Gluten often takes the blame when it comes to health concerns these days. Unfortunately, gluten isn’t the only problem with your whole-wheat bread. Americans essentially traded fat for wheat when we started the low fat craze. This diet change, not so coincidentally, marked the beginning of our obesity and diabetes epidemic, both of which are trending upward.1,2 Sadly, no one knew Americans would be left with such significant consequences those 50 years ago, destroying our ability to obtain wheat in its original form.
Today we only cultivate genetically engineered strains of wheat, commonly referred to as “dwarf wheat.” This hybridized form, which is very profitable, produces an incredibly detrimental chromosomal change that led to implications no one predicted. The mutated compounds in modern wheat have had far worse consequences than sugar on our blood metabolism, organs, and brain. Let’s take a closer look at how the modern wheat has helped fuel our decades of skyrocketing health crises.
Today’s hybridized wheat is high in amylopectin A. This unique carbohydrate sends blood sugar soaring higher than a candy bar.3 Consider how many times someone eats wheat daily: muffin for breakfast, sandwich at lunch, and pasta for dinner. Constant insulin requirement from the pancreas inevitably wears it out. Say hello to type II diabetes. How soon symptoms appear merely depends on your personal threshold. The unavoidable reality is that today all wheat in our country has this high concentration of amylopectin A; therefore, whole-wheat makes almost no difference on blood sugar when compared to white bread.
Today’s Franken-wheat is addictive. During the digestive process, modern wheat is broken down into “exorphins.” In short, it passes the blood-brain barrier and sets off the opioid receptors in the brain. Yes, wheat gives you a high, and it makes you want more. This protein, when broken down, can also trigger brain and mood problems, some as serious as schizophrenia. More commonly, this unnatural wheat stimulates appetite, causing binging and cravings. Interestingly, dairy also has this problematic exorphin.4
America’s wheat is inflammatory. This is when we get to blame gluten. America’s dwarf wheat has produced a higher percentage of gluten, as well as additional types of gluten proteins that cause celiac disease and autoimmunity. When this sticky protein is consumed in such high concentrations, it leaks past the intestines into the bloodstream, triggering inflammatory reactions against the gluten invader. We are especially susceptible to this inflammation when we combine wheat with our modern, stressful, polluted world.
In addition to these reasons, avoiding your daily bagel is a good idea, as today’s wheat has up to 28% less of the important blood sugar and body balancing minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc and copper.5 Bottom line, even if you don’t have antibodies to gluten, this genetically altered, hybridized form of wheat you are eating still affects you.
Try 6 weeks without wheat. Stick to whole foods (not gluten-free junk food) and watch your blood sugar improve, and your waistline shrink. If you are diabetic, work with your doctor to adjust your medications accordingly.
Tiffany is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and can be reached at (760)285.1221 www.GlutenFreeWithTiffany.com
References: 1.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19623/ 2.) http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/23/1/133.full.pdf 3.) http://www.health.harvard.edu/healthyeating/glycemic_index_and_glycemic_load_for_100_foods 4.) http://www.jbc.org/content/254/7/2446 5.) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19013359