Like me, you have probably heard all your life that whole grains are good for you and that wheat is a healthy staple. But the truth is that these are NOT a healthy option even if they do not appear to cause problems in the short term. As usual, if we take a look at the facts and put aside our conditioning and mental programming the truth can be seen.
Awareness is growing that refined grains and white flour are best avoided but whole grains still enjoy an image of wholesome goodness in most people’s minds. However, there are many reasons why whole grains are not a food to which the human genome is suitably adapted to consume. In Episode 42 of “Living outside the matrix” Dr William Davis shares some surprising truths about wheat in particular and whole grains in general that illustrate why this is so.
Some of the Problems with Whole Grains
Gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease are both on the increase today and can be attributed to the consumption of wheat and other (but not all) whole grains. But gluten causes a cascade of problems for all of us, not just people with these conditions. Gluten is only partially degraded by human digestion and some of the breakdown products, or peptides, act as opioids in the brain. These induce behavioural changes and also stimulate the appetite and the extra consumption of approximately 400 calories a day. For this reason, wheat is discretely put into many processed foods to stimulate consumers to eat more of that product.
Gliadin is one of the breakdown products of Gluten in wheat and other whole grains and it triggers a process that stimulates Zonulin in the gut to open up the tight junctions between the cells of the gut lining. Normally this amazingly intelligent membrane lets in nutrients and prevents the absorption of un-wholesome substances as well as controlling the excretion of toxins. However, gliadin disrupts this process and is one of the factors responsible for creating a leaky gut and thus destroying the crucial barrier between the body and the outside world, compromising this intelligent epithelial membrane and undermining the immune system. Now wheat germ agglutinin and lipo-polysaccharides and many other lectins and harmful substances can enter the body and cause serious problems over the medium to long-term.
According to Dr Williams Gliadin from Gluten has been associated with hundreds of ill-health conditions. However, we must resist the temptation to focus exclusively on Gluten. There are so many other problems with wheat.
Lectins in Wheat and Whole Grains
Wheat germ agglutinin or WGA is a lectin that protects wheat from various pests such as insects, yeasts, molds and bacteria. So strains of wheat with higher quantities of WGA have been selectively bred into modern wheat to increase pest resistance. However, Dr Williams points out that WGA is a potent gastrointestinal toxin to humans in only nanogram quantities. If you eat a standard ‘healthy diet’ containing whole grains at most meals you will ingest about 20 mg per day!
Like Gluten and the Glyphostae sprayed copiously on wheat as a herbicide and as a desiccant, WGA increases intestinal permeability and damages the gut lining triggering an auto-immune response and various disorders in due course. It is also highly inflammatory once in the blood. Given that inflammation is the root cause of all disease (according to Dr Zach Bush in this previous interview) this means that eating wheat and other whole grains is a comprehensive onslaught on the integrity of the gut. It is vital to know this because gut health is foundational to overal health. Whole grains, and particularly wheat, seriously compromise gut lining integrity. But it doesnt stop there. A compromised gut lining also means a leaky blood brain barrier from the zonulin that goes systemic around the body. All manner of auto-immune conditions can be traced to a leaky gut, and modern wheat is one of the worst culprits.
WGA also binds directly with insulin receptor sites and is as effective as insulin at enhancing glucose storage in the body while inhibiting the burning of stored fat. This combined with the appetite stimulant effects of gliadin inevitably leads to weight gain and the impossibility of losing the gained weight. For more on the adverse effects of WGA check out this research paper.and also this study at science direct.
Amylopectin in Grains
According to Wikipedia, “Amylopectin is a water-soluble polysaccharide and highly branched polymer of glucose found in plants. It is one of the two components of starch, the other being amylose.”
Amylopectin is the main carbohydrate found in wheat and other whole grains. It a complex carbohydrate the like of which we are told is good for us. This is not true. It has a higher glycemic index ounce for ounce than white sugar. Thus eating grains increases blood sugar and raises insulin levels which have a cascade of negative effects on the human body leading to metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s – all of which are linked to insulin resistance. Eating wheat and whole grains is therefore even worse than eating sugar.
Other Problems with Wheat and Whole Grains
Another constituent of wheat and whole grains are Phytates. Like lectins, these phytates harm pests and so researchers have developed strains of wheat and other whole grains with higher natural levels of phytates in order to enjoy the extra pest resistance. But none of these developments have taken into account the ultimate effect on human health of consuming increased levels of phytates.
Phytates in wheat and whole grains bind with the mineral and nutrients in our diet blocking their absorption in the gut. Therefore, most of the Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and Zinc obtained in our diet is prevented from being absorbed and used by the body. The nutritious credentials trumpeted by many fans of whole grains are therefore questionable at best. Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium are deficient in most people and grains (particularly wheat) are a significant cause.
If all these things in wheat and whole grains weren’t bad enough, they are also sprayed with many toxic herbicides and pesticides such as Glyphosate, Imazamox on ‘Clearfield Wheat’, and then more Glyphosate as a desiccant to kill and pre-dry the crop ready for a conveniently timed harvest.
There much more to this topic than I have space for in this post. So to get the full story pick up a copy of Dr Davis’ book “Wheat Belly” and begin your own research. Be aware there are plenty of voices saying the opposite as well such as Dr John Mc Dougall and his book “The Starch Solution”. But when you begin to understand the science behind eating starch and its effects on blood sugar, you can also begin to spot which sources of information are true and which are not.
- Visit www.wheatbellyblog.com for more from Dr William Davis to pursue your self-education into this crucial subject.
- Pick up a copy of Dr Davis’ book Wheat Belly to get the full story.
- Also the “Wheat Belly 30-Minute (or Less!) Cookbook: 200 quick and simple recipes”
- Plus the “Wheat belly 10-day detox” The grain-free plan to reprogramme your body for rapid weight loss and amazing health”.
- Wheat Belly Total Health: The effortless grain-free health and weight-loss plan
- Also Dr David Perlmutter’s excellent book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers
- And Dr Joseph Mercola’s groundbreaking book “The No Grain Diet”
Under the guise of being a healthy food choice whole grains are in fact a health-compromising food leading to a whole host of problems such as; Insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, auto-immune disorders, visceral fat accumulation, heart disease and so on. Consumption of modern wheat, therefore, is enormously detrimental to health putting us at hugely increased risk of developing chronic disease.
If it is health that you seek, if it is chronic disease avoidance, longevity and a fully functioning mental faculty well into your old age that you seek, then avoidance of wheat and all whole grains should be a part of your healthy eating strategy. It is vitally important to eat real food to which the human genome is truly adapted and to do this we must question the conditioning and propaganda that often tells you the opposite of the truth.
I trust that you got some value from this Blog post and Podcast. As usual please feel free to join the conversation and leave a message below. Most of all I hope you appreciate that you must think outside the box and visit subjects of enquiry that you may never previously have thought about if you wish to remain healthy in the context of the many unseen health hazards that we face today.
Treehouse farm, May 2018