I finally finished "Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health" by William Davis and I cannot wait to tell you what I learned from it. It really was an interesting and enlightening read. I love the perspective Davis has on health as a cardiologist--this stuff is based on scientific proof and real world examples.
In this book, Davis basically details why and how one should eliminate wheat from their diets. (In this case, diet is the general food one eats and not a weight loss tool). He talks about all the negative results from eating wheat and how the grain itself has changed. He also shares the positive outcomes of cutting out wheat, including weight loss. Here are some of the passages that stuck out most to me,
"You will see that what we are eating, cleverly disguised as a bran muffin or onion ciabatta, is not really wheat at all but the transformed product of genetic research conducted during the latter half of the twentieth century. Modern wheat is no more real wheat than a chimpanzee is an approximation of a human."
"I believe that the increased consumption...of this genetically altered thing called modern wheat--explains the contrast between slender, sedentary people of the fifties and overweight twenty-first-century people, triathletes included."
This is the part that intrigued me most--the fact that the bread you can buy at the store today, or even more basic than that, the "wheat flour" you can buy at the store, is not made of the same wheat as our ancestors.
"Wheat strains have been hybridized, crossbred, and introgressed to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions, such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. But most of all, genetic changes have been induced to increase yield per acre....Such fundamental genetic changes, as you will see, have come at a price."
"From the original strains of wild grass harvested by early humans, wheat has exploded to more than 25,000 varieties, virtually all of them result of human intervention."
"Modern wheat, despite all the genetic alterations to modify hundred, if not thousands, of its genetically determined characteristics, made its way to the worldwide human food supply with nary a question surrounding its suitability for human consumption."
Another thing I'd sort of heard before, but bears repeating:
"People are usually shocked when I tell them that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose. Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar."
"Which means that wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate, from beans to candy bars."
"The higher the blood glucose after consumption of food, the greater the insulin level, the more fat is deposited."
But we knew that, remember we talked about it after I read Gary Taubes, "Why We Get Fat?" Davis goes into more ways wheat affects us besides weight gain, including mental healthy, sleep, bone health, skin issues and hormone balance to name a few. In conclusion, this book is excellently written and really sheds some light on great reasons why we should all cut out wheat, that is of course, unless you can grow it, process and eat it like the folks in the Bible did. The truth remains, today's wheat is not their wheat and we are paying the price with our health.