I’ve really been struggling lately with what is right or wrong regarding wheat. I really hate to see wheat demonized. I love my wheat – it’s soooo good in a nice, fresh loaf of home baked bread or some angel hair pasta with homemade sauce…right? Or is that part of the problem? Yes, it is tasty, for sure. And whole grains are good for us, aren’t they? Well, I read an article today on Mind, Body, Green by Kerry Shaw. Kerry interviewed the author of the book “Wheat Belly,” Dr. William Davis. This interview made me sit up and take notice. I felt like they were describing me – when you eat wheat, you feel stimulation of appetite, addictive food relationships, insatiable cravings, headaches, anxiety, nervousness, etc. It’s described as being like an opiate addiction. OK, then, that explains a lot of things! Like how when I eat just a little bit of wheat, I want to eat a whole loaf of garlic bread or box of crackers. I want every salty, crunchy thing I can get my hands on. Do I give in to these cravings? No…I don’t! But the point is, I am craving bad…Lisa want a cracker? You bet I do.
Anyway, the article also discusses how and why just cutting back doesn’t really help. I was on a 6-week program that eliminated grains and sugar. The only grain I could eat was quinoa, and that was even limited. I did really well on this plan. I felt great, eliminated cravings, flattened my stomach and lost 7.5 pounds. I am in the phase now of adding back in grains and natural sugars gradually. So, I added some wheat back in…watch out! I became like a mad woman. I had viscious mood swings and those cravings came back with a vengeance! Didn’t expect that at all. So, I’ve been wondering if it’s the whole grain wheat that’s causing the problem, or the maple syrup and honey that I use judisciously. After reading this article today, I really think it’s the wheat. I’m going to try cutting it back out of my diet and see if that helps.
It’s the gliadin protein in wheat that causes the problem. It has an opiate-like effect on the brain, so it is truly addictive. Wheat causes the formation of small LDL molecules, and can trigger heart disease. Wheat is in so many processed foods, too. You’ll find it in canned foods, soups, frozen dinners, licorice, salad dressing and so on. So, even when you think you are not eating wheat, you could be.
Here is my advice to you, my friends. Try eliminating wheat from your diet for 6 weeks. See how you feel. If you feel great, don’t add the wheat back in. Your body won’t miss it a bit. Eat whole, real foods – lots of fresh veggies, grass-fed meat in smaller amounts, full fat dairy, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds, lots of berries, beans, quinoa, wild rice. The healthy fats will help you feel satisfied and reduce those cravings. I challenge you to try it and see how you feel. Come on, I dare you! And I’ll be there all the way!