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Today we get to talk about something that is near and dear to our hearts, wheat. If you were once obsessed with wheat, like I was in the pass, you will find this topic of great interest. This story is about wheat and belly fat.
How could something so good and tasty be so bad for you? Then you step back and ask yourself, is there a correlation between wheat and belly fat? Let’s find out what the scoop on wheat bread.
Wheat Belly and Fat
For many people, wheat bread is a staple food. However, most breads sold today are made from refined wheat, which have been stripped of fiber and most vital nutrients. Another point is that wheat causes a spike in blood sugar that leads to increased calorie intake and belly fat. Do we really know the total truth about the ingredients in wheat products?
A Light Bulb Moment of Truth
When did you finally realize the potential danger of wheat? I’ll go first. About six years, during a discussion with my best friend forever (BFF), we got into a conversation about our favorite breads. She proceeded to tell me about how unhealthy wheat bread is. I experienced a light bulb moment of truth. I learned that it also contributed to weight gain.
Wheat Make You Gain Weight?
Wheat increases your belly fat. The modern wheat contains a super starch called Amylopectin A. It makes your glycemic index higher than sugar. Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale to measure how rapidly any food increases your blood glucose levels within 2 hours of eating it. This one of its disadvantages.
What are the Other Disadvantages of Eating Wheat?
Wheat is not a natural product. It also makes you hungry and causes overeating. Did you know that 80% of the protein in wheat is harmful? Wheat also worsens your thyroid issues and causes allergies.
What is a Wheat Allergy?
Wheat allergy is most often reported in young children and affects up to 1% of children in the United States. One study found that two-thirds of children with a wheat allergy outgrow it by age 12. However, some individuals remain allergic to wheat throughout their lives (CDC 2022).
When a person with a wheat allergy is exposed to wheat, proteins in the wheat bind to specific antibodies made by the person’s autoimmune responses. This binding triggers their autoimmune defenses. As a result, they experience allergic symptoms that can present as mild or severe.
Wheat Allergy and Celiac Disease
Wheat allergies and Celiac disease are both adverse food reactions. However, their underlying causes are very different. For example, Wheat allergy results from an adverse immunologic (IgE-mediated) reaction to proteins in wheat. Celiac is a gluten-sensitivity that affects 1 in 100 people worldwide. Some of the tell-tell signs of a wheat allergy or celiac are:
- Bloating (feeling full of gas)
- Diarrhea and/or constipation
- Stomach pain after eating bread
- Skin rash
- Brain fog
- Anxiety and depression
- Lactose intolerance
Be Aware of a Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance causes a lot of the same symptoms as celiac disease but is not the same condition. Celiac disease and wheat allergy (WA) are infrequent diseases in the general population. In fact, for a person to have both conditions, simultaneously, is extremely rare.
Furthermore, gluten intolerance reactions cause typical allergy symptoms involving skin, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system complications. On the other hand, Celiac disease involves similar symptoms but leads to damage to the digestive tract. Plus, people with Celiac have a higher intolerance to gluten. Wheat intolerance is another medical concern to look out for.
Foods to Avoid with a Wheat Intolerance
- Cereal extract
- Cracker meal
- Durum (macaroni wheat)
Wheat Sensitivity Versus Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten intolerance means an intolerance to all grains containing gluten, wheat and wheat varieties, rye, barley, and oats. Whereas, wheat intolerance is an intolerance just to wheat and other wheat varieties, not the other gluten containing grains. Glutenous foods are often calorie dense. So, one thing to monitor is weight gain.
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Can Celiacs Cause Weight Gain?
Absolutely. Weight gain after starting a gluten-free diet is common in people diagnose with Celiac disease. In fact, it is a sign that the intestinal lining is healing. Unfortunately, if the weight gain continues it could Trigger other medical issues such as heart disease and other gastrointestinal problems. This is the downside of consuming too much wheat.
The Downside of Belly Fat in the Real World
We see so much belly fat everywhere we turn. TV, social media, and in our travels. It seems like it is the modern-day norm. This has never been farther from the truth. The truth is it is NOT a modern-day norm, and it is costing us, in more ways than one.
Obesity causes shame, guilt, ridicule, and heartbreak. Moreover, not everyone is tolerant of wider waistlines and jolly bellies. However, super-size people are human too. They are a part of every facet of life. In fact, they ride the friendly skies like everyone else. They were recent passengers on American Airlines.
American Airlines Has No Empathy
I surmise that there will be times when tolerance wears thin. According to American Airlines passenger, (frequent flyer) Sydney Watson, enough is enough. She experienced her worst nightmare when she sat sandwiched between two obese passengers.
Sydney is an Australian-American conservative political commentator. She is well-liked and has over 300,000 followers on Twitter and she’s even more popular on YouTube. She boarded on an American Airlines flight en route to a speaking engagement. Here is her what she tweeted during her ordeal:
“I am currently – literally – WEDGED between two OBESE people on my flight. This is absolutely NOT acceptable or okay. If fat people want to be fat, fine, but it is something else entirely when I’m stuck between you, with your arm rolls on my body, for 3 hours. Bless her heart.”
Diary of a Frustrated American Airlines Passenger
Sydney then proceeded to suggest that if someone needs a seat belt extender, they are required to buy a second seat. This situation does scream obesity bias in action. As the disgruntled passenger continued her flight, she held tight to her convictions and rightfully so. Here is one of the opposing views to Sydney’s positions:
“Let’s stop for a moment. Whatever your view on the obesity epidemic in the USA, treating others with kindness and respect should be foundational. Fat people are people with feelings too and while many are simply undisciplined, I call a number of people friend who have struggled with their weight for years despite dieting and exercise. Sometimes there is more going on than simply laziness and we all be wise to keep that in mind.”
This is an extremely poignant statement that speaks to what I have been writing about recently. We have no idea of what burden an obese person carries. Nine times out of ten, they have un-diagnosed medical conditions, they carry the FTO (fat gene) or they have no one in their circle to help them start the wheels of transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Tolerance, Dignity and Respect.
Let us all be more tolerant of individuals who do not fit in the molds of society norms. Tolerance and respect go a long way. Let’s not blindly diagnose people. Let’s be nonjudgmental and more empathetic. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their body size.
Problems of Wheat Cultivation in India
The wheat cultivation problem is not just inside the United States. It is a serious problem in India. India is a major exporter of wheat to its surrounding neighbors Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka and other Arab nations. However, their wheat crop is experiencing a slow-up due to:
- Climatic factors
- Global warming
- Soil organic matter content
- Nitrogen fertilizer input
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Modern Wheat Unhealthy?
Modern wheat is less nutritious. The mineral content has significantly decreased. There is a reduction in copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
The wheat grain itself, whether organic, whole grain, or white, has the same effect on the body. It is highly inflammatory. Although the wheat is created through intensive scientific modification, modern wheat is not genetically modified. It is estimated that 5% of the protein in hybridized wheat are the cause of inflammation and intolerance to gluten. Check out Dr. Davis’ book https://amzn.to/3VCq8C2
Unlike modern grains such as corn, wheat, and rice, ancient grains were not processed through hybridization or genetic modification.
Link Between Gluten and Mental Health
Individuals with gluten sensitivities have inflammation that attacks certain parts of the body. In fact, it attacks the brain and cause mood swings and behavioral issues or “foggy brain.”
Why are Wheat and Grains Harmful to Health?
Disease and various health conditions arise when you consume wheat. These ailments include digestive disorders (irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulitis, Heart Burn, and Acid Reflux. Also, Neurological disorders can erupt such as Parkinson’s, Stroke, Dementia, Fibromyalgia. Wheat also causes exaggerated blood sugar that leads to extreme hunger.
Problems with Wheat Cultivation
Poor soil quality, water scarcity, and crop pests impact crop production. In addition, the biggest single issue in cultivation is the use of fertilizer to grow wheat. Fertilizer accounts for 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmentalists. Emissions rise from energy needed to make ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
Can You Cure Gluten Intolerance?
There is no cure for gluten intolerance. However, most people find relief from symptoms if they follow a gluten-free diet. Partner with your healthcare provider/nutritionist/dietitian to plan a suitable diet. Antihistamines reduce the signs and symptoms of minor wheat allergies. You take these drugs after exposure to wheat to control reaction and relieve discomfort. Ask your doctor to prescribe a medication or use over the counter allergy products.
What is the Healthiest Type of Wheat?
Whole wheat and whole grains are the best addition to your diet. They are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The key to get the best whole grains is to know how to read the labels. Make sure you pick “whole wheat.” Whole wheat is better than wheat flour because it is a grain complete with bran, husk, and endosperm. Ironically, the husk and bran are removed in many types of wheat flours, which strips them of many nutrients, dietary fibers, minerals, and vitamins.
Final Take Home
My final message to you, my friends, is this – Never judge a book by its cover. Everyone carries their own burden of something in one way or another. If you have good health and are blessed to be a “normal” size, so be it. Not everyone has that luxury. Keep in mind that some people have wheat allergies, gluten sensitivities or other medical or genetic conditions.
Every child, adult, or elderly person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, despite their size. Offer them encouragement to seek the help of a medical professional or community agency. That is their first step. Be kind, understanding and patient. And remember that small changes in a person’s lifestyle makes a BIG difference.
Thank you for going on this journey with me. Share this information with your friends and family and I’d love to know more about how this story resonates with you or someone you are close to. Let me know in the comment section below. Let’s share dialogue and do our part to show tolerance for others who struggle with their own personal battles.