Wheat is the cornerstone of the western diet eaten in the form of breads, pasta, cakes, biscuits, pies, cous cous and so on. It is also used as a thickener and a filler.
But eating wheat is linked to many problems as the clip says. The principal ones being bloating, gas, brain fog, sleepiness and weak abs. Because we continually eat wheat, these symptoms are
- considered normal
- attributed to other things, like being tired or getting older
- just plain ignored
By a couple of different mechanisms, wheat is addictive making the link to the above symptoms a very challenging step. The Story With Wheat goes into greater detail.
The principal problem with wheat is that about 10,000 years ago we developed it from a grass. Animals that have evolved to eat grass have more than one stomach and a long digestive tract. They are characterised by having big bellies – think of cows, horses, sheep or goats. Grass takes quite a bit of digesting.
We have one stomach and a relatively short digestive tract. We are meant to be lean.
Eating any foodstuff to excess will cause digestive issues.
Wheat has several elements that cause particular problems:
Protein, called Gliadin:
- Causes digestive problems by opening up the tight junctions in the gut wall enabling partially digested foodstuffs to enter the blood stream.
- Not everybody has the right digestive enzyme to digest it and so causes great irritation to the gut wall.
- It is broken down into gluteomorphin, which docks into the opioid receptors in the brain, and so is addictive
- Gliadin also breaks down into lectins – also found in the wheat germ – and these have been found to cause leptin resistance. Leptin is the hormone of satiety that tells us when we have eaten enough.
- Lectins have also been shown to slow the repair to the gut wall – caused by eating difficult to digest foodstuffs like wheat1
Wheat fibre contains:
- phytates and these block the absorption of the minerals zinc, iron, magnesium, copper and calcium
- Pyridoxine glycosides which block the absorption of vitamin B6
White flour lacks the fibre to slow down absorption, so leads to a rapid rise in blood sugar, which the body corrects but this correction leads to blood sugar being too low. To raise it again leads to craving quickly digested food or drinks -biscuits, crisps, sandwiches, fruit juices, fizzy drinks.
Some people have so many troubles handling wheat that they go on to become Coeliacs. But in my experience, everybody benefits from cutting wheat out of the diet completely. I only ever had one client who’s abs did not dramatically improve upon giving it up. But this client was so intolerant to so many foodstuffs, that it involved giving up much more than just wheat.
To avoid wheat it is necessary to look on the allergen part of the wrapping and look for the word ‘Gluten’. The troublesome form of gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. So it is no good replacing the Mother’s Pride with Rye bread. Also beer is made with malt, so is a source of gluten.
Oats actually contain a different form of gluten that causes us less issues, but it still should not be eaten every day.
If you give up gluten, you will feel much better. Most people lose a lot of weight in the first few weeks – this actually being water which was retained in the body as part of the inflammatory reaction to the gluten. Most people feel more alert. However it is also true to say that giving up gluten is the tip of the iceberg to true restoration of health and vitality. But it is an all important step that can lead to the desire to recover the lust for life.
- MiyakeK, Tanak T, Mc Neil PL (2007) “Lectin-based food poisoning: a new mechanism of protein toxicity” PLoS ONE 2 (1):e687 [↩]