How Wheat Can Make You Sick?
The title of this post might have surprised you. How can wheat not be good for health? After all, so many people eat wheat every day and it is an integral part of our diet. That is true, but do you know that in our evolutionary history, the appearance of wheat has been very recent?
Wheat was grown 10,000 years ago and it gained popularity very quickly. Thus began agriculture. The lifestyle of our ancestors changed from that of hunters and gatherers to that of farmers. Hence began civilization. Wheat has undergone several changes since then with the introduction of hybrid and GMO varieties.
People have been talking about how wheat can adversely affect health. They even say that they have “wheat intolerance”. Wheat forms a large part of modern diet as we consume it in the form of bread, rotis, cakes, cookies, pastries and many more.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease
One of the main reasons of ill health due to wheat consumption is gluten sensitivity. Those suffering from celiac disease cannot eat wheat at all as the gluten in it is toxic for such people. But health problems due to wheat are not restricted to celiacs alone. General reduction in gluten intake has provided a lot of positive evidence.
Presence of lectin in wheat
There is new evidence that the presence of lectin in whole wheat and refined wheat products is the cause of several health problems associated with wheat. It can affect everyone as lectin has been known to cause direct damage to the body tissues. It is known to increase inflammation and it increases the trouble if the digestive system is already suffering from bacterial infection or inflammation.
Right now the medical fraternity identifies only a handful of disorders caused by consumption of wheat and they are as follows:
- Celiac Disease
- Wheat Allergy
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis
- Exercise-Induced Wheat Anaphylaxis
Wheat causes spikes in blood sugar
Products made from refined grain such as white bread get digested quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar. The spikes are followed by rapid drops in blood sugar that stimulates hunger and urges you to have another high-carb meal. This is called “blood sugar roller coaster”, it simply means that your blood sugar goes on a roller coaster ride.
Whole wheat has a glycemic index of 71. GI is a marker of how fast the foods elevate the levels of blood sugar. Consuming foods that have high GI is linked with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and even cancer.
Wheat has substances that steal the nutrients from the body
Wheat contains phytic acid that has the ability to bind minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc and prevent them from getting absorbed. The content of phytic acid is more in whole wheat than in refined wheat. A study has shown that wheat fibre can make the vitamin D stores in the body burn 30%faster. This increases the risk of deficiency of the vitamin.
Wheat can increase small, dense LDL cholesterol
There is a greater risk of heart disease when the levels of LDL (which is the bad cholesterol) are elevated. There is not just one type of LDL. The size of the LDL molecules is also what matters. People with small and dense LDL particles have a greater risk of heart disease. There was a study conducted to find out how wheat affects small and dense LDL particle. One group was fed whole oats and another group was fed whole wheat. After 12 weeks it was found that the wheat group had LDL increased by 8% and the increase in small dense LDL particles was 60.4%. Pretty shocking!!
Are you going to avoid wheat hereafter?
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