only reduced but avoided like the plague due to the simple fact that its very nature is responsible for raping vital farmland and stripping it of nutrients needed to sustain future generations leaving vast wastelands and creating nothing more than “green deserts”.  Wheat, in and of itself, may not be the problem.  The wheat our grandparents grew up on is massively superior to the wheat of today.  Artisan wheat (such as Einkorn from Jovial Farms) is made up of a simpler genetic structure which may make it miles better for digestion.  Early studies have shown these artisan strains of wheat may even be better tolerated by those with gluten sensitivities.

Those who have not been properly tested, who may suspect a gluten and/or wheat sensitivity may want to experiment by cutting wheat out of your diet for 30 days while choosing other grains which may or may not contain gluten.  If cutting wheat alleviates symptoms and clears the head, reintroducing wheat in the form of artisan strains and seeing how that affects you will indicate whether you  a true wheat intolerance or not.  If cutting only wheat does not solve problem, try going gluten-free for another 30 days.

Some people find that cutting grains out of their diet altogether is the missing link. Going grain-free scares the bejeezus out of most people.    If you have tried going wheat-free and gluten-free and you are still not having any luck relieving inflammation symptoms, grain-free is the next logical step.

Whichever level you find yourself, modern wheat-free, totally wheat-free, gluten-free or even grain-free, remember there are many delicious recipes to accommodate any nutritional plan.  Creativity is the optimal word to discovering perfectly balanced health.

 

10 replies
  1. Gina
    Gina says:

    Count me in as one of those people who is scared poopless by the thought of going wheat- or grain-free. You mention modern wheat, does this mean that even wheat bread I would make at home from organic wheat flour?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Gina, technically, I would tell you it depends on the TYPE of wheat. I use Einkorn (which is a single source, artisan heirloom wheat grown in Italy) which is not as reactive with me and it seems to be working, even with my husband who refuses to believe he has a wheat belly (he does) but sees less bloat with this type of bread. Find an HEIRLOOM wheat that’s organic and it might not be as bad.)

      Reply
  2. Flawed Mommy
    Flawed Mommy says:

    I have a friend who is a nutritionist, and he has told me the same thing. The first time he told me that whole wheat was not the way to go, I thought he was nuts! For so long all we have heard is how important whole wheat & grains are, that they are healthy, and a great option for those who are looking to control their weight. As time has gone on, I’ve been seeing more and more posts and articles like this one, that claim that wheat may not be as good for us as once thought. As a parent, I am so focused on making the right food choices for my family, and seeing so much conflicting information makes it so hard to decide what I should or should not be feeding my family. This is especially true, since I have no idea how to identify foods that have been genetically modified. As a consumer, how do we know? How can we make sure that we are feeding our families natural foods?

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      There’s no quick answer to that for those that live in the US and Canada with no GMO labeling laws and politicians and big business that strive to keep it that way. The easiest answer lies in eating REAL foods made of single ingredients and ditching pretty much anything in a package. Grains should be organic (wheat should be avoided), nuts SHOULD be raw though now they irradiate everything, veggies should be local and seasonal and preferably organic. Beef and chicken (and now fish unfortunately) should be grass-fed and organic, free-range and/or wild to avoid eating meat that has been tainted with genetically modified grain. (Commercially raised cattle are being stuffed with the stuff.) If you are eating food that you cook at home made of many single ingredients (a meatloaf does NOT need an onion seasoning packet!!!) then chances are you are avoiding many GMOs because you are avoiding SOY, the most genetically modified of all crops. It’s not as hard as people think. Using INGREDIENTS rather than packages to cook is a great way to feed our families healthy natural food without genetic modification.

      Reply
  3. justdj
    justdj says:

    I have been GF since2006 lost weight at first and now have put it all back on.I have not changed my diet,,,it’s still GF…why can’t i lose weight? Help!!!

    Reply
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      I can help you but I would need more information. Why you went gluten-free to begin with, your age, what you do eat, etc. Then we can pin-point what is keeping you from your weight goals.

      Reply

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