Few things beat a warm, creamy drink in a cafe accompanied by a warm croissant, and that irresistable smell of freshly baked bread from the oven, or perfectly golden toast with delicious butter, right?
Well if this is one of your faves you might want to rethink your habits, as to your body this is pure poison.
If you are confused about bread because you heard your whole life that it is really good for you, I totally get it, so did I, for a long time. Even the government puts it at the base of the food pyramid, so then it must be good, right? Or is it time to question your beliefs around your eating habits and understand why we now have the biggest epidemic in lifestyle diseases we've ever had? It's all connected to what you put in your mouth and the stories that have been put in our minds.
Wheat - the white lie
We keep on hearing again and again, "Stay away from wheat, from gluten and grains", but why? And are all grains bad?
In this article I will explain to you why. If the lifestyle advice we have been hearing from big institutions for decades is indeed so good for us, why then are so many struggling with lifestyle diseases and conditions? Something is not right.
Being overweight to obese has in some parts of the world become the new norm. In 2020 70% of the north American population will be highly overweight to obese.
...and the conditions and health risks that follows are many. If we don't drastically change the way we eat and reassess our relationships to food, we are heading towards epidemics that are pretty dark when it comes to the onset and increase of diabetes, cancers, irritable bowl syndrome, heart disease, chronic fatigue and many other diseases currently connected to modern day living and lifestyle choices. It is an epidemic that needs to be addressed, and presently.
Gluten clogs your system
There is a jungle of conflicting information out there and my job as a vitality and detox coach is often unlearning a lot of the damaging information my clients have collected throughout their life.
But what is gluten, why is gluten bad and do you really need to take it out of your diet?
Gluten is a type of protein found in grains, such as wheat, barley and rye, that is responsible for giving foods elasticity and providing a chewy texture. It is also often added to other foods to modify the stability and structure of products. Many people have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, which can cause a slew of negative side effects when gluten is consumed from digestive issues to mood changes.
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, which makes refined flour the number 1 source of calories in the American diet.
Our relationship to bread is an old one, and one that there is a lot of childhood memories nostalgically attached to. Even one of the most said versions from the bible states "give us today our daily bread". It's imprinted in us at a cellular level.
Lets explore these topics together now a little deeper.
Is whole grain bread better than white breads?
Did you know that whole grains are among the unhealthiest foods you can consume? I know, it gets confusing sometimes.
On the plus side, there are major health benefits connected to cutting them out for good.
Whole grains spike your blood sugar. They are high glycemic foods that cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. They trigger inflammation and increase your risk for cancer, Alzheimer´s, heart disease, fatty liver and diabetes.
Accelerates aging and weight gain
The carbohydrates in wheat are rapidly transformed into glucose. It spikes your bloodsugar higher than almost all foods.
Digestive issues like bloating, constipation, gas and diarrheas are some of the main symptoms of gluten sensitivity, along with other side effects like fatigue and mood changes. It can create nutrient malabsorption, which could also be at the root of fatigue. Gluten clogs your system, creates mucus and makes your body swollen and puffy and expanded (like bread). You dont want that right?
Gluten is also known for making you sluggish and gives you brain fog, making it difficult to focus.
Did you know that in the old days they used to make glue from wheat flour and water? It is in the name. Glue-ten, or glue-ton like 'a ton of glue'. And you dont want to eat glue.
High insulin levels promote the storage of visceral belly fat, which surrounds your organs and sends metabolic messages that promote disease. High blood sugar speeds up the aging process and damages tissues like the skin in the form of wrinkles and lost elasticity.
Wheat flour spikes your blood sugar higher than almost all other foods. When you have high levels of insulin you also start storing this internal, visceral belly fat.
Is "gluten-free" bread better for you than regular bread?
Changing your diet from one including gluten, to one without, is one of the healthiest decisions you can make for your health. But swapping them out with commercial gluten-free options might not be the best solution. It depends on what they are made from. This is because most gluten-free breads, cereals, pastas, crackers and cookies use ingredients that actually can harm your body more then those made with wheat. These products usually contains chemical preservatives, yeast, soy, corn starch, syrups, different high glycemic starches, millet flour, sugars, GMOs and even high levels of arsenic. Ingredients in most gluten-free products will send your blood sugar into the stratosphere!
Can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
Most people gain weight on a diet with gluten. But this also goes for a gluten-free diet with the commercial substitutes for gluten. One study showed that 81% of people who adopted a gluten-free diet had gained weight after two years!
The conclusion is this, wheat turns to sugar in your body. And sugar triggers the same pleasure centre in the brain as drugs do to an addict. Wheat has drug like properties even more powerful than sugar. In addition to subtle euphoria, these opiates cause a repetitive cycle of cravings – for more grains. It is highly addictive!
The dark side of wheat
A diet with high amounts of wheat also increases the risk of getting a heart attack. At least 300 health-related issues have been linked to gluten. Gluten can also disrupt your hormonal system, weaken immunity, cause digestive problems and promote systemic inflammation (the cornerstone of degenerative disease). With each bite you are causing damage to nearly every tissue, system and organ in your body. Research shows that wheat can trigger a variety of autoimmune conditions.
The New England Journal of Medicine lists 55 conditions that can be caused by eating gluten, including: Cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia & chronic fatigue, thyroid disorders, enemia and epilepsy.
Avoid foods that contain these ingredients
Wheat, rye, barley, malt, brewer’s yeast
Here is a list of the healthier gluten- free grains
Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, gluten-free oats, nut flours, coconut flour
Gluten hides many places
Make sure to check the labels before you by these foods as gluten most likely is hiding in there: Canned soups and soup mixes, store-bought sauces, beers and malt beverages (look for gluten-free beer), flavoured potato chips, soy sauce, salad dressings, ground spices, instant coffee, puddings, liquorice, mustard.
I hope this was helpful for you. And hope you reconsider eating wheat and gluten products. My mission is always to spread the information about a happy and healthy lifestyle, making the most of what you have. Next time we will explore dairy and why you such stay away from it. It is a common misconception that dairy is good for us. IT'S NOT!
Milk, yoghurts, cheeses, sour creams and so many other dairy products are damaging your body and are NOT healthy! And this will be one of the next topics I will write about.
With love and gratitude from the plant kingdom - your Vitality and Detox Coach, Pia Meliane