2013 has turned out be the year I raised my consciousness about the health effects of foods, including some seemingly “healthy” foods. My first eye-opening experience happened in April. I spent 20 days on The Plan, The Lyn-Genet Plan reduces chronic low grade inflammation which …, to determine which foods are good for my body and those that aren’t. My second enlightenment occurred in September after I read The New York Times bestseller, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, Wheat Belly Blog | Lose the Wheat Lose the Weight. While I had cursory knowledge about wheat and gluten it wasn’t until I read the book that I really understood why wheat is so problematic even for those who don’t suffer from Celiac Disease. While the book goes into great depth about wheat, I want to highlight the three points I found most thought-provoking.
1. It’s not what it used to be
As with many other commodity crops, wheat has been genetically modified in order to increase yield and decrease production costs. Wheat strains have been hybridized and crossbred, to make the wheat plant resistant to environmental conditions such as drought, or pathogens, such as fungi. Today, it barely resembles the natural form of its forefathers.
2. It’s everywhere
Wheat is big business. There are obvious places where wheat is present: breads, bagels, rolls, cereals, pasta, cakes, muffins, pizza, cupcakes, cookies, snack cakes, crackers, beer, whiskey, etc. It’s also an ingredient in many products as a filler or thickening agent. For example, in sauces, gravies, condiments, candy bars, chewing gum, cake frosting, fruit fillings, corn chips, potato chips, granola bars, soups, bisque, veggie burgers and seasoning mixes. And this is the short list. Wheat shows up in just about every grocery store aisle.
3. It can compromise your health
Wheat has been linked to many health conditions; cholesterol, diabetes, vision, Celiac Disease, digestion, weight gain, joint aches and arthritis. It also impacts brain tissue and other nervous system structures. Furthermore, wheat is an appetite stimulant. This explains why I was never satisfied with one bagel, cookie or slice of pizza.
My reason for writing this is not bash wheat, the book does that, but it is to continue to help raise awareness that foods both processed and unprocessed can dramatically influence your health, your career and how you live your life.
Learning about various foods and their impact has been life changing for me. Armed with the causal relationship of food to my health, I have greater control over how I’m feeling, my energy level, my weight, my clarity of thought (yes I have a clearer mind), my skin and my ability to accomplish more of what makes my life interesting each and every day.