Wheat is all around us like never before in history. Just about everything you see in a grocery store contains it in some form, even if it’s not obvious. Wheat is the most popular and in demand grain today, and while most may associate it with being a healthy option, there may be reason to think otherwise, especially when you consider that wheat and gluten sensitivity is on the rise.
Whether you know it or not, wheat is lurking in many commercial products that may not be as obvious to consumers. Some of these include:
Salad dressings, Bouillons, Sauces, Gravy mixes, Spices, Spice blends/rubs, Dried/Dehydrated foods, Instant rice, Snack foods, including chips made from corn and potato, Ice cream, Yogurt, Cheese (varies), Condiments, Sauces, Rice paper, Frozen French fries/Potato/Hashbrowns, Canned soups, Milk substitutes (rice, almond, soy, hemp…), Cocoa mixes, Coffee substitutes, Herbal teas (varies), Sodas, Juice, Beer, and Alcohol.
And even the less obvious: Medications – prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs will sometimes also contain wheat/ gluten ingredients, makeup- such as lipstick that when applied gets consumed, and even envelope adhesives!
The Wheat crop today is a completely different plant than our ancestors consumed, or even are grandparents grew up on just 50 years ago. For instance, the wheat crop mentioned in the bible, is the Einkorn heirloom wheat, our modern wheat is now a dwarf crop that has been created through cross breading to multiply its yield. In the process many new proteins have been formed, one of them being gliadin, a component of gluten, which is causing many health problems in people. This new crop was said to contribute to the end of starvation, and although that may be true, in no shape or form is it nourishing or keeping us healthy. In fact, it is making us sick and fat.
The Real Deal Behind Gluten Sensitivity
Gliadin is extremely addicting and increases appetite, so much that people who consume wheat average between 440 and 800 calories more per day. So even those who do not experience any uncomfortable digestive issues, still are being effected in other ways. Those who do have a sensitivity to gluten, usually are being effected by gliadin. The impact that gliadin can cause reaches all the way to the brain. When broken down, the small pieces of gliadin crosses the blood brain barrier and binds with opiate receptors. This is how the addiction, cravings, and appetite stimulation towards wheat filled foods are created.
It’s no secret that obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are at an all time high and increasing in numbers everyday. What do these all have in common? Inflammation is at the root cause of every disease. Guess what modern wheat and gluten does to our bodies? It creates a fire of inflammation when consumed on a regular basis. On average, each American now consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year. When we consider that chronic lifestyle and dietary driven disease kills more than twice as many people as infectious disease globally, a need to change our current paradigm around a “healthy diet” is more important now than ever.
We have been indoctrinated with the thought that eating whole wheat products is good for our health, when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. In regards to process grains and foods, whether it be whole grain or white flour, the additional additives in these products makes neither one any different in term of the negative effect on your health. They are both filled with sugar, wheat and both raise blood sugar levels, arguably equal to or more than a couple tablespoons of straight sugar would. Reading the ingredient label and ignoring the marketing claims on a package is the best thing you can do when shopping for food.
What About Gluten Free Products?
These food by products are not any better in terms of spiking blood sugar and being processed. You’re just replacing one form of carbohydrate with another processed form. Although, gliadin is unique to wheat, rye is also being crossbred with wheat so much that this may also cause the same problems. Gluten free flours that are used in what I call, “gluten free junk food”, such as corn, rice, potato and tapioca starch can raise blood sugar levels even more than wheat. Just because it is gluten-free, doesn’t mean it is healthy. Instead stick with whole foods that are naturally gluten free such as beans, sweet potatoes and other tubers, animal proteins, nuts and seeds. If you do want to make some at home goodies, utilize nuts meals and coconut flour.
Want to experience a wheat free lifestyle? Take the Wheat Free/ Gluten Free challenge for 1 month and see and feel the difference! Check out the Autoimmune Paleo E- Cookbook to help you make tasty and healthy meals without wheat, gluten or other inflammatory foods…perfect for maintaining healthy skin!
Davis, William. Wheat Belly. New York City: Rodale Books, 2011. Print.