Thursday, April 18, 2013

THE HUNGRY GAMES -- HOW WHEAT IS MAKING YOU HUNGRY, AMONG OTHER BAD THINGS

I don't eat very much bread, except when I do eat bread. Then it's hard for me to stop. Eat only half of my bagel? Impossible! Just one cookie? No way.  Now I understand the reason for that: gliadin.

In the 70's concentrated effort went into hybridizing  wheat so it could help "feed the world." This effort led to new forms of wheat that increased  yields per acre by 10 times. By the 1980's over 90% of wheat grown in the world was some form of "improved" high-yielding wheat. This wheat is short, has thick stalks, big seed heads, and it has more gliadin. Gliadin is a protein and it affects the brain like an opiate -- it doesn't make you high, but it makes wheat addictive.

While I was in bed most of two weeks with the flu,  I listened to hours of lectures on YouTube by the author of Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis, MD. His lectures are all quite similar, but some include questions from the audience at the end. You can hear panic in their voices as they consider what giving up wheat will mean to their diets... no more pizza, birthday cake, PASTA!  Here's the thing they can't appreciate until they give wheat up: they're not going to be hungry as much, not nearly as much! Therefore what to eat is going to be of less concern.

On average, people who cut wheat out of their diets consume  400 calories less per day just by virtue of not being hungry. On average, people who cut wheat out of their diets completely, lose 22 lbs. Most of the weight comes off their middles and that happens fairly quickly.

You don't have to commit to a life without wheat to test how it affects your hunger. Do an experiment: Start your day with a breakfast of eggs and veggies or eggs, meat, and veggies and see how soon it is before you're hungry again.  Then have a lunch that doesn't include any wheat  (check labels -- wheat is ubiquitous... it's in soups and salad dressings ... it's in Twizzlers). See how long before you're hungry again.... Do the same at dinner. Notice how well you sleep. Oh, and don't forget, a lot of beers are made from wheat, so drink something else.

I'm not super overweight and I don't eat a lot of wheat, but I gave up wheat completely 16 days ago and have already lost two inches around my middle.

I totally recommend reading Wheat Belly. But if you're not a reader, here's one of the author's lectures (there are many more on YouTube). Check out the Wheat Belly Facebook page to see the different ways cutting out wheat has improved peoples' health.

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