If you’ve been following me for a while, then I hope you have long given up wheat and other grains. However, for those who may be new to my site or anyone who might need a refresher or reinforcement on some of the reasons this toxin should not be part of the diet, here are a few eye opening facts.
Are you to unable to lose weight even though you follow what you think is a healthy diet, or you’re happy with your weight, but can’t seem to tighten up your soft midsection and stubborn love handles?
There is a reason why those flabby rolls stick around in spite of your efforts. Whether your food choices are packed with nutrients or overflowing with empty calories, wheat is contained in almost every meal of the average person.
Wheat contains easily digestible carbohydrates that quickly raise blood sugar, stimulate your appetite, and increase the number of calories you consume. This makes fat loss just about impossible.
Wheat Increases Your Blood Sugar Levels Dramatically
All carbohydrates are not alike. Wheat contains highly digestible carbohydrates that quickly enter into your blood stream after converting to glucose (sugar). Whether you eat a slice of whole grain bread or indulge in a cupcake, wheat increases your blood sugar much more quickly than other carbohydrates. As a matter of fact, according to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health, two pieces of whole wheat bread will increase blood sugar levels more than table sugar and candy bars.
Your body needs some glucose for fuel, but high levels can be toxic. In order to get blood sugar levels under control, insulin stores the glucose into your fat cells.
Over time, your blood sugar levels are repeatedly elevated. Your body needs to continually produce insulin in increasing amounts in order to stabilize your blood sugar levels. The amount of insulin that used to be enough to accomplish this task is no longer sufficient.
Insulin is a fat-storing hormone. As levels of insulin increase, more fatty acids are stored into your fat cells. As long as high levels of insulin are being released the body cannot burn fat.
Say you eat a whole grain cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and spaghetti for dinner. Your blood sugar levels spike several times throughout the day, and insulin continually rushes in to feed your fat cells.
Wheat Stimulates Your Appetite After a Blood Sugar Roller Coaster Ride
Your hands start shaking. Your legs feel wobbly. Brain fog begins to cloud your ability to think clearly. You feel this urgency to eat something as soon as possible.
Insulin has done its job, and now your high blood sugar levels have gone in the opposite direction. A ravenous hunger is your body’s way of protecting itself from dangerously low blood sugar levels.
Low blood sugar causes you to overeat as a result of an urgent need to bring it back to normal. You also tend to reach for foods that contribute to this up and down cycle, like cookies, candy, crackers or pretzels.
Try this experiment: instead of your usual whole grain cereal or bagel for breakfast, eat a high-protein breakfast. Steak and eggs or broiled salmon with avocado will help to keep your blood sugar levels consistent. Instead of a sandwich for lunch, have steamed vegetables with a chicken breast or buffalo burgers. Your snack cravings will decrease and you will have more energy throughout the day.
Wheat is Addictive and Adds Excess Calories to Your Meals
Wheat products stimulate feelings of euphoria. Its addictive effects make it difficult to stop at one slice of cake or pizza, so you overeat and even binge. Wheat’s polypeptides can cross the blood-brain barrier, reaching the brain’s opiate receptors.
Wheat’s polypeptides stimulate the brain in a way that is similar to narcotics. Drugs that block opiate receptors have been shown to be effective in reversing the adverse effects of wheat. Dr. William Davis, says that wheat may produce “drug-like neurological effects that can be reversed with medications used to counter the effects of narcotics.”
When you remove wheat from your diet, cravings generally tend to set in just like they do for a drug addict. However, if you keep wheat out of your diet, then cravings will subside in a few weeks and you will feel better both physically and mentally. Most people begin to lose body fat almost immediately.
Research has shown that those who follow wheat-free diets eat significantly fewer calories than those who include wheat in their meals. This is accomplished without any other dietary restrictions.
Wheat Allergy Causes Cravings and Weight Gain
Many people have an undiagnosed allergy or sensitivity to wheat, because the human body is simply not designed to consume this product. Your body launches an immune response against wheat, producing antibodies towards it which results in inflammation and wide variety of other symptoms. When you eat wheat, it will temporarily alleviate some of these symptoms by inhibiting the antibodies that were generated, but then create more. So you will get stuck in a vicious cycle of craving and eating more and more of this food. The inflammation produced by food sensitivities can also inhibit sufficient levels of leptin, a hormone that is needed to turn off your hunger.
Additionally, both food sensitivity and the up and down rollercoaster ride of blood sugar and insulin are a form of stress on the body, which sets off the stress response system and a cascade of hormones like adrenalin and cortisol. Adrenalin triggers your liver to deliver glycogen (stored sugar) into the blood stream, and thus increasing your blood sugar levels even more. Thus, insulin will be released to remove this sugar and shuffle it into the fat cells and hunger will increase. Furthermore, a flood of feel-good neurotransmitters like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and GABA are released when we are under stress, because they are called upon to help us cope with the situation. So we may crave the foods that are bad for us, because of this boost in neurotransmitters that produces a mild euphoria.
However it’s important that you do not replace your wheat products with a bunch of gluten-free cookies, cereals, breads, pasta, etc., because these are also high in carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar and cause the same spike in blood sugar, release of insulin, storage of fat and stress response. Grains and starches of all kinds should be eliminated and replaced with meat and low-starch vegetables.
See for yourself how effective a wheat-free diet can be. Set a goal to replace breads, cereals, pasta, and crackers with meats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables for one month. You have nothing to lose but those stubborn love handles!
Davis, William. Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale, 2011. Print.