Wheat is a staple in most American’s diets, and is found in foods that might surprise you. It has been labeled a healthy food by the FDA, and especially if it is “whole wheat”. It has health connotations that date back to Biblical times as shown in “The Lord’s Prayer” in the line, “Give us this day our daily bread.” So wheat has to be good for us, right?
There is new evidence showing that wheat is not good for most people, and some would even argue it is unhealthy for everyone, and should be eliminated. Wheat raises blood sugar levels, causes immune system problems, inhibits the absorption of important vitamins and minerals, and aggravates our intestines. It seems wheat used to be good for us, but scientists began cross-breeding wheat to increase production, making wheat difficult for our body’s to digest. The main culprit appears to be gluten, the protein in wheat and other grains that our systems have difficulty digesting and metabolizing.
Wheat consumption is being increasingly blamed for the onset of other health conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, celiac-like disorders, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, autism, ADHD, cancer and even Alzheimer’s Diasease. In fact, many scientists claim not only celiac sufferers should avoid wheat, but that the vast majority of American’s are “sensitive” to wheat and should avoid eating it as well. There are numerous books and studies that detail why wheat is harmful to people and should be avoided. Two of my favorites are “Wheat Belly, Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Way Back To Health” by Dr. William Davis and “Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killer” by Dr. David Perlmutter.
Most American’s believe wheat to be good for them, and necessary for fiber. It is overwhelming and inconceivable for many to consider eliminating wheat, and more specifically gluten, from their diets. After all, gluten is what helps dough rise, keep it’s shape, and develop the chewy texture and flavor we love. In fact, some scientists say gluten has an addictive quality to it, causing people to crave wheat, and want to keep consuming more of it. It is found in foods that we love, and is convenient to purchase.
The best way to eliminate wheat from your diet, is to research how to prepare healthy foods without gluten. There are numerous sites on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+ as well as blogs and cookbooks that are very helpful. There are a variety of gluten free products on the market, but most experts recommend avoiding them, instead purchasing and preparing real foods the way our ancestors used to. Most nutritionists will say you need to totally eliminate gluten to see a benefit, and that simply reducing gluten does not produce the same health benefit.
There is conflicting information about nutrition in many areas. You will need to research and decide for yourself if eliminating wheat, and more specifically gluten, is right for you and your family. Many chiropractors provide nutritional counseling, and would be an excellent source for helping you become gluten free.
Author: Michelle Caron