This list has not been easy to make. It is hard to know where to begin when it comes to talking about the problems associated with wheat. Wheat has been ingrained (pun intended) in our culture for a long time. Paleontologists suggest that even our Paleolithic ancestors even nibbled on wheat. However, this wheat was very different from the wheat you see nowadays.
Although the general perception of paleo is “if our ancestors ate it then it is OK for us to eat it as well” is a good rule of thumb, there are exceptions. Wheat, especially modern wheat is one of those exceptions. In the last 60 years, wheat has undergone a complete genetic reformation. This new form of wheat has evolved too fast for our body’s metabolism to adapt to break it down correctly.
Some experts claim whole wheat is the best part of your day but here are a few reasons as to why that is not the case.
9. Wheat Raises Your Blood Sugar
Wheat or wheat flour has a higher G.I score than many of the world’s most recognized candy bars . As we have already explained, this means that after consuming wheat, our bodies are going to produce more fat cells because of the high blood sugar content. Wheat, in particular leads to higher visceral fat (belly fat) when compared to other sugars. This particular property is what lead author, William Davies, to call his best-selling book “Wheat Belly”.
Studies show that low-carbohydrate diets will dramatically improve weight and lower the cases of type 2 diabetes . Wheat is a high-carbohydrate food and is in stark contrast to what is recommended for a healthy low-carb diet.
Conclusion: Since wheat raises your blood sugar, it is more likely to create fat cells. Wheat in particular leads to a “Wheat Belly” (in some parts of the world, it’s called a beer belly) which means the fat accumulates over the abs creating a round shape. This fat becomes heavy and creates a stretch on the skin. This is what causes the sometimes permanent loose skin-sack that happens after people lose weight.
8. Wheat Activates the Same Area of The Brain as Opium
If you go to your local shop and start looking at all the different ingredients, you may be shocked to learn that wheat is in nearly everything. It’s in Hobnobs (my guilty pleasure), bread, yogurt, chips, chocolate bars and just about everything that is man-made. The reason for this is simple. Wheat is addictive. Food manufactures are very smart and will do anything to make more money. They even test the size of snacks in comparison to the size of your mouth.
Wheat activates the same area of the brain as certain opiates . These are the pleasure centers of the brain that make you seek out reward. Companies hire the smartest people in the world to use this knowledge on the world to make more money.
Conclusion: By making wheat addictive, food manufacturers know that more people are going to buy it. Wheat is not the most addictive substance in the world, so it is possible to remove it from your diet. Some people report having a “foggy” head following the first few days of giving up wheat but it soon disappears after about a week.
7. The Wheat That We See Today is Not Even The Same As the Wheat From Last Century
The wheat that we eat nowadays is in stark contrast to the wheat that was eaten in the last few centuries. It all changed in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Wheat was grown with the objective of producing higher yield to keep up with our growing population and economic demand. This led farmers to cross-breed and modify wheat. Without getting into too much detail (because it is boring), the wheat we have today is very different from the wheat we have that is found in nature without human intervention.
Conclusion: Human evolution has taken millions of years to adapt to our current environment. Since wheat has been changed so quickly, we have not had the chance to build an adequate digestive system to handle it.
6. Phytic Acid Blocks The Absorption of Essential Nutrients
Phytic acid exists in about 70% of grains and many well-respected authors deem it the anti-nutrient because it blocks the body’s absorption of vital nutrients such as iron, magnesium and calcium. Although the “anti-nutrient” label sounds like a terrible idea for a villain for Batman, it actually has a role to protect the grain itself. When an animal ingests the grain, the goal is that the grain will be passed out fully fertilized in the animal’s you-know-what.
Conclusion: Phytic acid reduces and sometimes blocks the absorption of nutrients in the body . Phytic acid is present in about 70% of grains but is especially prominent in wheat.
5. The Fiber Myth
Whole wheat is often hailed as having all the necessary fibre for a good all-round digestive system. The actual fibre content of wheat is disappointing when compared to the like of fruits or vegetables. Vegetables in particular are an excellent source of fibre and an excellent contribution to digestive health.
Conclusion: Whole wheat is often marketed as being the best source of fibre but this is not the case. The fibre found in bread is actually disappointing when compared to fruit or vegetables.
4. Lectins in Wheat have Been Associated With Arthritis
Not much is known about lectins and even more is not understood. In essence, lectins are found in nearly every food to some degree but especially in wheat. Plants have their own defence mechanism which we touched on briefly when we talked about Phytic acid. Lectins are essentially plants’ attempt to stop animals eating them. When humans consume certain lectins, it ruins the natural flora in our belly. It does this by binding with certain elements in our body.
The lectin in wheat has actually been linked (but not confirmed) with arthritis.
3. Wheat Has High Levels of Gluten
This is another subject we have touched on bofore. It is becoming more and more clear that a large section of the population has some form of gluten intolerance. Wheat just happens to contain a lot of gluten. It is gluten that gives flour that ability to stretch when you are baking allowing you to mould into anything from pizza to cakes.
Conclusion: We have already discussed in a previous post that gluten has a horrible effect on people with celiac disease . If you don’t have celiac disease than gluten might be affecting you in more subtle ways. The only way to really find out is to remove gluten from your diet for about 30 days and then reintroduce it.
2. Wheat Leaves You With Massive Cravings
Wheat is not only addictive but it also leaves you with cravings . If you have ever eaten porridge (oats – not wheat) in the morning, you may notice that you will get hungry again in about 2-3 hours. To combat this hunger, you grab a slice of toast. Another two hours later, you grab another fueled snack. This constant grazing is the result of high-carb eating. The high-carb foods are actually creating the cravings. To remove cravings, simply start snacking on high-fat/low-carb foods or high-protein/low-carb foods. Some good examples of this are cheese, chicken or even natural yogurt.
Conclusion: There is some suggestion that cravings are caused by the constant eating of high-carb foods (which may be an indication of insulin-resistance). Switching to a low-carb diet may be the solution. Interestingly, low-carb diets have the highest success rates of completion .
1. Wheat Creates Man-boobs/Moobs
Men, if you have a big belly then soon you are going to have to start ordering bras. Belly fat is what causes men to “grow a pair”. Belly fat causes the production of estrogen which results in the growth of breast tissue. Scientists call the process gynecomastia but you probably call it moobs. Stunningly, in the last few years, more and more cosmetic surgeons are being asked about male breast reduction.
In woman, the result of excess estrogen is not as funny because it raises the risk of breast cancer. This conclusion was observed by the fact breast cancer occurs more in women with belly fat. Sometimes woman with belly fat are four times more likely to have breast cancer .