Wheat Is Making You Fat. And Sick.

Just to be transparent right up front, I’m not totally gluten-free (although Dr. Will is), but after what we’ve learned over time about it, I’m glad that we live in a gluten-free household and that I rarely eat it. 

Gluten is found not just in wheat, but also in rye, barley, spelt and kamut. Oats are often contaminated as well, as they are grown in the same field and stored in the same areas. Rice is fine, quinoa is fine, etc. but you’d be surprised where wheat pops up: sauces, mealoaf, meatballs, and clearly in things deep-fried… although restaurants are getting better about gluten-free options. Anyway… onto the crazy stuff…

What are some things you haven’t heard about gluten? Try these:

Wheat has been bred in the last 25 years to have 4X more gluten in it. In case that wasn’t enough, we had an acquaintance tell us that when he was a baker, for every 40 lbs. of of flour they used, they added 10 pounds of gluten. Why? It makes the dough springier and easier to work with AND, in this case, because it increased the shelf life. Seriously.

Wheat in biblical times was a whole different type of wheat. What we have now is not the heirloom, Einkorn wheat from back then — it’s dwarf wheat, which has been genetically altered to  be a higher yielding kind of wheat and higher in starch. That super-starch is called amylopectin-A and it’s super fattening. It’s what makes dough fluffy, like in those big loaves of bread and in pastries. Think Cinnabons. Unfortunately, this engineered dwarf wheat is not only there.

How is it making you fat? A few ways. That high starch now means that 2 slices of WHOLE WHEAT bread raises your blood sugar THE SAME AS 2 TABLESPOONS OF SUGAR. That’s right – I said “whole wheat”. There is little-to-no difference at this point between whole wheat and white bread — it would be better to avoid as much of both as you can.

How ELSE is it making you fat? Well, gluten is really inflammatory, especially in the amounts we’re eating it. You know those ads on TV, that say “Stressed? Have belly fat? Take this pill!” It’s because stressors (everything from life to food reactions) causes inflammation, and inflammation is the root cause of everything from heart disease to cancer. Oh, and inflammation raises cortisol levels, which makes you gain weight.

It’s like morphine, you say? Yes, this wheat also contains proteins that mimic morphine (they’re actually called gluteomorphins) to make you addicted, hungry, and crazy. You thought you just didn’t have will power and that it was all in your head, but it’s not.

But I don’t have digestive problems! You don’t have to — gluten has plenty of other places it causes damage. It has been linked to many autoimmune disorders (Hashimoto’s, for example, has a 100% correlation rate), many neurological disorders (long-term depression, anxiety, bi-polar, ADD, etc.) and many digestive disorders (heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, etc.)

How can I find out if I’m gluten intolerant? I have some of these health problems. There are accurate tests now that can tell us if you have gluten intolerance or not, and if you have gut damage from gluten. If you want to do it yourself or find out if you have the gene for gluten intolerance (although this test is a bit more expensive) you can order it online at www.enterolab.com (saliva and stool sample).  Or you can contact our office and we have a very accurate test that is only a saliva sample, and less expensive (about $160). Call us at 512-495-9015 and we’ll help you figure it out.

2 replies
  1. Dixie Wall
    Dixie Wall says:

    Nicely put! What’s the company you find most accurate for the in office saliva gluten sensitivity? For more info check out the book “wheat belly”

  2. Diane Omtvedt, RNC-E,M.Ac., L.Ac.
    Diane Omtvedt, RNC-E,M.Ac., L.Ac. says:

    Hi Marlene and Will,
    I have been reading you for some time in Ac Today and was thrilled that you were the anchor for the autumn SP Oct. ’11 Conf at corporate.
    I had the general overview of your day long great session w/ us in a couple of 1-2 hr lectures over the prev. year or so, had made a number of changes. But you really filled it in for me and I became so empowered and inspired by all that you have shared.
    My husband – big bike rider and prev. bike shop owner had for decades bowed to the spaghetti and homebaked ww bread god (also lots of fruit and stops for scones,etc) and consequently had triglycerides at 400’s. Over prev year fruit was decreased and less sugars in general so labs went down to upper 200’s. CRP was still really up there – 5’s.
    Since the day I got back from the conf. he never baked another loaf and we started on the 20-30 carbs per meal. I was shocked that he was willing to make such a huge psychological leap-not his typical! What had been bothering him the most was his awakenings q 1-2 hrs to void all night long for years. Also he was starting to have aching in the prostate area. Scared, no doubt.
    The following morning he announced wide-eyed that he only woke up once all night. Sleeps well now. No more groin sx either.
    At 5 week he had his q6mo. labs. Triglycerides were 83!!!, HDL had gone up 10 points, CRP 2.1, LDL 118. I was shocked. Your information and those changes we made as a result are the only changes we made.
    I can’t thank you enough!
    I want you to know I have taken up your banner as well! Will be giving my first talk to patients on Tues. eve. (Have had many good outcomes with one-to-ones over the winter in the clinic).
    I actually decided to look at your site again in prep. Happened into the gluten article. Very good. Was stunned to read about the 100% correlation with Hashimoto’s (which I have had for 30 yrs). Never heard this before. Will need to address it. I live in Eau Claire Wi – about 100 mi east of Minneapolis. Do you have anyone in mind who might be a good referral for me?
    (You can use this note in any way you wish. If Dave’s story helps someone else we’d be happy. He’s 71 – so old dog, new trick is possible! :)
    Hugs, wishing you a wonderful spring.
    Diane

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