Tag Archive | Wheat Belly

Gluten Sensitivity

gluten-sensitivityIt’s been 8 months since I went “Wheat Free.”  I gave up wheat to see if I could resolve my stomach pain issues. Giving up wheat also included giving up Gluten because Gluten is wheat’s natural protein. I read the book Wheat Belly, and although I didn’t agree with everything in the book, I had nothing to lose going wheat free, In fact, there were many benefits. ( I didn’t go out of my way to avoid things that contain trace amounts of wheat, soy sauce, or other sauces thickened with flour).  Since that day I have had NO digestive problems, got rid of my tummy, all menopausal symptoms are gone, no cravings for sweets, I sleep better, and I lost 10lbs. My diet is better, but boy do I miss some foods.

Chatting with my brother one day on Facebook, I found out that he changed his diet a few years ago. I remember him in his 30’s “popping Tums”  I always knew that our family had digestive problems, it was the initial cause of my Dad dying at 62! My brother said he didn’t give up wheat, but he just didn’t eat bread anymore, but he still eats cakes, and cookies.That has stuck with me for the past few months, and I started really thinking about the foods that used to upset my digestive system. They were foods like pizza, crusty breads, home-made pasta. Foods like biscuits, cookies, cakes, and fried foods never bothered me (although they are foods that are  not good for you anyway).

I am beginning to believe that my body is sensitive to gluten. I read a great article Gluten – 5 Things you need to know and I realized that I don’t necessarily need to have a completely gluten-free or completely wheat free lifestyle. I just need to stay away from those foods that effect my digestive system. Be careful of Gluten free products. Gluten free foods are generally made with ingredients such as rice, corn, potatoes, sorghum, tapioca and millet, which are higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein and other nutrients than wheat flour. The typical gluten-free ingredients that are used in place of wheat are less nutritious than wheat itself.

So based on all this information, and my food intolerance history, I started to do some research on Gluten, and the types of flours used in certain foods. Wheat flour is the most common flour used in baking. There are different types of wheat flour, and they’re distinguished by the amount of gluten they contain.

Gluten is the wheat’s natural protein, and it’s what gives baked goods their structure. When dough is kneaded, these glutens develop and become firm. Flours made from hard, high-protein varieties of wheat are called strong flours. They have a higher gluten content. Flours made from softer, low-protein wheats are called weak flours, and are lower in gluten. Those breads that effect my stomach are high in gluten. Stretchy dough used to make pizza, rolls, bagels, crusty breads like, Italian and french breads. These are the breads I need to avoid. Listed below are several types of flours and their baking uses. This information helped me to understand the gluten content in baked goods. I’ve finally learned where I fit into the gluten sensitivity spectrum! I will continue to stay away from high gluten content foods like breads, and pastas. I won’t feel so bad justifying a cookie once in a while.
All-Purpose Flour:
All-purpose flour is formulated to have a medium gluten content of around 12 percent or so. This makes it a good middle-of-the-road flour that can be used for a whole range of baking, from crusty breads to fine cakes and pastries. Even so, most professional bakers don’t use all-purpose flour but instead use either bread flour, cake flour or pastry flour, depending on what they are baking.
Bread Flour:
Bread flour is a strong flour, meaning that it has a relatively high gluten content — usually around 13 to 14 percent. A handful of bread flour will feel coarse and will look slightly off-white. Bread flour is used for making crusty breads and rolls, pizza doughs and similar products.
Cake Flour:
Cake flour is made from soft wheat and has a lower gluten content — around 7½ to 9 percent. Its grains are visibly finer than bread flour, and it is much whiter in color. Its fine, soft texture makes it preferable for tender cakes and pastries.
Pastry Flour:
Pastry flour is slightly stronger than cake flour, at around 9 to 10 percent gluten. It can be used for biscuits, muffins, cookies, pie doughs and softer yeast doughs. It has a slightly more off-white color than cake flour.

(Courtesy of  About.com   Photo courtesy of  Going Against the Grain by Melissa Smith)


Three Reasons Wheat Makes You Fat, Raises Risk of Diseases

no wheatI have found most of the information that I’ve read about wheat to be very informative. Funny how wheat is becoming food that is having an effect on quite a few people all of a sudden. I truly believe that wheat has been genetically manipulated and hybridized, and the ill effects are starting to show on the guinea pigs!  And I do believe that it is the cause of much of our obesity and diabetes today. I had developed over the past 4 years an intolerance to wheat. I have not been tested, but I gave up wheat 5 months ago, just to see what would happen. I was not an overweight person, but the pain was terrible. In a week, I had no more pain, I lost 10lbs so far, I have no more “Wheat belly”, I have no more menopausal symptoms, and I recover unusually quick from illness (colds, flu, etc.). There is something to be said about my metamorphosis!

(courtesy of Indian Country February 27, 2012)

Today’s golden wheat fields differ from those cultivated by our ancestors. In the Huffington Post, Dr. Mark Hyman calls the modern grain “FrankenWheat,” a crop scientifically engineered over the past 50 years to contain what Hyman labels a Super Starch, a Super Gluten and a Super Drug.

Super Starch

Genetic manipulation and hybridization have led to the creation of “dwarf wheat,” Hyman explains. Designed to curb world hunger, these shorter, stubbier and higher yielding wheat plants are loaded with starch and gluten. The man who engineered the crop even won a Nobel Prize. But the invention was a double-edged sword. While it put food in the mouths of millions starving around the world, it also triggered obesity and a host of other diseases.

Now, eating two slices of whole wheat bread will spike your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of sugar, Hyman says.

One reason: dwarf wheat contains excessive levels of the super starch amylopectin A. “This is how we get big fluffy Wonder Bread and Cinnabons,” Hyman writes.

Whole wheat and white flour are now health-wise equivalents. “The biggest scam perpetrated on the unsuspecting public is the inclusion of ‘whole grains’ in many processed foods full of sugar and wheat, giving the food a virtuous glow.”

Eating this sugar-heavy wheat causes inflammation and the storage of belly fat—health risks for obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes, Hyman warns.

The Super Gluten

Dwarf wheat also contains super gluten—a chemical likely to set off body-wide inflammation. Eating too much can also lead to obesity and diabetes. (And eating too many wheat-based products is easy to do—read on about the addictive Super Drug.)

Is there any rationale behind the gluten-free movement for those who do not suffer from the autoimmune disorder celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten)? According to Hyman there is.

Gluten, he says, is the “sticky protein in wheat that holds bread together and makes it rise.” With double the chromosomes (28) of pre-genetically modified wheat, it is increasingly likely to trigger inflammation and celiac disease, which incites insulin resistance. Thus, it can cause weight gain and diabetes, in addition to more than 55 conditions including autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, cancer, depression, osteoporosis and more.

According to the blog FitSugar.com, a gluten-free diet is famously responsible for helping supermodel Heidi Klum slim down post-baby. Celebrity trainer David Kirsch also calls the substance “awfully bloating.”

Read about numerous other patients who shed weight by adopting a wheat- and gluten-free lifestyle.

The Super Drug

Eating wheat sparks hunger and causes addiction, Hyman says. This is because the food product is formulated with a “Super Drug” or proteins that, when digested in the body, create a drug-induced high.

“National Institutes of Health researchers showed that gluten-derived polypeptides can cross into the brain and bind to the brain’s opiate receptors,” Dr. William Davis, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based preventive cardiologist and author of the book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health, told the Canadian weekly Maclean’s. “So you get this mild euphoria after eating a product made with whole wheat.”

According to Hyman, these super drugs solicit an addictive response, often including cravings and binge-eating. “No one binges on broccoli, but they binge on cookies or cake.”

Hyman validates his point by noting that naloxone, the drug administered in the emergency room to block a heroin or morphine overdose, can also reduce food addiction. “Binge eaters ate nearly 30 percent less food when given this drug,” he said.

So what are you waiting for? Stop being a guinea pig!

Calorie Counter App – My Fitness Pal

I made a diet change when I read the book Wheat Belly back in July. It seemed a little hoakie, but I decided to try giving up wheat, not just gluten free. It’s been 4 months. I’ve lost 10lbs, my pre-menopausal symptoms have disappeared, I have new insides, no more digestive problems, my body does not crave food anymore. I continue to follow a 5 day meal plan with 3 main meals and 1 or 2 healthy snacks.

I also started using my fitness pal a few weeks ago! It’s a calorie counter app. Several of my friends are using it to track their calories. It works on my iPad and iPhone. It’s a quick update, syncs immediately with multiple devices, and has every food imaginable in the database!!! You can even scan food packages. It keeps track of your water intake, exercise and deletes the burned calories. You can even add friends to encourage and keep each other accountable (no private info is seen by friends).

I’m actually losing more weight with this app. It really keeps you aware of what you’re eating, and when you need to watch overeating. It’s a good tool to help change your eating habits.

I’m going Wheat-Free!

Why Your Diet Should Be Wheat-Free

I have been dealing with irritable digestion for about 4 years now. Terrible stomach pain after eating many foods. A friend of mine also had the same symptoms after eating bread, pizza, pasta, and even some beef for her. She gave up wheat after too many uncomfortable and painful situations. I started paying more attention to what I ate, and began avoiding those items that I really had a hard time digesting. Some improvement was made, but all too often I would eat something and unexpectedly have a problem. I got sick of it, especially when I was on vacation.

My sister-in-law (who is a doctor) sent me a book called “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis M.D. Fantastic book on educating about wheat and it’s evolution, and how wheat interacts with the body. Not so sure I believe that all of the studies were presented correctly regarding weight loss. I’ve read some of the reviews for this book from others who prove that Dr. Davis’ conclusions based on the research studies he sights were not accurate (see No Gluten Non Problem )

In any case, the book was written well enough to educate me about wheat and it’s non-benefit to our bodies. I’ve decided to give up wheat! Continue reading