I love wheat and am eating it once again. For several years I didn’t eat much wheat due to the health hazards with modern wheat, which is heavily genetically modified (mutilated).
Research has tied this modern wheat to a many health problems: Celiac disease, liver disease, autoimmune diseases (such as MS, rehumatoid arthritis, Hashmoto’s thyroiditis), connective tissue diseases (such as lupus), asthma, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, ataxia, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, skin rashes, psychological impairments, such as schizophrenia…
Researchers also found that the introduction of wheat to China correlated with increased heart attacks and other problems. These problems did not correlate with read meat consumption.
Ancient Grain Wheat: Free of Genetic Modification
A friend told me about some ancent-grain wheat from Sunrise Mill in Northbranch, MN. This wheat goes back thousands of years, and has never been genetically modified. It does not spike your glucose levels and people allergic to wheat have been able to tolerate ancient wheat just fine. Sunrise Mill ships their products.
It’s delicious and I’m baking and making pancakes once again!
Sprouted wheat minimizes the effects of the GMO problem with modern wheat. Sprouting wheat also produces enzymes and vitamins, and reduces phytic acid. Ezekiel bread is an example of sprouted wheat. I buy it for sandwich bread.
A family friend, who had a son with cystic fibrosis, bought sprouted wheat bread for her son. She had researched a variety of foods and found that this was the easiest on his body.
How Modern GMO Wheat Wreaks Havoc on the Body: Summary of the book Wheat Belly
I was a bit dismissive of wheat allergies, until I started reading the book Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. For thousands of years, wheat has existed as a few strains of relatively genetically simple lines. In the past 50 years, since the 1960s, with all the hybridization that has happened, the genetic make-up of wheat has changed. This has affected the formation of wheat gluten, whose proteins have changed significantly. So if you are experiencing a wheat or wheat gluten allergy, it is likely that you are allergic to the modern strains of wheat, not the original wheat that was farmed for thousands of years. Possibly you are allergic to all the chemicals applied in modern production as well.
The author has seen remarkable results when taking people off wheat, clearing up diabetic and many other conditions. He himself was allergic to wheat, and diagnosed with celiac disease (which can cause cramps, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, migraines, arthritis, infertility, depression, chronic fatigue). After going off wheat and curing himself, he did an experiment where he made one loaf of bread from einkorn (an ancient form of wheat) and one from modern organic flour. After he ate the einkorn bread, he experienced no symptoms and was fine. After he ate the modern flour, his blood sugar doubled and he experienced symptoms of nausea, cramping, poor sleep, and brain fog. He says it took 36 hours before he was back to normal again.
GMO Wheat Spikes Sugar Levels in your Body
Dr. Davis had done studies on modern wheat and blood sugar levels, and found that modern wheat raises blood sugar more than table sugar. Wheat acts as an appetite stimulant, so if you have excess cravings or want to lose weight, consider omitting wheat from your diet and see what happens. The author has routinely seen how people who eliminate wheat tend to lose weight. The author mentions that many gluten-free wheat substitutes, such as cornstarch, rice starch, potato starch, or tapioca starch, have the same appetite-stimulant effect as modern wheat gluten. So replacing wheat with gluten-free options won’t necessarily help decrease your appetite.
Wheat Connected to Many Conditions
The archaeological record shows that the introduction of grains in general into the human diet thousands of years ago resulted in a variety of health afflictions: “The adoption of grains into the human diet was followed by archaeological evidence of increased infections, bone diseases such as osteoporosis, increased infant mortality, reduction in lifespan, as well as diabetes.” (P. 98)
Research has also tied modern wheat as well to a variety of conditions:
- Celiac Disease
- Liver diseaseAutoimmune diseases (such as MS, rehumatoid arthritis, Hashmoto’s thyroiditis)
- Connective tissue diseases (such as lupus)
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Acid reflux
- Skin rashes
- Psychological impairments, such as schizophrenia
In celiac disease, there is an awry immune response that essentially destroys the small intestine. Celiac disease has increased fourfold in the past 50 years, and has been paralleled by an increase in type 1 diabetes, autoimmune disease such as MS, Crohn’s disease, and allergies. Gluten proteins that trigger celiac disease are found in higher quantities in modern wheat than the ancient wheat (p. 82).
The author cites studies that show that wheat can be directly linked to schizophrenia. During WWII, in Europe and the North America, there were fewer hospitalizations for schizophrenia when food shortages made bread unavailable. At that time, the wheat available hadn’t been heavily modernized, so apparently some people are sensitive to wheat whether it’s modern or ancient; although perhaps there are fungi or mold on the wheat that can also affect certain individuals.
In the 60s, experiments were done where wheat was removed from the diets of schizophrenics. A decrease in hallucinations, delusions, and social detachment was seen. When they reintroduced wheat, these behaviors increased.
In the 70s a study was done of the New Guinea hunter and gatherer culture, prior to the introduction of western eating habits (wheat, beer, corn, etc). At this time schizophrenia was virtually unknown. After western eating habits had been established, schizophrenia went up 65-fold.
Wheat as Acidic Food
Grains and wheat in particular create an acidic environment in the body, which can result in a variety of health imbalances. In studies, it has been found that a protein, beans, nut, vegetable, and fruit diet results in an alkaline state in the body, regardless of whether the protein is animal or plant protein. Once grains are added to the diet, the body tends to shift towards an acidic state and has a harder time returning to a natural alkaline state.
“If wheat and other grains are responsible for tipping the pH balance towards acidic, what happens if you do nothing more than remove wheat from the modern diet and replace the lost calories with other plants such as vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts? The balance shifts back into the alakaline range.” (p 123)
Bone Density and Wheat
The body neutralizes this acidic state by drawing upon the calcium stores in the bones. This results in increased fractures and osteoporosis. Studies have demonstrated this, such as one study which showed a five-fold increase in fractures among high school girls who consumed carbonated sodas.
Another study found the elimination of wheat from the diets of celiac participants promptly improved bone density, without the use of osteoporosis drugs.
A diet with more plant protein and less animal protein is associated with fewer fractures. Research has shown that at the highest intake of vegetable protein, hip fractures are basically non-existent. Diets with a ratio of vegetable protein to animal protein being between 2:1 to 5:1 is associated with fewer than 10 hip fractures per 100,000. By comparison, diets with a vegetable to animal protein intake ratio of 1:1 is associated with as many as 200 hip fractures per 100,000 population.
Visceral Fat — “Wheat Belly”
Repeated cycles of high blood sugar and high blood insulin, as happens with wheat consumption, results in the growth of fat specifically in the abdominal organs. This is called visceral fat, and it results in a fat liver, fat kidneys, fat pancreas, fat large and small intestines, even a fat heart, as well as the familiar “wheat belly.” This visceral fat functions much like a very large unhealthy endocrine gland. It produces inflammatory signals and abnormal cytokines (cell-to-cell hormone signal molecules, such as leptin, resistin, and temor necrosis factor). The more visceral fat present, the greater the amount of abnormal signals released into the bloodstream. Visceral fat triggers a variety of conditions by releasing these abnormal signals, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, and dementia. (p. 61)
Joint Pain, Arthritis, and Wheat
The high blood sugars associated with wheat, coupled with the inflammatory activity of visceral fat cells, can also lead to damage of the cartilage tissue in joints and joint inflammation.
A diet of foods that create an alkaline environment in the body has the potential to reduce muscle atrophy, kidney stones, salt-sensitive hypertension, infertility, and kidney disease.
The genetic modifications applied to the ancient wheat are wreaking havoc on the human body, coupled with the modern diet geared towards acid-producing foods can. Also, there can be fungi or mold growing upon the grains in storage.
There is more to the book, but I didn’t have time to summarize it all. In particular, I remember one set of studies about China. The studies clearly showed the introduction of wheat correlated with heart attacks and other issues. These problems did not correlate with red meat consumption.
Stay healthy and stay informed!