By Karen Perry, a freelance writer with a passion for health and wellness.
If you listen to popular advertising, we should all be consuming more whole grains in our diet. While some whole grains are thought to have positive health benefits, our country’s obsession with wheat products may be wreaking havoc on our health.
The Wheat of our Ancestors
The strain of wheat we eat today was invented about 50 years ago as a way to feed the world’s ever-growing population. Through selective breeding and hybridization, we now consume wheat that is far different from what was eaten by our ancestors and according to many experts, nowhere near as healthy. The wheat of our ancestors contained far less starch and gluten than the wheat of today. In addition to the increase in gluten, wheat contains high amounts of amylopectin A, a carbohydrate that causes a rapid rise and fall in blood sugar. Mark Hyman, M.D., a leader in the field of functional medicine, compares eating two slices of bread as being equivalent to consuming two tablespoons of sugar.
Not Just a Concern for the Gluten-Sensitive
According to Dr. Hyman, the wheat we eat today has a form of super-fattening starch, contains more inflammatory gluten and is highly addictive. This is not just a concern for people with celiac disease but a health concern for everyone who consumes wheat. Celiac disease is a serious condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing nutrients. People with celiac disease can’t consume the gluten in wheat, barley, rye (and possibly oats) and must adhere to a lifelong gluten-free diet. People can also be sensitive to gluten without developing celiac disease and often see an improvement in their symptoms when they remove wheat products from their diet. Even if you have no obvious symptoms of gluten-sensitivity, it’s important to know that the consumption of wheat has been linked to many chronic diseases, including the autoimmune diseases lupus and rheumatoid arthritis as well as diabetes and heart disease.
Are Grains Even Necessary?
According to scientists, modern humans are genetically identical to humans Since the beginning of time. But our wheat is ever changing, especially with the genetic modification of so much of it. There are strong arguments that we’re simply not built to consume grains, which may explain the high rate of chronic diseases found in grain consuming populations. We’ve been told that whole grains are an important part of our diet but is it really true? Many experts believe that all vital nutrients are better delivered by fruits and non-starchy vegetables than by grains of any kind.
To read more on the subject, check out:
Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat by Dr. Mark Hyman
Gluten-free diet: What’s allowed, what’s not by The Mayo Clinic
On the evils of wheat – an interview with Dr. William Davis
Tompkins Family Chiropractic is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care and helping families live a healthy lifestyle. If you’d like to connect with Dr. Tompkins and Tompkins Family Chiropractic, call 520-572-2596.