I've been reading the book, Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD. The book discusses how today's wheat has been genetically altered eliminating much of the nutritional value of the grain. Food manufacturers have processed this once sturdy staple causing foods containing wheat to make blood sugar spike as well as having addictive qualities that make us hungry causing us to overeat.
The book discusses many different ways that today's wheat negatively effects our body. Diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, acid reflux, obesity, joint pain to name a few. It gives examples of research and case studies of what happens when wheat is eliminated from the diet.
One of the things discussed in the book is that because wheat has been altered, it causes us to crave more, we aren't satisified and eat more and more. It discusses the chemical reaction that occurs in our brains because of the addictive qualities.
Wheat is a cheap "filler" and is used in a variety of foods. Foods that completely surprised me. Some of the culprits in our house are ranch dressing and ketchup. Another one is Crystal Lite. Yes, I know. Not the best thing in the world and water would be better. Our two-year-old (3 in a couple of weeks!!) loves juice. I mean we would have battles over juice. So we eliminated juice and now offer Crystal Lite or water. But reading the label it states that there may be trace amounts of wheat in there. Eliminating juice also helped with some behavioral problems we were having.
Another issue that hit home with me was weight. Since my first child and gaining weight over the course of five years, I've struggled to lose that weight I've gained. Since my third babe was born, I've exercised and counted my calories and after 6 months had lost 15 pounds. And that was during the first two months and nothing for the next four. After one week of almost eliminating wheat from my diet, I lost 3 pounds. I'm also sleeping better and have less joint pain.
Wheat Belly encourages individuals to give up wheat, starches, and gluten as well as legumes, bran, oats and many other types of grains. The author doesn't give a lot of a reason for eliminating legumes, brans, oats and some other grains other than there is a potential for these types of food to contain wheat.
I don't agree with this. I think legumes are very nutritional and I don't see eliminating them because there is a potential for them to contain wheat.
It's been two weeks since I've eliminated most wheat and startches from my diet. The Farmer and the kids are still eating cereals for breakfast and some wheat products but have cut back on the amount they consume. And one thing I've noticed in the last week is that my kids are eating less between meals. Although since they are still quite young, it's hard to tell if this is due to them coming out of growth spurts or the change in their diet.
We're going to keep slowly making changes to our diet continually striving towards a healthier, natural diet and lifestyle. I want to do more research on using spelt for making breads and crackers. We're going to be more aware of where we're buying our processed products such as ketchup and ranch dressing as well as our oats and other grain products we do have in our diets.
I'll never completely eliminate wheat from my diet. I mean, I truly do not think I could give up cakes and cookies. But I do know that as a family, we've been eating healthier and making better choices. Where we used to have a startch or grain on our plate at mealtime, we've replaced it with a larger portion of fruits and vegetables. I've also been able to eliminate more processed foods from our diets such as no more chicken nuggets and replacing them with grilled chicken or turkey.
I do wish the book discussed organic wheat and grains versus non-organic wheat and grains. I would like to know if there is the same genetic alterations made to organics. I will definately be doing more research.