I’ll hear this comment with some frequency:
“Go wheat-free for 4 weeks. If you feel no better, you can go back to it.”
While consumption of modern wheat can indeed yield health conditions with overt symptoms, such as joint pain, skin rashes, and pain and explosive diarrhea from irritable bowel syndrome, many of its effects are silent and do not result in any perceived symptoms.
The changes that underlie autoimmunity, for instance, that lead to multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune hepatitis, autoimmune pancreatitis, pancreatic beta cell destruction leading to type 1 diabetes, and other conditions all develop silently, brewing beneath your perceptions, without your knowledge, until you develop the joint swelling, pain, and disfigurement of rheumatoid arthritis or the abdominal pain of pancreatitis.
Among the silent effects of modern wheat products are:
- Gliadin protein triggered intestinal permeability–the entry of foreign substances into the bloodstream that initiates the diseases of autoimmunity all begin silently.
- Changes in bowel flora–A shift away from healthy lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species, for instance, occur without your knowledge.
- High blood sugars–the amylopectin A of wheat and related grains is responsible for sky-high blood sugars that exceed the blood sugars, gram for gram, that result from table sugar. This, in turn, triggers all the silent phenomena of glycation, i.e., glucose-modification of proteins, that leads to cataracts, hypertension, coronary disease, peripheral vascular disease, skin aging, kidney damage, cancer, and dementia.
- Digestive disruption–Wheat germ agglutinin is a potent blocker of the intestinal signal hormone, cholecystokinin, or CCK, that signals the gallbladder to release bile and the pancreas to release pancreatic enzyme. This allows “bile stasis” that cultivates gallstones, incomplete digestion of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that may not cause symptoms but results in undesirable changes in bowel flora and impaired nutrient absorption.
- Blocked absorption of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and magnesium–The phytates of wheat and related grains block up to 90% of the absorption of these cations (positively-charged ions), all without your awareness. Vitamin B12 absorption is blocked at several steps in its complex absorption, including disruption of parietal cells of the stomach and the intrinsic factor required for absorption–none of which you will know.
- Mood and emotions–Though not truly silent, many people fail to attribute their depression, paranoia, irritability, anxiety, difficulty with concentration, and impaired memory with wheat consumption.
There’s more, but you get the idea. Wheat is a silent killer and a silent disrupter of health, in addition to causing myriad overt symptoms of health disruption. Just as a silent cancer can kill you, so the silent and destructive effects of wheat and related grains can wreak all manner of destructive health effects. Silence in this instance is certainly not golden.
Wow. And THIS is why it's frustrating when I see people I care about who won't give going wheat/grain free a solid opportunity. It's because I know the science of what's happening in their bodies. It's because I've lived it too, and I know how radically their body is being damaged by wheat and grains. It's because I want them to get healthier, live a longer life, a better quality of that life. I CARE. It's also why I blog. Because I care not just about the people I know, but for our human race. I don't think anyone should die a premature death. Or suffer. Or live anything but as productive and as high a quality of life as they can eek out. EVERYONE.
I certainly care about anyone taking the time to read this, my little blogging corner of the world. I have found the solution for me, (it took me long enough!)...and I just want to share that with anyone who will listen. Trust me, for over 20 years I've realized that grains and sugar weren't healthy for me. I've done Atkins and South Beach, but always (after two successful 60 lb. weight losses-one with each of those diet plans)...gained the weight back (and then some) because I couldn't accept that I had to give up beloved grains and sugar, for the most part, for life. That the very foods I loved the most were, quite literally, killing me. It wasn't until I read, by noted physicians like Dr. Davis above (and in his book Wheat Belly), and the former head of the FDA, Dr. Kessler (how more notable can you get than THAT title?)...that I came to accept the real death march that is caused by grains and sugar.
Yes, I still fight sugar when I'm uber stressed. Which happens less often because of how little grains and sugar I eat, fortunately. I no longer have to leave the house fearful if I don't have an emergency Ativan in my purse. But I digress. I still haven't extricated, entirely, the need to self-soothe/medicate with sugar. But I'm working on it and getting better all of the time. I keep forging ahead, working on that lingering trouble spot, because I believe so deeply, to my very core, that grains and sugar are THE bane of the 20th and now 21st centuries. That time will prove this out. That there isn't a soul alive who would be healthier if they gave up 90-95% of the grains and sugars they now consume.
So here is a current article, that very articulately spells out the science behind what I'm saying...what the Low Carb, Wheat Belly, Paleo, and Primal communities are saying: WHEAT KILLS. Silently, it maims and kills.
Well, despite another restaurant lunch out yesterday, I dropped 1.2 lbs. I am 133.6 this morning! By mid morning, I knew we were going to The Habit. (a relatively new fancier hamburger chain.) I normally get their tri tip sandwich, minus the bread, and onion rings. Sometimes with ranch dressing to dip it in. But I realized yesterday morning that I'm not 'just' IN THE ZONE. I have gone back into WARRIOR / beast mode! I haven't been here in MONTHS! (it's an AWESOME place to be!) I went online to The Habit's nutrition information web page. I decided to get a side Ceasar salad (no chicken added), hold the croutons, and the onion rings, but no ranch dressing. That lunch would come in at 700 calories. That is a high calorie meal for me, but I am not giving up the onion rings. The Habit's onion rings are among the very best. I never eat dinner on Fridays that we have lunch out, so I was already set to 'intermittent fast' (IF) through dinner. Breakfast had been about 400 calories. That would put me at 1100 calories for the day. That is the lowest calorie day I've had in MONTHS. I do NOT recommend eating regularly below 1200 calories. But an occasional foray lower is no big deal.
Don't get me wrong; I don't normally 'count calories.' But at my age, I know the calorie content of almost everything I eat. When I am eating grain free, sugar free, and at home, I'm golden. Calories don't matter. When I am eating (breaded) onion rings (as part of my NGNS-5 template)...calories do matter. Some restaurants serve 4-5 onion rings, some serve 8-10. Of course onion ring size varies from restaurant to restaurant. (yeah, I'm an onion ring connoisseur. LOL It's the only 'breaded' thing I consume, or have consumed, for almost 18 months!) But because my health matters to me, and on top of that my 9/4 1st year of maintenance anniversary weight matters to me...I'm in BEAST MODE, as I said. Every morsel of what I consume MATTERS TO ME.
So, I came in at 1100 calories. And because I'm in beast mode, I danced for 50 minutes last night.
THAT is how I dropped 1.2 lbs., despite a restaurant lunch.
:: smiles ::
Beast mode is good. I feel my most powerful and in charge (of myself) when I'm in Beast Mode. As a Virgo OCD Control Freak....Beast Mode ROCKS my world!