There are major health risks associated with eating foods containing our modern genetically modified strains of wheat. These problems can have a delayed onset or an immediate onset. Wheat is sneaky. First, it lets you enjoy it, until you get hooked on it. Then with increased consumption, it begins to gradually cause reactions in the body that are mild at first, hardly noticeable.
But the progression is insidious, and moves from mild discomfort to more serious disease. All the while, people have no clue that it is wheat that is behind the health conditions they are developing.
Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight“, had no idea that wheat was the culprit, until he began to see so many patients recovering, when they eliminated wheat from their diet. He discovered that he himself, who had been diabetic for 20 years, was able to reverse his diabetes and become a non-diabetic, and lose 30 lbs by eliminating wheat from his diet.
Dr. Davis before the onset of his diabetes was a vegetarian, eating lots of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and jogging 5 miles a day. This regimen did nothing to improve his health. Hear his story in this video.
What Has Happened to Wheat to Make it Such a Health Risk?
Wheat has changed. The modern wheat we eat today is not the wheat our great-grandparents ate, in the 1950’s. In the 1970’s wheat underwent hybridization, and later in the 1980’s genetic modifications reduced it’s size, and increased yield. These changes also made it possible for wheat to be used in creative ways in baking, making pastries light and easily moulded into attractive shapes. The new wheat, became a boon for farmers, and a delight to customers, who began to crave the new “melt in your mouth” textures at bakeries around the country.
The introduction of these changes to the structure of wheat changed the characteristics of wheat. It was no longer the same wheat.
As far back as 2009 the American Academy of Environmental Medicine was sounding the alarm about Genetically Modified Foods. Two physicians: Dean and Armstrong presented a statement paper in which they said:
It has been the practice that “safety assessment of GM foods has been based on the idea of “substantial equivalence” such that “if a new food is found to be substantially equivalent in composition and nutritional characteristics to an existing food, it can be regarded as safe as the conventional food. However, several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.
Jumping on the Marketing Bandwagon
But these concerns were easily ignored. Everyone wanted a piece of the action. Producers soon realized something else – that this new GM wheat strain was a potent appetite stimulant. Therefore, anything that contained wheat was likely to be a big seller. This genetically engineered wheat took over the marketplace.
And so wheat became an ingredient in most processed foods and fast foods. Today wheat is found not only in breads and pastries, but in soups, salad dressings, frozen foods, candy, granola, root beer, pickles, natural spices and flavorings, soy sauce, french fries, lipstick, and even some medications and food supplements.
In fact you might say it’s in everything that is processed and pre-packaged, unless it specifically states on the package that the food is wheat or gluten free.
What is the Difference Between a Food Allergy and a Food Sensitivity?
In the 7 minute video below, Dr. Michael Smith, Senior Health Science Specialist from the Life Extension Foundation, explains the difference to Suzanne Somers. He also talks about why we are becoming sensitive to common foods, that hardly anyone was sensitive to, just a few years ago. And he reveals how you can test yourself at home for food sensitivities.
Here are just a few of the points made in this video
- A food allergy is driven by an antibody called IGE, which can cause a deadly immune reaction, that can take you to the emergency room.
- A food sensitivity is a chronic reaction which you get over and over again, when you eat a certain food. It is caused by a different antibody called IGG.
- When you eat a food that your system reacts to, because your body produces the antibody IGG to that food, you can get these reactions: feeling ‘blah’, muscle aches and pains, headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, weight gain.
- These immune reactions will continue as long as you eat the foods you are sensitive to.
- You can have sensitivities to seemingly benign foods like eggs, wheat, bananas, or cheese.
- Why are there suddenly so many people with immune reactions to common foods we eat? Because of all the toxins that are allowed in our foods, the preservatives, the salts, the nitrates, etc.
- There are tons of industrial chemicals now being allowed in and around our food supply. This causes our immune systems to become confused and hyperactive, and we develop all kinds of sensitivities to foods we had been able to eat with no problem a few years ago.
Do You Have a Wheat Sensitivity?
Not everybody reacts to wheat the same way. As with everything, some people seem to be unaffected. Others will notice an immediate relief, when they go off wheat. They lose weight, feel more energetic, sleep better. Their skin clears of rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and itchy dry skin goes away. Arthritis pain subsides. Asthma, coughing and constant colds, flu and infections disappear.
People who continue to eat wheat, as they get older, may develop heart disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue, depression, high blood pressure and a host of other illnesses.
Dr. Davis is not saying, that if you eat wheat you will be sure to develop these diseases. It all depends on your pre-disposition, your genetic or family make-up. The inflammation that wheat creates in the body is more likely to cause problems in your weakest areas. And it takes time to develop. It doesn’t happen overnight.
But the fact that many people report that cutting out wheat has allowed them to sleep better at night, to breathe more easily, to get rid of acid reflux, bloating, gas and indigestion, means that it had been starting to affect them.
If you have had a long term health issue, you may find it goes away after you stop eating wheat.
Inflammation – the Underlying Cause of Disease
Dr. Davis maintains that it is wheat that is a major trigger for inflammation in the body, which sets the stage for disease to manifest in many different forms. He identified wheat as an underlying cause of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, joint pain, asthma, and Leaky Gut Syndrome. It has even been linked to Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer, and Irritable Bowel Disease.
Withdrawal Symptoms from Wheat
When you first go off wheat don’t be surprised if you experience some of these symptoms: unusual tiredness or lack of energy, cravings for wheat, mental fog, irritability, inability to keep up with the usual workday or demands of school, sadness, and depression. About 35% of people will experience strong withdrawal symptoms.
Wheat is addictive, because it’s an opiate. This is seen, especially when you have been off of wheat for a year or so, and re-introduce it back into your system, because you have been convinced that it is not so bad. It can cause cramps, diarrhea, anxiety, and even rage. Be aware of this.
Dehydration Warning: When you go wheat-free, you will lose a lot of water, which was being held in your body tissues. Therefore, you will need to drink more fluids to replace the water that is leaving your body, or you will become dehydrated. It is common to lose about a pound a day over the first 10 days of stopping wheat. A lot of that is water. Also remember to increase salt intake.
Don’t Let Advertising Bully You into Buying Unhealthy Foods
Evidence about the adverse effects of wheat in our diet is mounting, to the point where we can no longer ignore it. Wheat is just the tip of the iceberg. There seems to be an insidious carelessness about our food system among official watchdog organizations, that is taking its toll on not only the vulnerable sectors of our population – the very young and the very old – but is now coming to include people in the prime of life.
If governments cannot be relied on to protect us, we have to take a proactive stance and protect ourselves. And if more people refuse to buy foods with wheat in them, big business will have to respond. They will not be selling their products, and if the products the advertising machine is pushing, don’t sell, they have to stop bringing them in and putting them on the shelves. Then they will be looking at what we are actually buying.
The power resides with us the people. Let your food choices in the marketplace be your vote for more natural, organic and wheat free foods.
3 Non-GMO Shopper’s Guides
1. The Institute for Responsible Technology Non-GMO Shopping Guide
2. Center for Food Safety True Food Shoppers’ Guide to Avoiding GMOs
3. The Greenpeace Canada Shoppers Guide