There are two books I’ve been reading, both of which are forcing me to look at my diet, and that of my family in a whole new way and both of which were introduced to me by the excellent podcast Latest in Paleo. One of the books is Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, which supports one of the fundamental principles of the Paleo diet, to avoid grains in the diet. It makes sense; our ancestors didn’t farm and therefore didn’t eat the produce of farming. The book says that eating wheat, in any form, makes us fat due to the gluten content. It discusses how our endocrine system is the leader in determining our fat levels, and how what we eat influences hormone response.
The other book I’m reading Wheat Belly supports this notion and focuses on the mutant high yield version of wheat that we consume in such vast quantities, at every mealtime every day.
Wheat Belly’s main message is that wheat is actually bad for you; a poison! While more and more people are diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, the rest of us believe that bread couldn’t possible harm us. Yet today’s “wheat” is not the wheat that our ancestors ate. By messing about with genes we have replaced traditional wheat with a stunted, bulging, super-productive dwarf variety. This triggered a change in the proteins our wheat contains, with the effects being detrimental in many ways to our health. The gluten in wheat can also cause a whole host of health problems and diseases – even in those who don’t show symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
As if that wasn’t enough wheat, with its blood glucose increasing effect, causes blood sugar spikes. Two slices of “healthy” wholewheat bread raise blood sugar farther and faster than two tablespoonfuls of sugar. And is therefore implicated in the pandemic of obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes and is the likely culprit for heart disease, and cancer.
Dr Davis in Wheat Belly presents a very convincing argument that humans are not adapted to eat and digest, wheat and its gluten protein. Given that ‘good old wheat’ is so omnipresent in our society is concerning, and the book’s message is that many health conditions that are prevalent today would probably not even exist if it were not for our high consumption of wheat.