Modern Wheat Has More Carbs Than Ancient Wheat
By Dr. Mark Pinsky // July 8, 2014
Wheat has become so “ingrained” as a part of our overall dietary intake that it literally lines the shelves of our grocery stores. That’s right. Go down the cereal aisle, bread aisle, snack aisle, and there it is.
Impossible to avoid, but is it good for you? NO!
In fact, the fattening of America since the mid-1980s coincides with the strong endorsement from leading, well-respected agencies (American Heart Association, American Dietetic Association, and the American Diabetic Association) that we should consume more whole grains.
The problem is that the wheat of today is not the same as that ingested just a few decades ago. America’s most plentiful grain has undergone many transformations.
In an attempt to yield a hearty crop that would withstand harsher weather conditions and pestilence, scientists have hybridized and crossbred wheat strains. Their attempts have been “successful.”
Crop yields are at all-time highs, but, while this seems all positive, it has come at a steep price to the consumer.
Modern Wheat vs Ancient Wheat
No studies were ever done to see what the effect of this genetic alteration would have on humans.
We now know that modern wheat has a greater percentage of complex carbohydrates and less protein than ancient wheat.
This creates a big problem because even though it is in the form of complex carbohydrates (a form of usable sugar), it contains a large percentage of amylopectin. Amylopectin is a substance that is rapidly broken down and converted to glucose (sugar).
This rapid conversion leads to a sharp rise in blood sugar. Therefore, modern wheat has a much greater propensity to contribute to America’s diabetes epidemic.
The science is lengthy and confusing and this brief article cannot do it justice. In short, a rapid rise in sugar leads to a rapid rise in insulin production. This insulin rise creates fat deposition by a complex mechanism.
This fat finds itself predominately bound to the abdomen and results in what has been coined “wheat belly.” Moreover, this phenomenon of rapid insulin and sugar rise following wheat ingestion is a two-hour long process that ultimately results in a rapid drop in blood sugar leading to a roller coaster ride of satiety, followed by hunger.
This explains why two hours after eating a bowl of cereal (or numerous other breakfast products that have wheat in them) people experience the effects of low blood sugar, such as stomach growling, mental fog, fatigue, and/or shakiness.
Bigger Belly, Greater Risk
The ill effects of wheat don’t stop there. In both sexes, the bigger the belly from fat, the greater the risk for heart disease and the development of certain cancers.
In men, increased fat creates increased estrogen that increases breast tissue and can create a very uncomfortable condition known as gynecomastia, which in some cases requires surgical correction.
Perhaps one of the most frightening effects of wheat is its addictive properties. Wheat, in fact, is an appetite stimulant. It has a direct effect on the appetite center of the brain. Believe it or not, those who eliminate wheat from daily consumption often consume less calories, greatly contributing to weight loss.
Wheat Has Euphoric Effect
Science also has discovered that once wheat crosses the blood-brain barrier, it binds to morphine receptors and has a euphoric effect.
In clinical trials, this effect was blocked by the drug Naloxone, the same drug used to wean drug addicts off of heroin and other opiates. Therefore, take in wheat, you get a “buzz,” and when coming off, you go through withdrawal.
In conclusion, the wheat of today is not the same as the wheat of yesteryear.
The ingestion of this product creates a whole host of medical complications including obesity, which has contributed to the epidemic of diabetes and heart disease in this country. Therefore, even a modest decrease in wheat ingestion can have a dramatic positive impact on one’s overall health.
ABOUTH THE AUTHOR
Dr. Mark Pinsky is an affiliate of MDVIP and is board certified in family medicine by the American Academy of Family Medicine. He completed his doctorate degree from the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Missouri. His family practice residency was served at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. In addition, Dr. Pinsky completed a sports medicine fellowship in Cleveland, Ohio, with Lutheran Medical Center in conjunction with Horizon Orthopedics, the team physicians for the Cleveland Indians. He also has a certificate of additional qualifications in sports medicine from the American Academy of Family Practice. Dr. Pinsky speaks nationally for several pharmaceutical companies and serves as the medical director for a home health care agency. Currently he is caring for Viera High athletes and is a partner of Medical Associates of Brevard. To reach Dr. Pinsky, call 321-255-2289.