Wheat Overkill May Kill Us

Wheat Overkill May Kill Us

It’s hard not to believe in a correlation between the growth of veganism and vegetarianism, which sharply limited the types of foods one can eat;  the  USDA’s food pyramid of 1992, and the growth of wheat intolerance.

Wheat may kill us if we don’t kill this misconception that so much bread and pasta are so good for us.

The USDA made a huge mistake in 1992 by placing 6-11 daily servings of wheat and grains –at the expense of all other food groups — as the foundation of the first food pyramid, but it was an easy sell to the children of the 80s and 90s who have been propagandized and socialized to become vegetarians and vegans.  The vegan food pyramid, above, created by the American Dietetic Association, shows grains and cereal as its largest component. 1

It’s not hard to quit eating meat and dairy when bread, cereal, pizza and pasta taste so good. After all, products made of grain easily fit into the formula that was the foundation of the good diet as taught in our health education classes.

We live with the consequences of a national wheat overdose.  The food industry had to keep up with the increased demand for wheat products, and bagels grew much bigger.  Let’s remember that grains were only introduced into the diet about 10,000 years ago, and that our wheat had been modified over time with increased gluten.  A person following the 1992 food pyramid was likely to get a diet consisting of 60% carbohydrates, while a vegan was likely to  to eat up to 80% carbohydrates, each ignoring the necessary balance of fats and proteins.  (At the same time, non-fat diets were the rage and the food processing industry replaced the fat with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.)

Now we have a diabetes epidemic because wheat, which converts into glucose in the body and combines with sugars and starches, creates insulin surges.  Also, there is an epidemic of auto-immune diseases which bear some connection to the effects of excess grains and wheat. 2   Additionally,  celiac disease affects 1% of the American population, and another large group (estimated between 15%-40%) have wheat sensitivities.  Heartburn has been linked to to excessive wheat consumption. 3   Crohn’s disease, arthritis, hypothyroidism, sinusitis, stomach cramps, headaches, acne, eczema are a few of the symptoms of wheat allergy or intolerance.

Wheat intolerance can come on at any time at any age. It can develop gradually or suddenly. 4  Most often gluten is the component in wheat (and other grains) that causes illness.  Gluten is the protein which, like a glue, holds the wheat together by trapping gas and making wheat rise.   Fortunately, the body is equipped  with mechanisms to get rid of too much sugar in the blood and hard-to-digest proteins like gluten, but these mechanisms wear out from overwork. 5

Those sensitive to wheat can have gluten allergies, gluten intolerances, and/or allergies and intolerance to another compound in wheat.   There are genes for celiac disease, but not everyone who carries the genes develops it.  Many people have it without knowing it. 6  Given that 30% of the population of European ancestry carry these genes, the continuance of high wheat consumption may make those numbers grow.  Although the revised food pyramid of 2005 put at least three servings of whole grains into that food category, switching to whole wheat does not help, and in fact can be worse. wheat1.jpg

It cannot be stated that an excess of wheat is the only cause of these growing healthcare problems, but no one can safely argue it is not a contributing factor.  Antibiotics which take the good and bad bacteria out of the gut, may also be implicated in the development of certain forms of gluten intolerance.  There are two broad condition types arising from gluten overdose: immune response such as inflammation and malabsorption of nutrients.   Two  auto-immune conditions, rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, correlate strongly with wheat sensitivity.

The good news is that if wheat is the cause of health problems, eliminating wheat and gluten is so much healthier than medications. (Many allergy doctors only test for celiac disease, not other wheat intolerance.)  Instead of getting the battery of medical tests to pinpoint the intolerance, simply stopping wheat grain consumption for a month to six weeks may cause symptoms of illness to go away. The other grains with gluten, such as rye and barley (used to make beer) must be avoided, but rice, corn and possibly oats are safe. 7  Gluten is a hidden ingredient in soy sauces and salad dressings, however.   If one insists on having pasta and dough, there are refined, gluten-free substitutes for wheat products.

After working out health problems, wheat intolerant people other than celiacs may be able to go back to sprouted wheat or wheat made of sourdough. 8  Wheat has chemical leptins that act as opioids and release endorphins, making it difficult to give up wheat.  However, milk, spinach and beef may also have a certain amount of opioids. 9

Vegetarian websites are full of advice on how to be both vegan and gluten-free.  If you become vegetarian or vegan and develop wheat intolerance, your food choices will be limited more and more.

There should be a study of how many people developed the wheat intolerance after becoming vegetarian or vegan.

Even more importantly, there should be a study of how many people acquired an auto-immune disease after becoming vegetarian and/or vegan.   Regardless, many Americans will continue to develop symptoms and diseases of wheat intolerance if we do not change our idea that grains, usually in the form of wheat, are more important than other food groups.

 

Rice, shown above, is a suitable grain that may substitute for wheat

There are a number of good books which explain wheat and/or gluten sensitivity with recent educational and nutritional information.

Other recommended reading:

 

The robert randall elementary school, is using it as part of a blended learning program, for blended grades ranging from k to 6 and with the following blended subjects maths and language arts and used in both desktops and laptops
  1.   Food Pyramid information is from Wikipedia.  Loma Linda University has a vegetarian food pyramid less concentrated in grains, with beans included in its base.  Though the diet experts disagree on the proper  amount for each category, more and more the experts are beginning to come together to suggest a balance of 1/3 fats, 1/3 proteins and 1/3 carbohydrates
  2. Donna Jackson Nakazawa, The Auto-Immune Epidemic, New York: Touchstone Division of Simon and Schuster, 2008.
  3. Norm Robillard, PhD,  Heartburn Cured: The Low Carb Miracle, 2005.  A microbiologist explains how he cured his own gastroesophageal reflux disease by eating less carbohydrates, particularly complex carbohydrates like those made of wheat.  He believes that carbs not absorbed in the small intestine are eaten by microorganisms that metabolize the carbs to produce acid and gas which then drive the acid reflux upwards, see p.67-68.  In contrast, fats and proteins produce little gas. Robillard notes that both surgery and antacids can help heartburn sufferers, but these solutions come with unhealthy side effects.  The website is http://www.heartburncured.com/
  4. Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, FACN, The Gluten Connection, New York: Rodale Books, 2007, p. 81-82
  5. Lierre Keith, The Vegetarian Myth, Oakland: Flashpoint Press, 2009, p. 155-56 
  6. James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA, Dangerous Grains: Why Wheat Just May be Dangerous to Your Health, New York, 2002.  The book explains a broad spectrum of wheat sensitivities and how to determine if they effect you.
  7. Dr. Stephen Wangen, Healthier Without Wheat, Seattle: Innate Health Publishing, 2009, pp. 124-130 has explanatory lists of the grains and foods with or without gluten.
  8. http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-rise-of-the-gluten-intolerance/
  9. Wangen, pp. 49-50.  Keith, Braly and Hoggan also discuss the opioid effects of gluten
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4 comments

  1. I don’t know if I’ve always had a gluten intolerance, but it certainly did rear it’s head after 8 years of being vegetarian. Now I eat traditional foods (Weston Price, Nourishing Traditions by Fallon) without any wheat.

  2. We’re pretty screwed… and “Wonder Bread helps build strong bodies 12 ways”

  3. Stella Jane

    There is a “hidden factor” with wheat. NOT listed directly on labels. ALLOXAN a chemical used to induce diabetes in lab animals, is the BLEACH used. Unbleached means there is not any.
    ENRICHED however may contain that!
    It was considered an “insignificant” amount and grandfathered in as part of the process. Our bodies associate that with the wheat, and we get trace amounts of wheat as thickener in many processed food….and in every “burger bun” and cookie in our country. That’s why we have highest rate of diabetes WORLDWIDE. French cooks have taken bran out of wheat for how many years and not created health problems.
    This information is hidden in medical studies NOT released to the public. And for some reason, posts about this seem to disappear also.