Wheat, Gluten and Sugar

I’m a bit too tired to think of a funny title for today so I’ll settle for the three words that encapsulate the whole.  I will tell you at a later date why I’m incredibly tired, but today is not that day.

As I wrote yesterday I have become enthralled with the whole issue of eating and in fact being, gluten free. It all started with seeing an article someone posted on facebook about a link between headaches and gluten.  I have long suffered from headaches. More often than not I would tell people how I knew it was going to be a good day because I didn’t have a headache. I’d tried numerous avenues to rid myself of the beasts but they persisted.  We also have several allergy issues in our family. In fact, I just don’t think people in their 40s should start acquiring new allergies. It’s not right and yet that is what I have done in the past year.

I picked up at the library a book by Dr. William Davis, M.D. entitled “Wheat Belly“. It has been nothing short of fascinating. We have all heard of the Glycemic Index. The Glycemic Index (or GI) is a numerical scale that is used to indicate how high any particular food raises our blood glucose, or blood sugar. The higher the GI the greater the spike in blood sugar. And the greater the spike, the harder the crash. We all know that, right? Right.

What you may not know is that 2 slices of whole wheat bread has a higher GI than 2 tablespoons of pure sugar.

Yeah, go back and read that again to be sure you read it right.  Two slices of whole wheat bread raises your blood glucose higher than that of 2 tablespoons of sugar.

Now let’s pretend you’ve just received a diagnoses of diabetes and you go to a class on how to live with the disease.  You’ll learn to limit your sugar while maintaining a “healthy” diet of  “healthy whole wheat and whole grains.” So you commence to do just this convinced you’ll be able to control your disease with diet. Only it’s not long and you’re on insulin injections every day.

Why? Because you’re eating “healthy whole wheat and grains.” The cure is slowly killing you. You would be better off, much better off, ditching the healthy whole grains to the curb altogether. Stay off of insulin, possibly reverse your diagnoses by avoiding gluten like the plague.

But wait! It’s not just the gluten. Oh no no no no. If you were to decide to avoid all gluten you’d probably go to the store and purchase a bag of gluten free, all-purpose flour. And think you’re doing a good thing for your body. No gluten. No blood sugar spike. No hard crash. Life is good.

Not so fast, twinkle toes. In that bag of “healthy gluten free” flour you will find potato starch, rice starch and tapioca starch. Guess what they do?

If you guessed skyrocket your blood sugar like wheat bread, you’d be absolutely right.

Now the up and down blood sugar causes, guess what? Oh alright, I’ll tell you. It causes you to eat more. Oh yeah. Your blood sugar spikes at noon, crashes at 2, by 2:15 you’re too sleepy to live so you reach for a “healthy whole grain snack” to perk you up. Which causes your blood sugar to spike and crash which causes you to eat  more.

Which adds more weight. Now where do you suppose all this extra weight likes to hang out?  If you guessed in your mid-section you’d be absolutely brilliant. Not only does it love to hang out on your mid-section (can anyone say beer belly, muffin top or love handles?) it also likes to hang out on your internal organs.

from tsgood.com

No, not like church organs. Like your liver and kidneys. Yeah, those organs. The very organs you need to…oh what is the word I’m looking for??? Oh yeah, I have it…live. You could live very well without a church organ, not so well without your kidneys and liver. Oh yeah and your heart too. You have to have that.

So before you reach for that bagel, think of your innards.  They’ll thank you!