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September 4, 2012

Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison"

Did that get your attention? It got mine too. Did everyone see the clip of Dr. William Davis on CBS This morning yesterday?  I only caught a few seconds of it but I did hear him say that modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison."

Strong words, but really - haven't you been wondering about this? As you know we lean heavily toward a paleo-kinda diet. I tried for years to be on the no/low fat, high carb thing and all it did was make me sick and tired and decidedly not that perfect size. So I threw everything I learned about nutrition from women's magazines out the window and started thinking for myself.  Now I'm not sick, not tired, and altho I'll never look like those anorexic girls parading around on the runway, I don't have any health problems and I don't take any of those medications advertise on TV.

Looking around lately I've been shocked and a little horrified at the number of people I personally know who are on some kind of restricted diet. Now these aren't foodie elitists trying to make some kind of political statement, these are regular, working people who can't afford the specialized diets that are improving their health. I know a lot of these people.

It has really been grinding on me lately - why are so many people so badly affected by their food? We didn't have food allergies when I was in school. I knew one kid who was a diabetic and there were only a handful of fat kids. So something changed. And why were so many people having so many digestive problems? One question has been noodling around in my noodle....

What if it wasn't the donuts themselves...what if it was a step back. What if it was the wheat?

Of course people have cultivated wheat for thousands of years, bread is the stuff of life, and the Bible talks about wheat as a blessing... so what gives?

Lean in, friends, your world is about to change..... what is currently being produced in this country is not the same wheat we've had throughout history. Its not your grandma's wheat and certainly not your great-grandma's wheat. Its a relatively new thing called semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant wheat. Its great for growing - as advertised it produces extremely high yields. Unfortunately one of the unintended consequences is that it produces a new protein called gliadin. Now this isn't the same as gluten, its different and it seems that most folks a susceptible to the health problems it appears to cause.

To be honest I've avoided Dr. Davis and his Wheat Belly. Mostly because he seemed a little like a slickster and I thought he was just another flash in the pan diet guru. But this interview with him (it runs about 4 minutes) is worth the watching. The interviewers had some pretty interesting expressions. I'm not sure if they thought he was nuts or if they were about to jump up from their chairs and throw away all of the bagels they were about to have for breakfast.

I was even more shocked to learn that his advice for folks is largely what we've been doing - eat single ingredient, non processed foods. Not what I expected from a slickster or a diet guru.

I did some further investigating - does everyone know my pal Wifezilla? She's got a blog about her nutritional experiences and is a lot more scientific than I am. So I asked her about this Davis character and she gave me some links that explain his ideas:

First Dr. Davis has some nuts and bolts info about this new wheat and why we might wanna be a little suspicious of it.... and then also there is the short version of it.  These links are from his blog about heart disease prevention here. There is also his blog about the Wheat Belly book.

What if this is all quackery and snake oil? Might be - but I sure think it warrants further investigation. What I know is that I cannot live by bread alone....and certainly not from the highly processed, chemical laden baked goods made with a "perfect, chronic poison" found on store shelves. Even if I make my own bread I know that I feel better if I stick to my meat-n-fat diet that keeps me upright, happy, and free of sickness and health problems.

Of course the easiest way to find out if its all just a bunch of baloney is to try it yourself. Can't give up your cheap $1/loaf sandwich bread, Puffy Wheaty-O's, or Costco sized tub of "cookies?"  Come on, friend, you can take some baby steps. And what if you did it? What if you admitted to yourself that what you are eating is largely culturally based and almost always because of marketing? What if you stopped wondering why you are sick and tired and not healthy and tried something different?

I assure you that you will not burst into flames, altho you might burst into tears the first couple of days. Find a program that works for you or just find something else to eat besides that "no, really its GOOD for you" cereal at breakfast, or "what else is there to eat besides a sandwich" for lunch, and what if you actually made dinner from real food?  You'd be surprised what is out there - real food. Right there waiting for you and its not in a can or a heat-n-eat tray. You can do it.

I'm not pretending that Dr. Davis has all the answers but it sure settled some questions that I've had for a while. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

That's all I've got for you today, friends. Looks like another day inside, we are still being soaked by the last of Hurricane Isaac. While I can't stand the humidity oh gosh am I glad to see the rain.

Happy Tuesday everyone!