Fad diets, they’ve been around for centuries, yes centuries. Whether it’s foods that are considered religiously unclean or just cultural diets, humans have been avoiding certain foods since ancient times.
Believe it or not, there are even records dating back to health and fitness dieting attributed to the Greek and Roman times. The word diet comes from the Greek diatia meaning ‘way of life, wellness’, and encompassed an entire lifestyle. It was more than just food. I was everything that you allowed to enter your body, mind and spirit. It wasn’t until the Victorian era that fad dieting really took off though.
In his book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis discusses why modern wheat is hazardous to your health. He lists a host of diseases, disorders and other maladies that are a consequence of this super villain food. Dr. Davis justifies his position on why it should be eliminated from everyone’s diet for most of his book, but then only provides a paltry offering in what IS allowed in his theoretical diet.
So The Question Remains… Can I Still Eat Wheat?
You can find AMAZING testimonials about the Wheat Belly Diet (i.e. how eliminating wheat miraculously helped someone to lose x number of pounds, improve their cholesterol, got off their anti-depressants and lowered their blood pressure, etc. You even hear about ridiculous reactions to gluten from people that have cut it out of their diet for a time.
The real question that needs to be asked is, can the grain that has fed civilization as we know it be responsible for all these ailments?
Celiac disease is considered an auto-immune disorder where gluten prompts the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine resulting in diarrhea and anemia to osteoporosis and in the most extreme cases lymphoma. It is estimated that the prevalence of this disorder effects less than one percent of the world’s population, but is rapidly increasing in the US – quadrupling in just the last 50 years.
Research from the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment indicates that gluten sensitivity affects approximately 18 million Americans. That’s the equivalent of the populations of Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. combined. To keep it all in perspective, that’s a mere six percent of the population in comparison to the 40 million lactose intolerant Americans.
So, there’s a 94-98% chance that excluding wheat from your diet alone won’t hold the key to your miracle weight loss.
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One of the dangers of eliminating a whole food group is getting all of the necessary recommended daily allowances of nutrients. Whole grain wheat flour is a significant source of Dietary Fiber, and a very good source of, Manganese and Selenium. It is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium while also providing Calcium, Vitamin D and Iron. Not to mention a single cup of whole grain flour has 16 grams of Protein.
Yes, we can do without the 400 Calories but substituting potato or rice flour isn’t the solution.
Potato flour has 571 Calories, 88g of Sodium and 133g of Total Carbs to wheat’s 87g. Rice flour, be it brown or white, is just as high in Calories ranging from 574-578g, respectively.
Why Reducing Wheat Helps
Our grocery aisles are inundated with processed foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. So, why do some people following a low or no-carb diet, still have a hard time losing weight? Most people who haven’t seen the remarkable results claimed by the experts aren’t actually following that lifestyle.
They eat more protein and fat, but they still include breads, pasta, juice and other carbohydrates. People that move to a gluten free diet end up following a low carb-diet simply because of the foods they choose, yet may still struggle to lose weight. It is widely known that a carb-free lifestyle followed properly is one of the greatest solutions for long term weight management.
Many of the recipes in the Wheat Belly Cookbook call for a sugar substitute, so you just aren’t receiving the benefits of reduced carbohydrates, but the elimination of sugar from your diet also significantly reduces the level of you caloric intake.
The reality of the matter is that there is that there’s no magic in eliminating carbs.
Whether you choose to do the Atkins diet, go gluten free or just consciously choose to eat less starchy foods. The basic weight loss formula is to burn more calories than you consume, and by eliminating certain foods and whole food groups it simply translates into significant reduction of caloric intake. It doesn’t seem too revolutionary when you think about it this way, does it?