How fast things change! Just a blog ago, the gluten in wheat was singled out as the cause of many serious health issues, a troubling fact well explained by Robb Wolf in The Paleo Solution.
However, preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, identifies an even more insidious ingredient in wheat called amylopectin A, a form of glucose, in a very informative, clever (and must read!) new book called Wheat Belly. Because of amylopectin, wheat is higher on the glycemic index than table sugar. In fact, wheat shoots so much glucose into your bloodstream so fast that Davis argues wheat should be considered a Super Carbohydrate. Wheat is even worse than eating potato chips and candy bars.
Remember the problem with high levels of glucose in your bloodstream is that it leads to insulin resistance. Your liver converts the excess glucose to triglycerides and you get fatter, usually in the abdominal area. The visible abdominal fat is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind it and beneath the abdominal muscles, the fat is packed into your abdominal cavity, where it begins to secret numerous endocrine and immune system chemicals that lead to systemic inflammation that may cause diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other bad stuff. Davis provides plenty of powerful evidence and footnotes to follow-up on if you are an un-believer.
The more this TOJ learns about wheat, the more convinced I am that it is something to avoid as much as possible. Wheat consumption is directly contributing to the rising levels of obesity and chronic disease in America. The Big Agri-Business Wheat Lobby made sure that grains remained on the new 2011 USDA
Food Plate that replaced the old Food Pyramid.
As Dr. Davis makes the case, you can get all the nutrients you need from the other food groups. If you do eat grains, they should constitute of only a select few grains, such as flax seed, which has no carbs, and plenty of protein and fiber.
On this TOJ's plate, the grains are a shrinking sliver, and wheat has completely disappeared.