Follow our discussions here and on the Wheat Belly Facebook page, and you will see that newbies make the same mistakes, over and over again. While all of these issues are discussed in the original Wheat Belly book, and even more extensively in the soon-to-be-released in September, 2014 Wheat Belly Total Health book, somehow they missed some crucial pieces of the message. So, to help you avoid such common mistakes that booby trap both health and your ability to lose weight, here is the list. Don’t make these common mistakes:
- Eat gluten-free foods–Gluten-free foods made with cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato flour, or rice flour should not be used in place of wheat or other gluten sources. This is replacing a problem with another problem. You already know that two slices of whole wheat bread raises blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar. Know what’s worse? Yup: gluten-free foods made with cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato flour, and rice flour!
- Eat organic wheat–Without herbicides or pesticides, it’s still wheat. Even worse, it’s still likely to be modern high-yield semidwarf wheat, the worst of all. Is organic tobacco healthy to smoke? Of course not. Organic wheat is no better.
- Eat traditional strains of wheat–This includes spelt, kamut, Red Fife, Russian wheat, emmer, and einkorn. These are older strains of wheat that predate many of the changes introduced by geneticists and agribusiness. These strains are indeed less harmful than modern semidwarf strains, but they are not harmless. If I had a cigarette that posed 50% less risk of heart disease and cancer compared to conventional cigarettes, is that good enough for you? Probably not, but that’s how it goes with these traditional strains of wheat, too: less harmful, not harmless.
- Find unhealthy grain substitutes–Outside of the awful gluten-free flours, people will often turn to quinoa, buckwheat, or brown rice flour, even more exotic replacements such as teff or millet. While none of these alternatives have the potential like wheat to trigger autoimmune diseases, mind effects, neurological impairment, psychiatric disease, and gastrointestinal disruption, they still send blood sugar sky-high. As with gluten-free flours, don’t replace a problem with another problem.
- Mistake gliadin-derived opiate withdrawal with “need”–Stop the flow of wheat and you stop the flow of gliadin protein-derived opiates and you experience the nausea, fatigue, depression, and headaches of opiate withdrawal. People will sometimes interpret this to mean that you body somehow must “need” wheat–no, it is an opiate withdrawal that you must get through.
- Remain fearful of fat–Cutting total and saturated fat are corollaries of the “eat more healthy whole grain” message: We reject both. But many people have a hard time with this, having endured 30 years of low-fat messaging and products. This is represented by all the people who have lots of hunger or cravings with wheat elimination. So eat fat: buy fatty cuts of meat, eat the fat on pork and beef, eat the dark meat and skin on poultry, save drippings to use for cooking, save all bones to boil for soup or stock and don’t skim off the gelatin or fat when it cools, use more organic butter or ghee, use more coconut oil, eat more avocados, eat the yolks in eggs. This induces satiety.
- Inadequate hydration–When you stop consuming all things wheat, insulin levels plummet. This permits water loss. If you lost, say, 5 pounds your first week, around 2 or 3 pounds during that first week can be water loss. This can leave you dehydrated. We compensate by hydrating more than usual that first week or so. As salt is also lost in the urine, adding back a mineral rich form of salt, such as sea salt, can be also be important.
It’s really not that tough. Millions of people are now wheat-free, many more millions will become wheat-free. With it, we are going to witness a dramatic tidal wave of health transformations–so don’t botch it up!