Wheat Belly.

So I’ve just about finished reading the book “Wheat Belly” by William Davis, a cardiologist in the US. Pretty scary stuff.

Why is it so scary? Well, let’s start with a little bit of what wheat does to your body. Ever heard of the glycemic index? It’s a measure of how much a food affects your blood glucose level, measured in comparison to straight glucose (which would be 100 on the scale). Wheat measures in at 72, higher than table sugar (59). That’s right, eating that whole wheat slice of bread is worse for your body than a spoonful of sugar.

What does consuming simple carbohydrates do to the body anyway? Why be concerned about the glycemic index?

The sequence is pretty simple, as Dr. Davis describes it. “Carbohydrates trigger insulin release from the pancreas, which causes growth of “visceral” (belly) fat. Belly fat causes insulin resistance and inflammation. High blood sugars, triglycerides, and fatty acids damage the pancreas. After years of overwork, the pancreas succumbs to the thrashing it has taken from glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, and inflammation, essentially “burning out”, leaving a deficiency of insulin and an increase in blood glucose (also known as diabetes).”

Which is why, having been diagnosed with diabetes a year ago, and embracing a “paleo” diet, I was able to control my blood sugars and save my pancreas from further thrashing by the insulin-carbohydrate cycle.

In short? Read the book. It’ll change your perception on what’s healthy, and enlighten you to the host of problems associated not only with wheat, but the gluten in wheat, and other “healthy whole grains” (from celiac disease to diabetes, arthritis to addiction). Grains, by the way, turn out to be about the worst things we can consume for our health (despite what the agricultural lobby…I mean Canada Food Guide…tells you).

The “heart healthy” sign on the honey nut cheerios? It’s like putting a “now with less tar” sticker on a carton of cigarettes and calling it a health product.

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