How wheat wrecks your health
This includes whole grain and wholemeal wheat.
Wheat accounts for 20% of calories in the Western diet. It dominates meals and snacks: e.g. bread, pasta, cous cous, pizza, cakes, breakfast cereals.
The earliest record of wheat consumption dates back to Mesopotamia, and later, ancient Egypt, when people discovered that they could eat the seed heads of wild grasses.
Among the early grasses that produced nourishing food for people is the species called Einkorn, an ancestor of Spelt. Einkorn was widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean region, southwestern Europe and the Balkans. It was a nutritious grain with high levels of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Einkorn excelled at growing in cool environments and in thin soils of mountainsides.
As we move forward in history, Spelt was developed from Elkorn. Spelt has a different number of chromosomes to Einkorn. It exhibited more adaptability than the traditional grasses and could be grown in warmer regions. The high gluten content of Spelt made it an excellent candidate for the development of leavened bread.
Cultivated Einkorn wheat, along with some of the durum pasta wheats and durum variants such as Kamut® have the same number of chromosomes as the original Einkorn and are therefore low in gluten.
In the 1960s the fear of world-wide population explosion led to the development of a high-yielding wheat crop. Until this time, wheat grew to a height of approximately 150 cm high. In the 1970s a high-yielding semi-dwarf variety was developed, growing to only 60 cm high. This shorter plant grew faster, there was less waste, and the yield was ten times higher than the previous variety. In China, this semi-dwarf variety turned their wheat shortage into a surplus.
The new strain of wheat was not developed through traditional plant-breeding techniques. The methods used pre-date GMO technology, but in fact, a type of GMO technology was used. The new variety was herbicide resistant, meaning that you could spray the wheat crop with herbicide, killing all weeds, but the wheat would survive. How was this done? Through a change in the genetic code. The genome was genetically altered through exposure to the toxic chemical Sodium azide. There was also gamma radiation and mutations introduced.
Today, 99% of the world’s wheat comes from this strain.
This change in the genetic code is responsible for the rise in gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Pre-1970s, gluten intolerance and coeliac disease were virtually unknown. Today the statistics for the USA are 1 case in 130 people.
Most flour mills bleach their products with either benzoyl peroxide (the active ingredient in acne cremes and hair dyes) or chlorine dioxide, a potent poison also used to bleach paper products and textiles. Some add potassium bromate to artificially strengthen the flour, and in fact commercial bakeries have relied on this “improver” to permit flour to survive the violent and/or brief mixing times used and still create dough structure. Potassium bromate is a recognized carcinogen banned since 1990 in the EU, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but in the US the FDA has suggested only a voluntary curb.
And in addition,
In the factory bakery, the mixing of flour with municipal water and other “functional ingredients” can include, but is not restricted to, any of the following:
• Soy or canola oil and shortening (GMO), which gives products larger volume, finer cell structure, tender crust and soft texture;
• Esters of mono and diglycerides, which act as emulsifiers and anti-staling agents;
• Calcium propionate, a mold-inhibitor shown in studies to cause irritability, sleep disturbances and inattention in children, even at very modest intakes;
• Sodium stearoyl 2 lactylate, which increases dough absorption, improves mixing tolerance and machinability of dough, accelerates proof time, improves grain and texture, creates crust tenderness and extends shelf life;
• GM soy flour, goitrogenic and loaded with inhibitors, which creates whiter crumb;
• Dextrose, an easily fermentable sugar to feed yeast;
• Diacetyl tartaric acid, a chemical leavener;
• Azodicarbonamide, a flour oxidizer banned in EU, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, but permitted in US;
• Ammonium chloride, a form of nitrogen used by yeast to build protein;
• Gluten–yes more gluten–added for better texture and doughiness;
• Starch enzymes and several protein enzymes derived from GM technology to rapidly break down starches to sugars to feed the yeast and to “mellow” the gluten to allow for reduced mechanical mixing times. These enzymes are also engineered to survive baking temperatures and great variations in pH in order to impart anti-staling and softening qualities to the finished products. Enzymes and several of the other “improvers” are not required by law to be listed on ingredient labels, as they are considered to be “consumed” in the baking process, even though residues have been detected and the express purpose of several is to carry their functions through to the baked product and affect its life on the shelf.
Wheat is in most commercially processed foods, including soup and sweets.
Why? Modern wheat is an opiate and therefore stimulates the appetite and makes you want to eat more.
Wheat causes a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a ‘low’. It therefore is a huge contributor to diabetes.
To avoid wheat, you need to avoid processed food. Gluten-free ‘junk food’ is not a good alternative due to high starch content of corn or potato flours, which cause the same highs and lows in blood sugar.
What to eat instead: normal food such as meat, eggs, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds. (Rice in moderation, basmati having a lower Glycemic load to other rice).
In taking wheat out of the diet you may go through an opiate withdrawal which may last for 3 – 5 days. You may experience headache, nausea and fatigue, but this will pass.
Wheat messes up the bowel flora, so if going off wheat you can restore your bowel flora by taking a probiotic for a period of time. You will recover but it may take a few months of healthy eating.
William Davis, Wheat, the unhealthy wholegrain
William Davis, Wheatlessness, a 21st century strategy