Wheat: The Bad and the Ugly!

by Steven Carney on September 6, 2012

NOTE: Please check out the multiple link updates for this post!

Although many people think wheat is healthy, modern wheat, with it’s numerous manipulations and hybridizations is no longer a good choice! Its nutritional benefits are largely a myth now! Wheat comes in many forms, from breads, crackers and pasta to many processed foods containing wheat flour, gluten, modified food starch, hydrolyzed plant or veggie proteins, etc. (12/3/12 Note: Dr. Davis appeared on the Dr. Oz show today and I’ve added a link to a page about his research and book, “Wheat Belly.” See below).

Problems with wheat

Wheat and it’s nutritional content has been significantly altered over several decades and it can trigger a whole range of bad, even ugly health problems:

  • Spikes in blood sugar (from a high-glycemic index)
  • Increased cravings and hunger (you’ll want more)
  • Increased insulin resistance (can become diabetes)
  • Atherosclerosis/heart disease/heart attack
  • Digestive problems (bloating, discomfort, diarrhea/constipation, nausea, etc.).
  • Gut inflammation (can spread to other tissues)
  • Auto-immune problems/inflammation (immune system attacks your own tissues)

History and genetic changes

Although wheat has been used as a food source for thousands of years, modern wheat is no longer the same grain (see second link below). The changes in wheat’s genetic make-up explain the health problems with wheat now. Modern wheat no longer resembles ancient wheat in appearance and it doesn’t digest the same. Modern wheat has been altered over the last 50 years to have:

  • A shorter stalk size
  • More weather resistance
  • More disease resistance
  • Higher yields
  • 50% more starch and gluten protein

Gluten

What is gluten? It’s a protein complex found in wheat and rye foods. As mentioned above, gluten levels are much higher now compared to decades ago. Aside from weather and disease resistance, bakers wanted a more chewy texture for their baked goods. It also helps to trap gasses during baking, allowing baked goods to rise higher. Both changes added more gluten to wheat. Gluten includes 2 main proteins, gliadin and glutelins, with gliadin thought to be more responsible for wheat’s negative health effects (see above list).

Is gliadin the real culprit?

Gliadin (gly´-a-din) appears to be the main source of health problems from wheat, especially for those with gluten sensitivity, intolerance or auto-immune responses, which triggers antibodies (like you have a virus). An estimated 15% (or more) of U.S. adults may have sensitivity to wheat gluten. It’s also reported that gluten intolerance has increased 4 fold (about 400%) over the 50 years since wheat has been altered to provide higher yields.

One of the most serious health problem from gluten is Celiac’s, an autoimmune disorder where the body attacks gluten/gliadin like it’s a foreign invader. That process harms intestinal health and function. That auto-immune process can destroy the cells that line the small intestine (the villi) that allow you absorb nutritional elements, such as vitamins and minerals.

Besides the loss of nutrients, you may have weight loss, fatigue, brain/mood problems, and inflammatory conditions and diseases. Gluten intolerance may also contribute to IBS, although stress and bacterial overgrowth are also IBS contributors (see my post on Digestive Health for more info).

Finding alternatives

Helping people find healthy alternatives to wheat and wheat products is part of my job as a health coach. And if you look at other posts on health problems and diseases, I’ve mentioned wheat many times. After all the research and experience I’ve have, I can say that modern wheat is an unhealthy food for most people!

Feel free to ask a question or comment on this post. You can also follow me on social media. See the icons in the upper right.

Helpful links:

http://www.ehow.com/about_4695791_foods-containing-gluten-gliadin-proteins.html

http://www.plantcell.org/content/22/4/993.full

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/gluten-intolerant-myth-meme-or-epidemic

http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/02/13/three-hidden-ways-wheat-makes-you-fat/

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2011/oct2011_Wheat-The-Unhealthy-Whole-Grain_01.htm

http://blog.trackyourplaque.com/2011/10/why-wheat-makes-you-fat.html

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-gliadin.htm

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/

10/8/12 update: Here is a video I found from Dr. Davis about modern wheat and its problems:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7420352n

12/3/12: A new update from Dr. Davis’ appearance on Dr. Oz on the terrible problems of wheat:

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/todays-wheat-making-you-gain-weight

2/10/13: I added this incredible summary from Dr. Davis which covers the myrid health problems with wheat. If you read everything he says, you will never eat wheat again (or give it to your family):

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/02/heart-healthy-whole-grains-and-the-new-agenda-for-the-wheat-lobby/ 

I ran across this informative post from Dr. Davis on how wheat gliadin ruins health and I decided to include here:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/03/anatomy-of-a-poison-2/

Yet another insightful post by Dr. Davis on the serious mood and behavioral problems related to wheat proteins:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/04/open-mouth-close-mind/

A new post by Dr. Davis with more detail about the ways wheat makes you fat and sick:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/04/earth-to-jillian-its-not-about-gluten/

A new book by Dr. David Perlmutter supports and expands on the health problems of wheat. He goes into various negative effects including dementia:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/carbs-messing-brain-142900086.html

A new post from Dr. Davis about wheat gliadin and all of the shocking autoimmune problems it can cause:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/10/gliadin-the-universal-human-poison/ 

Some additional and updated info (10/2013) about wheat problems from Dr. Davis and other experts:

http://www.realfarmacy.com/modern-wheat-is-the-perfect-chronic-poison-says-expert/

Here is a new article from Dr. Perlmutter on wheat and gluten, covering inflammation and diseases:

http://www.drperlmutter.com/leading-science-says-gluten-threat/

© 2012 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now

{ 10 comments }

concepcion April 24, 2013 at 3:16 PM

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Steve Carney April 24, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Thanks! I’ll be putting up a new post this morning on 3 medical myths.

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Any recommendations or tips for other good info?

Steve Carney April 26, 2013 at 7:16 PM

You found an older post. I’m up to #81 now. You can go to the home page and scroll down to see all the others!

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