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  1. #11
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    so, having read this book (at least 3/4ths of it, the crap at the end sent me to sleep) here's the basic premise:

    1. This cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, somehow stumbled across the idea that cutting wheat out of one's diet can help with some things
    2. He's recommended it to many of his clients and they've done amazingly well (I follow his twitter feed, he continually posts anecdotes)
    3. He looked into this a little further and discovered that wheat, as we eat it nowadays, processed OR NOT, has been cross-bred and mucked with to the point that it's more of a mutant wheat. The gluten composition is different (from higher chromosome count/different composition) from what our grandparents likely grew up eating, and the modern day "dwarf wheat" is so different from the tall wheat we've eaten most of humanity's agricultural lifetime that it can't survive on its own in the wild. Dwarf wheat was developed for high yield per acre, which is why it's grown and used for most conventional bread/misc. baking flours; Durum wheat used for pasta isn't like this, from what I understand. He seems to argue that the complex genetic composition of modern "dwarf wheat" may have revealed some unintended consequences of triggering gluten sensitivity in people who wouldn't otherwise normally be sensitive to the older types of wheat.

    Anyway, like most pop health books, the author started with a kernel of truth (IMO) and tried to make it grow tentacles to explain the whole universe.

    Some quick hits I recall from the book (I read it a month ago)-

    1. Amylopectin-A, the predominant starch in wheat, breaks down to glucose and spikes your blood sugar at a breakneck pace--faster than table sugar.
    2. On the glycemic index, according to Dr. Davis, whole wheat bread is no better (or not much better, anyhow) than enriched wheat flour-based bread. Might have more fiber and nutrients, but they're not hiding that amylopectin-A from your amylase enzymes...
    3. Some wheat-based goods have an enzyme deliberately added (transgluttaminase?) that modifies the gluten in such a way as to make it mimic proteins commonly attacked by your immune system. There's a functional reason for it, I can't remember what it was though.
    4. Some of the proteins in the gluten complex cross the blood-brain barrier and act like endorphins, making you slightly high. he calls them "exorphins".
    5. Gluten-related antibodies are higher on average with healthy humans nowadays than they were ~50 years ago, there's an interesting study he details where a select group of healthy young military men had blood drawn & preserved back in the 1950's and they decided to pull it out of storage, test it for whatever antibodies they were looking for, but do a parallel test with similarly-aged men in the early 2000's along with men in their 70's who would've been in their 20's back in the 1950's when the first blood was drawn. The concentration of these antibodies was several-fold higher in the early-2000's samples than in the old 1950's samples, moreso with the young folks if I recall correctly.
    6. Something like 30%, or 40%? of the population is likely to have some form of gluten sensitivity, not full blown Celiac disease necessarily but something subtle.
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  2. #12
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirilis View Post
    Anyway, like most pop health books, the author started with a kernel of truth (IMO) and tried to make it grow tentacles to explain the whole universe.
    Yeah, I figured...

    Interesting stuff though. Thanks for the summary.

  3. #13
    Aquaria mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Wheat's not hard to avoid, unless you live in Hicksville, West Virginia or some other shithole.

    Just eat rice for carbs and dark rye bread (the real stuff from Germany, not Safeway dyed wheat bread with two kernels of rye in it just so they can call it "rye").

    I do hear that wheat germs are beneficial.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member swordpath's Avatar
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    Everything in moderation... I guarantee, if you live by that, wheat will not be to blame if you're still obese.

    I'll be damned if someone tries to make me stop eating wheat products.

  5. #15
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    I think the idea there is that some folks can't do wheat in moderation because of the addictive effects (exorphin, blood sugar spike & resulting metabolic-syndrome-esque insulin rollercoaster). But for those (majority, imo) of us who can control ourselves, yeah, do it in moderation.

    (fwiw, I do get addictive urges when I eat wheat products... and acid reflux, which magically disappears when I stop eating it)
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  6. #16
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    I will post more on this later, but I just wanted to add real quick that the main problem, according to the author, is that (1) wheat has a high glycemic index (higher than sugar), (2) this leads to fat accumulation, and (3) wheat is in everything. I ignored the whole part about it being addictive because I'm not sure how convincing that part was, but it makes a lot of sense that, given the previous three points, wheat IS a problem. It's not simply a problem of moderating how much bread you eat; you would have to be very careful not only to eat wheat in small amounts, but also to avoid eating other things that contain wheat. Otherwise it's like eating wheat all day long, even if you only ate two slices of actual bread on any given day, and that's kind of the same as eating sugar all day long (which we all recognize as being harmful to your health.)

    Add to that the possibility that the way wheat is produced is not good for human consumption, and that's enough for me to go off of it entirely. I've never been a big bread person anyway.
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  7. #17
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    For those suffering the pain of gout, grains, including wheat, produce uric acid in the body. And the acid collects in the extremities, such as the feet and hands, and crystalise out into uric acid crystals which unfortunately are pointed.

    So the feet swell up and press against the sharp points of the crystals, causing unbelievable pain.

    And if we have ever felt this pain, we are highly motivated to avoid anything that produces uric acid, such as meat, fish, shellfish and grains. Instead we eat lots of fruit and vegetables, particularly in green smoothies.

    However if we don't suffer from gout or are gluten intolerant, whole grains and wheatgerm are full of good nutrients.

  8. #18
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    I pretty much entirely dropped wheat at the start of the year, I lost weight and I don't miss it.

    I think it's an appetite stimulant (why do they do serve bread before meals?), it's fine to say everything in moderation but some things make moderation more difficult, better to just drop them.
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  9. #19
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Oh goody I get to eat white bread again.

    Seriously, I think I will just eat my toast even if makes me toast.

    Mmm hot buttered toast

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  10. #20
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    For those who can tolerate wheat, just be sure to mix in other grains, like rice and quinoa, to prevent becoming sensitized.
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