How’s the reading coming so far? Did you make it through all three chapters? I’ll outline my thoughts below and then feel free to comment on anything that stood out to you, whether it’s in my notes or not. Please note that there are direct quotes below. I haven’t used quotes throughout but I am directly quoting the book. Let’s discuss!
I’m starting with the introduction because that’s when my jaw started dropping.
The fact that he’s a cardiologist and observes the same results over and over again with his patients when they eliminate wheat makes me want to listen to him.
Rapid and effortless eight loss within the first few months, patients cured from ulcerative colitis, others being relieved of joint pain are all his observations. He mentioned here were studies previously done showing the same results which is concerning. Did that raise a question with anyone else?
Regarding his patients, I wonder what their diets were like before cutting wheat. If you’re not eating wheat you’re probably eating more whole foods and less processed or packaged foods. So what’s to say their cleaner diets with or without wheat wasn’t the cause of the clearing up of symptoms?
And onto CHAPTER 1 – What Belly?
He notes that every organ is affected by wheat and it mainly shows in the belly. The fat accumulation in the belly is caused by years of food consumption that triggers insulin, the hormone of fat storage. The collection of the visceral fat provokes inflammatory phenomena, distorts insulin responses and issues abnormal metabolic signals to the rest of the body. And…. MAN BREASTS! That would make me drop the wheat if I was a male.
During his wheat-free experiment he found patients with symptoms disappearing from all sorts of ailments:
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis pain
And they gained things like more energy, focus, lung, joint and bowel health, and deeper sleep.
If these same patients ate wheat again after being off of it, they would experience symptoms like diarrhea, joint swelling and pain or wheezing. So that pinpoints that it’s the wheat and not something else in their diet.
CHAPTER 2 – Not Your Grandma’s Muffins: The Creation of Modern Wheat
Was anyone surprised that wheat compromises 20% of all calories consumed? I actually thought it may be higher. It just feels like it’s everywhere.
He also touched on the financials stating that a manufacturer can transform a nickel’s worth of wheat into $3.99 and have the American Heart Association as an endorser.
What was really interesting to me was how wheat evolved into what it is today. He mentions that wheat has been altered to make the plant more resistant to environmental conditions that could kill it (drought & pathogens) as well as increasing yield per acre. And now we have more than 25,000 varieties and almost all are because of human intervention. Wow! The original wheat was einkorn. It has the simplest genetic code with only 14 chromosomes. It’s explained in the book that wheat retains the sum of the genes of their forebears. So whatever count comes from one side is added to the other and that’s how many chromosomes the offspring end up with. The most genetically complex wheat has 42 chromosomes. It’s interesting to me that wheat of today can’t survive without human intervention. Something about that doesn’t feel very natural.
And then he starts getting into the way we’ve bred wheat. The goal was to produce more so we altered it genetically and were so intent on making the most we could, the fastest we could (in order to feed more people), we failed to test on animals or humans. The agricultural scientists were convinced there wouldn’t be issues since hybridization techniques created more of the same thing (wheat). If people could tolerate it before, why wouldn’t they be able to tolerate it after? It’s still wheat, right? The variations in gluten content and other enzymes and proteins would cause no issues either. Upon further investigation, it’s been found that 5% of the proteins in the offspring aren’t found in either parent. Hello genetically modified food! The author was speaking about hybridization in this example but they’re finding now that the process to produce GM foods isn’t as clean as they thought and can produce food that causes potential toxic effects in humans. So neither would be my decision when given the choice between hybridization or GM.
CHAPTER 3 – Wheat Deconstructed
What are we eating when we choose wheat?
SUGAR! 75% of the complex carb in wheat is amylopectin. It just so happens that amylopectin is digested efficiently and is rapidly converted to glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. And that’s mainly responsible for wheat’s blood-sugar-increasing effect. Were you shocked to hear that whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a level higher than sucrose? I was. And how about the fact that pasta can generate high blood sugars for 4-6 hours after eating it? The author makes a conclusive statement by telling us that wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate. This was eye-opening to me.
The author lets us know that when we trigger high blood sugars repeatedly and/or over sustained periods, more fat will accumulate. The more fat, the poorer your response to insulin, since the deep visceral fat of the wheat belly is associated with poor responsiveness or ‘resistance’ to insulin, demanding higher and higher insulin levels. And this leads to diabetes.
Chapter 3 wraps up with an explanation of gluten as well as the other non-gluten proteins in wheat. These can cause allergic or anaphylactic reactions so just because it’s not gluten doesn’t mean it’s not harmful.
Phew! That was a lot of info packed into 3 chapters. What did y’all think while you were reading? Any new revelations? Anything not surprising to you? Is it making you want to start the wheat detox now? 🙂
Please add comments below and let’s all discuss.
The next post will cover ch 4-6 and is set to publish Saturday, 7/19