Eating too much wheat

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Eating too much wheat

Wheat and grain-based foods are all around us.

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We love our bagels, pasta, bread and breakfast cereals. For many, the thought of eliminating these staples from our diets seems wholly unreasonable, if not ludicrous. But a growing number of people are switching to wheat-free diets - and for very good reason. As science is increasingly showing, eating wheat increases the potential for a surprising number of health problems.

Without a doubt, wheat plays a major role in our diets. It supplies about 20 percent of the total food calories worldwideand is a national staple in most countries. But as is well known, some people, like those with celiac disease, need to stay away from it. The problem is that their small intestine is unable to properly digest gluten, a protein that's found in grains. But wheat is being increasingly blamed for the onset of other health conditions, like obesity, heart disease, and a host of digestive problems, including the dramatic rise in celiac-like disorders.

The answer, it appears, has to do with a whole lot of nastiness that's present in grain-based foods. Wheat raises blood sugar levels, causes immunoreactive problems, inhibits the absorption of important minerals and aggravates our intestines. Hybridized Wheat Indeed, today's wheat is a far cry from what it was 50 years ago. Back in the s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make it hardier, shorter, and better-growing. This work, which was the basis for the Green Revolution - and one that won U.

As cardiologist Dr. It also goes through a gamma irradiation process during manufacturing. But as Davis also points out, today's hybridized wheat contains novel proteins that aren't typically found in either the parent or the plant, some of which are difficult for us to properly digest.

Consequently, some scientists now suspect that the gluten and other compounds found in today's modern wheat is what's responsible for the rising prevalence of celiac disease, "gluten sensitivity," and other problems.

Gluten and Gliadin No doubt, gluten is a growing concern - and it's starting to have a serious impact on our health, and as a result, our dietary choices.

Gluten is a protein composite of gliadin and glutenin that appears in wheat as well as other grains like rye, barley, and spelt. It's also what gives certain foods that wonderful, chewy texture. Gluten also helps dough to rise and keep its shape.

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The problem, however, is in how it's metabolized. Specifically, the gliadin and glutenin are acting as immunogenic anti-nutrients.I love bread and it is part of my diet — but too much of anything can be a bad thing and as wheat is included in so many foods today we thought we would outline how you could end up eating too much and the common side effects.

It is for this reason that in our Healthy Mummy smoothies that we made them gluten free and dairy free so if you are avoiding wheat then you can still enjoy our smoothies.

Wheat is found in all sorts of food stuffs — bread, flour, pasta, cereals, cakes, pastries, pretzels and more. Wheat is found in carbohydrates, mainly, and carbohydrates make you feel full — and many of us eat plenty of wheat, every single day, without knowing whether or not we could actually be eating too much of it. A large proportion of the population are now thought to have gluten sensitivities, whereby the consumption of gluten causes symptoms such as bloating, tiredness, headaches and nausea.

A small proportion of the population have celiac disease, which is an auto-immune disease caused by the immune system basically attacking the peptides that gluten forms within the digestive tract — celiac disease can cause a range of symptoms, from diarrhoea, progressive weight loss, weakness and bone pain, and if it goes untreated, the individual with the disease is times more likely to develop abdominal cancer.

A controlled study that aimed to discover the effects of gluten on otherwise healthy people showed that gluten can damage the intestinal lining and can cause bloating, tiredness and pain. This indicates that gluten may be unhealthy for everyone, not just those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease. Wheat also has a high glycaemic index, which can cause problems with your blood sugar.

The starches within wheat are broken down very quickly and are absorbed into your blood very rapidly, leading to a spike in your blood sugar. This causes a feeling of satisfaction and satiation, but when your blood sugar spikes rapidly, it also drops rapidly — and this drop can leave you feeling tired, weak and dizzy. If you have pre-diabetes or diabetes, this is particularly dangerous as a spike in blood sugar or a dramatic drop can cause hypoglycaemia, which can lead to a coma if untreated.

If you eat too much wheat, you could cause numerous blood sugar spikes which could lead to you feeling very unwell. Some recent research has also suggested that wheat is potentially addictive, in the same way that sugar can be addictive — and if both these foods are combined into one food product, the idea is that these food products are potentially addictive.

Because wheat is in hundreds of everyday food products, it is eaten by a huge proportion of the population — and many of those people who enjoy wheat products will never experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. If you do experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you can do a fairly simple test to discern whether or not it is wheat that is causing your problems.

Simply check your food labels and cut out all foods containing wheat and gluten for a period of 7 to 14 days. Note down whether your symptoms disappear or whether they remain. After that period, introduce wheat back into your diet for days. If you have sensitivities to wheat, you should notice that your symptoms come back very obviously.

Note down your exact symptoms and your overall sense of wellbeing. If you feel a lot worse for eating wheat, and you felt better for not eating wheat, chances are you have gluten or wheat sensitivities and should avoid wheat products. There are many alternatives available nowadays, and with gluten free flour and other baking products readily available, you can make your own wheat free foods or buy them off the shelf.Skip to: Main Navigation Main Content.

Have you ever wandered down the health food aisle at the supermarket, picked up a packet of rice bread or buckwheat pasta and had the feeling that everyday wheat products just don't cut it anymore when it comes to being healthy?

Well, you're not the only one. Figures suggest approximately 1 million Australians exclude wheat from their diet, but only a quarter of these people do so for specific medical reasons, such as a wheat intolerance or allergy.

With a reputation for health and a swathe of celebrity endorsements, the wheat-free, gluten-free diet is rapidly growing in popularity; but is eating too much wheat really bad for your health? It can be if you have coeliac disease, wheat allergy or irritable bowel syndrome, says dietitian Dr Sue Shepherd from La Trobe University.

But that doesn't mean we all need to ditch wheat. While you may not be sure whether a gluten-free pizza is the right choice for you, for those with coeliac disease there is no doubt at all. People with coeliac disease have an adverse reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat as well as rye, barley and oats.

So if you have coeliac disease and eat gluten, it will trigger an auto-immune response that damages the lining of your small intestine. This reduces your ability to absorb nutrients from food and could lead to serious nutritional deficiencies, osteoporosis, infertility and bowel cancer. A strict gluten-free diet is the only recognised treatment for coeliac disease, says Shepherd. Another group of people who should avoid wheat is those with a wheat allergy, these people are normally allergic to a protein usually not gluten in the grain.

It's more common in children than adults and symptoms vary from hives and eczema to generally feeling unwell. If you think you have either coeliac disease or a wheat allergy then you need to go to your GP, who may send you to a specialist for further tests. Shepherd says beware of shonky tests, as there are plenty around, especially for allergies. You can find a list of unorthodox and inappropriate tests here. So if you don't have a wheat allergy or intolerance, should you still be watching the amount of wheat you eat?

It depends, say Shepherd. If you frequently experience abdominal pain, distension, constipation, diarrhoea or excessive wind, then the answer may be a rumbling and resounding yes. If these sugars are not broken down in the small intestine, they travel on to the large intestine where they provide a free meal for your gut bacteria, which repay the favour by producing gas. So small amounts are actually allowed, and everyone has a different threshold," says Shepherd.

Wheat Bread's Side Effects

But if you have IBS-like symptoms, see your doctor before changing your diet, there are other conditions with symptoms similar to IBS, including coeliac disease. Even if you don't have a health condition that's affected by wheat, you could still benefit from reducing the amount of wheat in your diet. Australian dietary guidelines recommend, on average, we eat four to six serves of grain foods every day. At least two thirds of these should be whole grain; however, research suggests less than half of us are getting enough.Each new diet, miracle food, or weight-loss pill is potentially a billion-dollar business.

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But when science catches up to their claims, each quick fix dies a natural death and eventually proves itself bogus. Then the diet and food industry moves on to the next flashy new fad.

Marketers of this growing fad industry are generally not keeping your best interests in mind, health-wise.

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The sad part is that some people believe they are eating healthier by following these fads. Plus, Dr. Many authors and practitioners have promoted the idea that all grains are inherently dangerous. My Facebook Live video on gluten shows the books on my shelves supporting the idea that gluten is making you sick, along with other books that dispute that stance. One thing is clear, however: billions of people in Southeast Asia, Africa, India, South America, and China are virtually disease-free, unlike Americans, despite eating a lot of grains.

eating too much wheat

Many functional medicine doctors physicians who look for root causes and treat the body holistically have even jumped on the anti-grain bandwagon. Other diets, like the Paleo diet and the Autoimmune Protocol AIPeven advocate for throwing out protein and fiber-rich legumestoo. According to a study out of the University of Utah, hominids grew grains like wheat and barley 3.

There is even evidence of ancient Egyptians making bread with raw grains and yeast. Grains and legumes have been foundational for cultures worldwide since the dawn of time. Humans have been eating grains and legumes for millions of years, so the idea that these food groups are inherently bad is counterintuitive.

So why, suddenly, are many holistic or functional doctors telling us to completely eliminate these food groups from our diets? Ancient humans ate a lot of grain. In fact, archaeological scientist Christina Warinner, who studies the teeth and plaque of paleolithic peoples, found countless traces of grains and legumes in the remains of teeth of paleolithic humans. We know mankind has been eating these food groups for thousands of years.

But the amount of chemicals added to our modern-day crops is a major difference between the grains ancient man was eating and the grains we eat today. Reactions could also be from agricultural chemicals like glyphosate an herbicide known as Roundup, manufactured by the leader in genetic engineering of food crops, Monsanto that are sprayed on the crops.

Glyphosate is one of the most toxic 8 and widely-used chemicals on our food today, so it makes sense that you might react to it.

Modern grains are hybridized and heavily sprayed with chemicals. The chemical is not just contained to the crops and the farms that they come from. Glyphosate is showing up everywhere in the United States—in the water, in the air, in our blood, wine, and even in breast milk. Some experts link the modern-day use of Roundup on crops to the rise of celiac disease.

Because these foods have been eaten throughout our entire human history, seemingly without issue, that tells us something else has to be causing our modern reactivity to gluten and grains.

eating too much wheat

Glyphosate is a strong contender for that title. Growers are now spraying wheat and other crops not only during the growing season but also after harvest, to keep pests out. For instance, the hybridization of wheat has increased the chromosome count of modern wheat to 42 ancient einkorn wheat only has Hybridizing simply means breeding two species of plants to create a new, more desirable plant, one that is both pest-resistant and produces a higher yield. But the more hybridized the plant, the further away it is from its pure, natural form.

Hybridization has already occurred in many of our modern fruits and vegetables. Bananas are one example. Despite there being over 1, varieties, we typically only have access to this one at the market. Hybridized wheat may grow in higher yields, however, it may not be good for our health.Of the hundreds of species of grains, wheat is the most common in the American diet.

Wheat and its flour are used to make bread, buns, pasta, bagels, cookies, cakes, muffins, croissants, crackers, breakfast cereals and granola bars, just to name a few examples. Grains were not part of the traditional human diet during the evolution of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, and some researchers, including Dr. Loren Cordain, professor at the Colorado State University, believe that grains contribute to the chronic diseases that are now so prevalent in Western societies, as explained in a paper published in in "World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Wheat can have a negative effect for people who are sensitive to gluten, a protein found not only in wheat, but also in rye, barley and cross-contaminated oats. According to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, about 1 percent of Americans have celiac disease, characterized by abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and weight loss, while another 6 percent have a gluten intolerance, which can induce headaches, tingling in the extremities, brain fog, weight gain and symptoms similar to the irritable bowel syndrome.

Both conditions are treated by the strict avoidance of wheat and gluten. If you are celiac or gluten intolerant, carefully read all food labels to ensure you do not include any traces of wheat or gluten in your diet.

Most cereal grains, including wheat, contain a biochemical compound called lectin.

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Lectins are naturally produced by many plants like wheat to protect them against their enemies. A research done with pigs showed that a diet rich in grains and lectins was associated with insulin resistance, higher blood pressure and higher inflammation levels, as measured with the C-reactive protein, as published in the December issue of "BMC Endocrine Disorders. Some common autoimmune conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, may be linked to wheat and cereal grain consumption, according to a paper published in "World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Consult with your doctor before changing your diet. If you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes or diabetes, eating too many carbohydrates at once can create a sharp rise in your blood sugar levels.

Wheat Is Good For You! (But Not How You’re Eating It)

Many wheat-based foods have a high carb content. The American Diabetes Association recommends limiting your carbs to no more than 45 to 60 g per meal, but eating a bowl of 2 cups of wheat pasta with a tomato-based sauce and two small cookies made with wheat flour could provide well over g of carbohydrates.

A inch sub made with white or whole wheat flour contains about 95 g of carbohydrates, without considering the additional carbs from the potato chips or soft drink. If you feel like wheat is causing you some problems, try eliminating it from your diet for a month or two.

This challenge may be difficult to do during the first weeks because so many staple foods are made with wheat. For breakfast, try a quinoa porridge with plain yogurt, fresh fruits and nuts or have scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and cheese.

For lunch, you can have a sandwich made with sourdough bread or simply have a big salad of leafy greens with chicken, avocado, bacon and an olive oil-based vinaigrette.

What if You Eat Too Much Wheat Bread?

For dinner, serve your serving of protein with oven-baked sweet potato fries drizzled with olive oil. Talk to your doctor first. Aglaee Jacob. Aglaee Jacob is a registered dietitian. She has experience working with people who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity issues. Jacob obtained a bachelor of science and a master of science, both in nutrition, from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada.

Wheat can be a problem if you are sensitive to gluten. Share this article.Wheat bread and many foods made from refined wheat flour, including pasta, muffins, pizza and cookies, can increase your risk of becoming overweight or developing type 2 diabetes and heart problems because of their high glycemic index, according to the May issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association. Wheat is one of the most commonly used grains, but you can avoid its side effects by replacing it with gluten-free, low-glycemic alternatives such as sweet potatoes, yucca, plantains, fruits and vegetables.

Some of the side effects caused by wheat can be due to gluten. Gluten is a protein found predominantly in wheat, but also in barley, rye and other grains within the wheat family, such as kamut and triticale.

Should You Worry About Wheat?

According to Dr. Stephen Wangen, co-founder or the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle and author of "Healthier Without Wheat," gluten can cause or worsen rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, anemia, weight problems and irritable bowel syndrome, among many other conditions. Following a gluten-free diet is a safe and effective way to determine whether gluten is causing your symptoms.

The high carb content of wheat bread and wheat-based products can be problematic if your have diabetes or insulin resistance or are trying to lose weight. Each slice of wheat bread provides about 15 grams of carbohydrates, but most people consume more than that. A typical 6-inch sub or a regular-sized panini made with wheat bread contains the equivalent of at least 4 slices of bread, or more than 60 grams of carbohydrates.

The carbohydrates from wheat bread are easily broken down into sugar, which has the side effect of elevating your blood sugar levels after your meal. Another side effect of excess carbohydrate consumption is increased hunger and appetite, according to researcher David S. Ludwig, M.

Use the glycemic index of carbohydrate-containing foods as a tool to distinguish between healthier and less-healthy sources of carbs. While most fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables have a low glycemic index, which means that they help you keep your blood sugar levels more stable, wheat bread has a high glycemic index. Whole wheat bread, despite containing a bit more fiber, also has a high glycemic index, just like wheat bread made from refined wheat flour.

High-glycemic index foods, such as wheat bread and whole-wheat bread, increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and obesity, according to a article in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. If you have irritable bowel syndrome or digestion problems, the high fructan content of wheat could be responsible for some of your symptoms.

Fructan is a simple chain of fructose that has the side effect of being excessively fermented in the intestines of some people, depending on your individual gut flora.

eating too much wheat

If you are sensitive to fructans, which are also found in onions, garlic, rye and many cruciferous vegetables, consuming wheat bread and other wheat-based foods can result in bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation.

Decreasing your fructan intake by replacing wheat bread with rice, potatoes and squashes can help you prevent these side effects. Aglaee Jacob is a registered dietitian. She has experience working with people who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity issues.

Jacob obtained a bachelor of science and a master of science, both in nutrition, from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada.Now even more people are hesitating about eating wheat after reading the claims made by William Davis, M.

Davis says, it is addictive and causes everything from heart disease, diabetes and obesity to arthritis, osteoporosis, cognitive problems and cataracts. It's true that those with celiac disease, which causes symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, cramps, weight loss, fatigue and more, do have good reason to avoid wheat see "Celiac Disease" box, below. But for the rest of us, there doesn't appear to be one sole dietary scoundrel. Davis says, boosting blood sugar dramatically and stimulating appetite.

Modern wheat also contains other components with adverse effects, and its gluten, a protein, is more likely to trigger reactions than that in older wheat. Fact: For well over a century, food scientists have developed hybrid varieties of wheat to be sturdier and have higher yields, better quality and greater resistance to disease and insects.

We think this particular fear is unfounded. Claim: Wheat is the main culprit behind the obesity epidemic. Per capita wheat consumption in the U. In fact, a century ago Americans ate much more wheat than we do today, and very few were obese granted, diets and lifestyles differed in many ways then.

What about Dr.

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Had he told his patients to cut out all meat or all sugary snacks, for instance, they might have done as well or better. Nearly all diets work for a while, especially in supervised settings, usually by getting people to avoid whole categories of foods and thus tricking them into cutting calories. Keep in mind, too, that Dr. Davis basically recommends a low-carb diet, and well-designed studies have found that such diets work no better than other diets in the long term.

Claim: Wheat has played an outsized role in surging rates of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic disorders. Blood sugar does rise after eating bread, pasta and other wheat products.

Wheat ranks moderately high on the GI. But research looking at the effect of a high-GI diet on weight control and the risk of diabetes and heart disease has had inconsistent results. Refined wheat, like other starchy or sugary foods, can also have adverse effects on blood cholesterol and triglycerides—for instance, increasing levels of the small, dense LDL cholesterol particles that are most damaging. Fact: Many studies have linked higher intakes of whole grainsincluding whole wheat, with a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as improvements in blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar control.

Thus, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and most nutrition experts recommend foods made from percent whole grains. Cutting down on such wheat products can help people lose weight and improve their overall diet, provided they substitute lower-calorie foods. But percent whole-wheat and other whole-grain products can fit well into a healthy diet, as can many refined-wheat dishes that include nutritious ingredients, such as pasta with vegetables.

As with so many dietary matters, moderation is the key. Celiac Disease: When to Avoid Wheat Celiac Disease: When to Avoid Wheat There is one very good reason to avoid wheat: if you have celiac disease, also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy or nontropical sprue.


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