If you are anything like me you have probably heard about gluten and people who cannot eat gluten, but really had little idea of what it actually was or what it does to your body. I decided to read the book Wheat Belly because I really wanted to know more about this.Wheat Belly is written by a PREVENTATIVE cardiologist Dr. Davis, which is great to me because his emphasis is clearly based on prevention rather than treatment, something I feel isn’t always seen. In the beginning of the book Dr. Davis makes a great point that if we go back and look through our grandparents photo albums we would be hard pressed to find anyone over 200 pounds The average weight for women during our grandparents time was 110-115 and for men 150 to 165. As clear logic would say he goes on to explain why now the 200+ pound person is not rare and basically why we who exercise a lot are not walking around with 6 pack abs.
The problem with wheat at this time is the fact that it is different from its original form. Apparently wheat over centuries has changed due to changes in its genetic code and the farmers/scientists attempt to make it easier to produce.I don’t get the science behind it that much but his comparison made sense. If you think about humans, we have our 46 chromosomes and we get these from our parents (7th grade science tells you this). Even one change in any one of those 46 causes a change, for example the difference between just one y or x chromosome would change me from a girl to a boy. Small changes make big differences, with humans we don’t add chromosomes, but with wheat and its genetic make-up they just keep multiplying leaving more room for manipulations and what Dr. Davis refers to as “incremental genetic variations”, many of which we don’t even know has happened. Basically with all that, it is different than what was meant for human consumption.
Wheat messes with your blood sugar different than any other food out there. He states that just two pieces of wheat bread can raise your blood sugar just as much if not more than 2 tablespoons of real sugar. Then of course we have heard from other health sources that this stimulates your appetite, causes addictive like reactions to foods, and then creates cravings, usually of the unwanted form.
Dr. Davis goes on to explain that Wheat, in and of itself, is at the root of many issues including:
Weight gain and obesity
Deep visceral fat (the fat around our organs) – yuck!
Cataracts, wrinkles, hair loss, Dowagers hump
The book leaves you wondering what you are supposed to eat and how you can control what you are putting in your body that is causing it to have the cravings and hold on to its fat. Basically what it breaks down to in terms of food consumption is as follows:
RARELY or NEVER: and most of these are a “duh” even if you still eat gluten!
=Wheat products (obviously) but this includes breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, cereals, pancakes, pita, couscous, rye, barley etc.
=Oils of the hydrogenated, poly-unsaturated, corn, sunflower, soy, grape seed, cottonseed kinds.
=Gluten-free foods – I thought this was interesting because so many people who go gluten free go straight to the gluten free foods
=Dried fruits, fried foods, sugar snacks, fructose sweeteners, sugary condiments like jelly and ketchup.
=Non-cheese dairy like milk, yogurt, cottage cheese
=Fruit and basically when you eat it stick to the northern fruits (berries of most kinds, etc. and this also includes juices)
=Whole corn, beans, potatoes
=Soy products – apparently this is an entire other topic to look into too??
=Non-wheat, non gluten grains – wild rice, quinoa, brown/white rice (because they raise blood sugar fairly high, not because they are particularly unhealthy)
=Vegetables except corn and potatoes
=Raw nuts and seeds
=Oils – olive, coconut, avocado, walnut, flaxseed
=Meats and eggs (the entire egg)
=Non sugary condiments
So with all of that said, I would still highly suggest you read the book if this is of any interest to you. I also gave the book to my Step-Dad who is diabetic. When it comes to diabetes, food is serious business, more so than just the average person and it can make or break how you live.I am not a scientist, and I still have questions, but what the book said and researched, it does not seem that far-fetched in my opinion.