Wheat is the worlds most popular grain and an iconic staple in almost every
household. It is third in grain production behind corn and rice and the average
consumption is 133 pounds, yikes! I have written articles on grains before here
here and here, but this post delves into the specifics of wheat; what substances
it possesses and why it is unmistakably the most destructive food you can
It's hard to escape it: wheat is advertised constantly, added to
thousands of foods, and the advice we've been given by the 'experts': the
government, the diet industry, and health magazines to 'Eat Your Whole Grains!'
leads us to believe it's healthy. It's not, and as you will read below, the
facts of gluten and other antinutrients are directly linked to everything from
simple allergies and joint pain, to more serious conditions like Crohn's and
Alzheimer's. Yes, wheat is that bad.
Another issue is that the plant of years ago doesn't even resemble the one
today. In the laboratory it has been systematically genetically modified,
crossbred, and hybridized to resist drought and pests, and yield 10 times the
amount per acre it used to. We pump it out to feed a lot of people cheaply.
If You Don't Remember anything else about wheat's destructive effects,
remember these three things:
1) IT IS THE SAME AS SUGAR
Wheat is mostly
starch, gets rapidly converted to glucose, and hits the bloodstream with Insulin
chasing after it. It is no better than a can of soda.
2) LEAKY GUT EQUALS
Gluten causes severe disruption and permeability in the
gut leading to almost every autoimmune condition and digestive disorder
Wheat is highly inflammatory leading to everything
from arthritis, cataracts, atherosclerosis, and dementia.
I see dedicated exercisers every day working out until they're blue
in the face only to head home and grab a sandwich, a muffin, or a wrap. Their
tireless efforts in the gym result in slow progress and a flabby midsection that
just won't go away. Wheat, along with corn and rice, are the kingpins of hidden
sugar and the resulting elevated Insulin. Most people eat way too much sugar on
its own, but forget that wheat, and other cheap, refined, easily digestible
carbohydrates all add to the tally eventually leading to Diabetes in many
people. Living a diet that is carbohydrate dependent has led to the current
health epidemic of obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
Wheat...The Key Players
- Wheat itself is about 70% carbohydrate, 15% protein,
and 15% fiber. The complex carbohydrate portion, otherwise known as Starch, is
75% Amylopectin and 25% Amylose.
- Amylopectin is rapidly converted to
glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Amylose is much more resistant to
digestion and acts as a third type of fiber.
- 80% of the Protein portion in
wheat is your unpopular friend Gluten. Gluten is subdivided Gliadin and Glutenin
in roughly equal amounts.
- Gluten (Latin for glue, if you can believe that!) is
responsible for a whole host of digestive and autoimmune disorders.
causes the release of an intestinal protein called Zonulin.
- Zonulin release
modulates intestinal tight junctions between the cells of the digestive tract
- Excess Zonulin causes excessive gut permeability and unwanted proteins gain
access to to the bloodstream. This is called Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Unwanted proteins and other unwanted goodies let into the bloodstream mount an
- Autoimmune responses can lead to Systemic Inflammation
- The list of diseases caused by low-grade Systemic Inflammation numbers over 100, but the major well-known ones include:
- ankylosing spondylitis
- arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis)
- Crohn's disease
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- systemic lupus erythematous (SLE)
- Parkinson's disease
- ulcerative colitis
components of grain, Phytates and Lectins were written up here and here. Both
substances, again, are worse and found in considerable more potency in wheat.
Wheat germ agglutinin, or WGA, is the common Lectin in wheat that protects it
from insects, yeast and bacteria, but it's job once inside the body is to be very effective at initiating gut
permeability and disrupting digestion. Phytates do a fabulous job of binding to
important minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium and hauling them out
of the body rather than absorbing them for benefit.
Gluten, Gliadin, Adiponectin, Zonulin, Pytates, Lectins,
Wheat Belly by
William Davis, md
Drago, Sandro; Asmar, Ramzi El; Di Pierro,
Mariarosaria; Clemente, Maria Grazia; Sapone, Amit Tripathi Anna; Thakar,
Manjusha; Iacono, Giuseppe; Carroccio, Antonio et al. (2006). "Gliadin, zonulin
and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and
intestinal cell lines". Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 41 (4):
408–419. PMID 16635908.
and Lectins, a dangerous dietary duo