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Old 09-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Wheat Belly

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We traded a diet based primarily on fat and protein with a little carbohydrate thrown in from roots, shoots and tubers for one centered predominantly on carbohydrate. The main source of the carbohydrate was cereal grains, chiefly ancient forms of wheat, the predecessor of the wheat that now occupies a large part of the human diet everywhere. Ancient forms of wheat didn’t do our forebears a lot of good, and, according to Dr. William Davis’s new book Wheat Belly, the modern forms of the grain do us even less good.
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Wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products. Approximately three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour.

More food is made with wheat than any other cereal grain.

U.S. Farmers grow nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land.

About half the wheat grown in the United States is used domestically.
Quote:
As Dr. Davis tells it, the hybridization of wheat came about in an effort to improve yield, which is now about tenfold greater per acre than it was a century ago. Older strains of wheat were taller and more prone to damage from wind and rain. And

When large quantities of nitrogen-rich fertilizer are applied to wheat fields, the seed head at the top of the plant grows to enormous proportions. The top-heavy seed head, however, buckles the stalk. Buckling kills the plant and makes harvesting problematic. A University of Minnesota-trained geneticist…is credited with developing the exceptionally high-yielding dwarf wheat that was shorter and stockier, allowing the plant to maintain erect posture and resist buckling under the large seed head. Tall stalks are also inefficient; short stalks reach maturity more quickly, which means a shorter growing season with less fertilizer required to generate the otherwise useless stalk.
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Dr. Davis writes that modern wheat is approximately 70 percent carbohydrate by weight. The carbohydrate is in the form of a starch called amylopectin A.

The most digestible form of amylopectin, amylopectin A, is the form found in wheat. Because it is the most digestible, it is the form that most enthusiastically increases blood sugar. This explains why, gram for gram, wheat increases blood sugar to a greater degree than, say, kidney beans or potato chips. The amylopectin A of wheat products, “complex” or no, might be regarded as a supercarbohydrate, a form of highly digestible carbohydrate that is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than nearly all the other carbohydrate foods, simple or complex. [Italics in the original.]

But what about the much vaunted whole grains. Won’t ‘whole grain’ bread or wheat products be better? Not according to Dr. Davis:

…the degree of processing, from a blood sugar standpoint, makes little difference: Wheat is wheat, with various forms of processing or lack of processing, simple or complex, high-fiber or low-fiber, all generating similar high blood sugars. Just as “boys will be boys,” amylopectin A will be amylopectin A. In healthy, slender volunteers, two medium-sized slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar by 30 mg/dl (from 93 to 123 mg/dl), no different from white bread. In people with diabetes, both white and whole grain bread increase blood sugar 70 to 120 mg/dl over starting levels.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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I saw the author of this book on one of the morning news show yesterday. It's a very interesting concept/theory/expose or whatever you call it, but I'm becoming skeptical of this sort of thing. For every scientist that publishes their new theories, there are ten others refuting it, and armies of naysayers and/or supporters. What is one expected to believe?

I remember when eating used to be fun. You ate a full meal without being sad that an animal died to feed you. You could have some bread without being worried that it's turning into blobs of fat on your belly. You could have a handful of M&M's without considering what it's doing to your blood sugar. Know what I mean?

I think it's all a plot to remove the joy of eating from our lives. We'll soon be sucking nutrients out of a tube. (Not really, just pushing my thoughts to the extreme.)
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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Wheat is nothing more than a filler food. I love good bread, but as a food source it is not that good. IMO the butter you put on the bread is a better food source.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:50 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by glwanabe View Post
Wheat is nothing more than a filler food. I love good bread, but as a food source it is not that good. IMO the butter you put on the bread is a better food source.
Right, it should not be the basis of your diet, but I also understand how much of it the average person eats without realizing it. And there's nothing like warm bread slathered with rich, creamery butter. Ungngggg!
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
I saw the author of this book on one of the morning news show yesterday. It's a very interesting concept/theory/expose or whatever you call it, but I'm becoming skeptical of this sort of thing. For every scientist that publishes their new theories, there are ten others refuting it, and armies of naysayers and/or supporters. What is one expected to believe?
Here are some good books that present neutral looks on the issue:

Amazon.com: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (9780916764203): Weston A. Price, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation: Books Amazon.com: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (9780916764203): Weston A. Price, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation: Books

Amazon.com: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage) (9781400033461): Gary Taubes: Books Amazon.com: Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health (Vintage) (9781400033461): Gary Taubes: Books


What is one expected to believe? I certainly am not trying to convince anyone that the over-consumption of grain-based carbs is bad. This is a Paleo forum I posted this in, and was for those of us who have researched and believe in Paleo.

In my research the over-consumption of grain-based carbs, and the modern fat fear, has lead our culture down a road that is creating a lot of health issues. Both the books I've listed above do a great job explaining how the modern diet is impacting health.

Regarding wheat...most of the wheat studies I have seen that trumpet the health benefits of whole wheat have compared whole wheat to processed flour, and not to a diet devoid of processed flour.

It goes without saying that obviously wheat is healthier than processed flour, but is it healthier than no flour? That's the question each of us has to ask and live with.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:03 AM   #6
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I love food, carbs the lot...but, I did read something that the Paleo-eaters (?) might find of interest.


I cannot locate the link, or exact info at present because it's on another comp but, anyway, the gist of it was/is that carbohydrates cause the proliferation of bad bacteria within the gut whereas proteins do not do so; that's not to say that the article (that I'm referring to) suggests no carbs, more a reduction, I reckon.

When I get the link, I'll post a copy of the actual wording, but bascially, the above sums it up; it's always nice to be able to make decisions based on knowledge, even if that knowledge alters due to more research and even if we fly in the face of it...because we're spudaholics, like myself. Carbs, however, in most studies also seem to be based around the refined carbs and the excess of cakes and such and the writers erroneously expect people to automatically understand that point whereas we don't since we see carbs as carbs, IMO.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:04 AM   #7
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I'll check around for those books Steve, thanks for the links.

I wasn't feeling pressured one way or the other. I was merely expressing my frustration with the landscape of conflicting viewpoints.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Bone View Post
I'll check around for those books Steve, thanks for the links.

I wasn't feeling pressured one way or the other. I was merely expressing my frustration with the landscape of conflicting viewpoints.
I totally understand this point T. Far too many of todays scientest are guilty of bad science. They distort their findings to fit their hypothesis, or flat out ignore evidence that proves them wrong. Thats not science.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:52 AM   #9
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Here's the thing...we all agree on most of the same issues:

1) White flour and sugar are evil.
2) High fructose corn syrup is bad for us.
3) Heavily processed foods are not optimal.
4) Fat is not evil and does not make you fat.

The work of Weston Price revealed that as a culture moves away from natural food sources, that are often high in fat, and also include things like organ meat, and move towards a processed diet that health deteriorates noticeably.

Far too often Paleo is generically labeled "low carb" or "anti-this or that" when it's far more complex than that.

We are eating fake butter instead of real butter, and this is considered healthy. We eat low-fat processed foods that contain added corn syrup for flavor, and low-sugar processed foods that contain corn oil for flavor. We eat veggies out of a can.

These issues to be are why I beat the drum for a more natural diet. If someone wants to eat a few natural carb sources then have at it. It's much better than processed carb crap.

But also take time to study the possible health risks associated with a carb heavy diet. Notice I said "heavy" which relates to the fat fear culture we currently live in.

We live in a world that believes fat makes you fat, and that eating good cholesterol kills you. Many of our beliefs are nonsense.

Very few foods that most people eat are natural. This tendency is what I am moving my family away from.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendtheBar View Post
Here's the thing...we all agree on most of the same issues:

1) White flour and sugar are evil.
2) High fructose corn syrup is bad for us.
3) Heavily processed foods are not optimal.
4) Fat is not evil and does not make you fat.

The work of Weston Price revealed that as a culture moves away from natural food sources, that are often high in fat, and also include things like organ meat, and move towards a processed diet that health deteriorates noticeably.

Far too often Paleo is generically labeled "low carb" or "anti-this or that" when it's far more complex than that.

We are eating fake butter instead of real butter, and this is considered healthy. We eat low-fat processed foods that contain added corn syrup for flavor, and low-sugar processed foods that contain corn oil for flavor. We eat veggies out of a can.

These issues to be are why I beat the drum for a more natural diet. If someone wants to eat a few natural carb sources then have at it. It's much better than processed carb crap.

But also take time to study the possible health risks associated with a carb heavy diet. Notice I said "heavy" which relates to the fat fear culture we currently live in.

We live in a world that believes fat makes you fat, and that eating good cholesterol kills you. Many of our beliefs are nonsense.

Very few foods that most people eat are natural. This tendency is what I am moving my family away from.
This is very well said Steve. I have been reading a lot about grains and processed food and have decided to move toward eating more of a paleo type diet. I have toyed with it in the past, tho it was more for trying to figured out what was causing some health issues id been having.

Anyway just saying thank you for posting all the info in this section. Its very helpful and wanted you to know that its appreciated.
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