Do You Have A Wheat Belly?

Wheat and gluten food allergies have become increasingly prevalent in today's society. We've all heard of people going "gluten-free" to the extent that some think it is simply the latest trend in health and nutrition. What is the whole story? Is there actually benefit to going gluten and wheat free if you know you don't have an actual food allergy? Aren't we supposed to eat healthy whole grains? I asked myself all of these questions and was able to find some of the answers by reading Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. Although somewhat extreme in his views on wheat and gluten the book is a great resource that summarizes a lot of information on the history of wheat and how it has become so engrained (no pun intended!) in the North American diet. He also addresses a lot of the physiology behind various disease processes and how wheat plays a role, in particular the connection between obesity and wheat consumption. The book concludes with steps on how to implement a wheat and gluten free lifestyle including recipes and diet plans. 

I have recommended this book to many of my patients because it dispels misconceptions about the connections between dieting, wheat and sugar. I feel as though if people know what is going on in there body when they eat these foods they may be more likely to make better food choices. One of the main points that Davis makes in his book is that losing and maintaining weight is much more complex than simply counting calories in versus calories out. There are many hormonal processes that are at play which influence how and when your body stores fat. One of the main hormones is insulin

Insulin is released when carbohydrates are absorbed into the blood stream. This hormone tells the tissues of your body to absorb and use the sugar in your blood for energy. When you consume foods that are quickly absorbed into your blood stream a blood sugar spike is created, meaning that a lot of sugar is in your blood at one time. This results in a coinciding spike of insulin which is your body's way of trying to use up all that excess sugar in your blood. When your body has too much sugar to deal with at one time, insulin then stores the extra as fat. Your body takes the extra sugar from a blood sugar spike and converts it to fat, storing it most commonly as belly fat, hence creating the belly we all know and love.

Davis continues, saying the kicker is that today's genetically modified wheat spikes your blood sugar more than eating pure table sugar. People are unknowingly consuming wheat and wheat- based products because they have been told to eat healthy whole grains, meanwhile these foods are spiking peoples blood sugar day in and day out leaving behind the dreaded wheat belly. 

The book goes on to explain potential associations between wheat consumption and various other diseases such as osteoporosis, psoriasis, metabolic syndrome and irritable bowel disease. I highly recommend checking this book out for a quick read from your local library. Although completely eliminating wheat can be a very overwhelming and daunting task reading about it can only empower you to make healthier food choices in the future. Wouldn't you love to work on getting rid of that extra belly fat thats been following you around? Try going wheat free for a day and you'll see that it really isn't that hard.  Make sure to comment below if you have any questions and check out our recipe section for some great gluten- and wheat-free options. 



Lisa said...

I find the only hard part is when I don't have pre-made snacks in the house. I use to love grabbing crackers or a slice of bread. Here is a good Gluten-Free Bread Recipe which I have been making in my bread maker Just add all the wet ingredients, then dry and make sure the yeast goes in last and doesn't touch the wet. :)

“Flour Mix”
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup flax seed meal

Dry Ingredients
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
2 eggs
2 additional egg whites
1 cup water, room
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons apple cider

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