“Wheat Belly is just a low-carb diet, another version of the Atkins diet.”
Hmmmm. Where to start?
If Wheat Belly were a diet, I would have called it “The Wheat Belly Diet.” But it’s not a diet and I didn’t call it that. While a diet is indeed articulated, Wheat Belly is, first and foremost, about the changes introduced into modern wheat by the work of geneticists during the 1960s and 1970s, the same kind of research that led to the creation of Agent Orange, DDT, and other “better health through chemistry” types of efforts.
The failure of agricultural geneticists and agribusiness to ask questions about the suitability of a genetically unique crop means they unleashed a foodstuff on a public . . . with no understanding of its effects on humans who consume it. This unquestioned acceptance of chemistry and genetics was the modus operandi during the mid-20th century. Look at asbestos exposure, the widely-used insulation that now shows up as lung diseases, asbestosis and mesothelioma. Or the widespread application of brominated flame retardants, such as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PDBEs), in carpeting and mattresses, that triggers thyroid disease. How about bisphenol A, BPA, formerly used as an estrogen replacement in females, found to provide desirable hardening characteristics in polycarbonate plastics, but also yielding . . . estrogenic effects in humans using the plastics?
In other words, wheat is really part—though an awfully big one, also enjoying widespread endorsement by dietitians, nutritionists, physicians, and the U.S. government—of a broader problem. We now know that asbestos, PDBEs, and BPA have destructive effects on human health, thanks in part to 40 years of exposure on a large scale sufficient to witness the increased cancer, disruption of endocrine function, and 9-year old females with breasts and menstrual cycles. Yet wheat continues to enjoy its hallowed place in nutrition, praised by nearly all who offer nutritional advice.
Among the changes introduced into wheat by geneticists:
–Enrichment in the glia-alpha-9 genetic sequence that provokes celiac disease. Nearly absent from the wheat of 1950, nearly all modern semi-dwarf wheat contains this genetic sequence. Is it any wonder why the incidence of celiac disease has quadrupled?
–Gliadin is a more powerful opiate–The changes introduced into the gliadin gene/protein make it a more potent opiate. While the digestive byproducts of gliadin bind to the opiate receptors of the brain, they lack the pain-relieving and euphoric effects of heroin and morphine, but “only” provoke addictive eating behavior and appetite stimulation. People who consume wheat consume, on average, 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year.
–Changes in the lectin unique to wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, that is responsible for 1) direct intestinal damamge, and 2) a Trojan horse effect of helping foreign substances gain entry into the bloodstream. This is likely at least part of the reason why wheat-eaters experience more lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyositis, type 1 diabetes in children, worse ulcerative colitis and Crohns, more Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: Foreign proteins gain entry to the various organs of the body and result in “autoinflammation.” Changes in wheat lectin may have also led to more effective blocking of the hormone of satiety, leptin.
–Changes in alpha amylase inhibitors–These are the most common sources of wheat allergies, e.g., wheat allergy in kids.
Eliminating wheat is about undoing all these effects, effects that have broad implications for human health across an astounding number of health conditions.
So is Wheat Belly just another low-carb diet? Hardly.
Wheat Belly is an exposure of the destructive changes introduced into wheat by unwitting geneticists during an age when such things were unquestioningly viewed as scientific progress. It is an accusation that Big Food, likely aware of these phenomena for 25 years or more, has quietly put these effects to use, especially appetite-stimulation, to increase revenues. And it is an exposure of the incredible ignorance (collusion?) of official government agencies, such as the USDA, FDA, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who tell us to eat more “healthy whole grains,” then watch healthcare expenditures and American waistlines explode . . . then blame the disaster on our gluttony and sloth.
And, oh yes, there is a diet to follow, too.