This week I watched the documentary; What's With Wheat. The documentary sets out to educate people about wheat and why it's linked to so many health problems today. The documentary features a lot of experts in the industry that I admire, one in particular; Dr Terry Wahls.
Dr Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis which confined her to a wheelchair for four years. Through diet and lifestyle changes, Dr Wahls completely restored her health and now enjoys the luxury of riding her bike to work every day. A true example of the power of nutrition in healing disease.
For me personally, wheat isn't something I consume often. The reason being that it simply doesn’t make me feel good. I’ve learnt to become very in-tune with my body and choose (for the most part) to eat foods that make me feel good. This means that the bulk of my diet is clean and nourishing. That being said I am not obsessive or overly restrictive so if I feel like eating a slice of bread, or rather pick at the crust which the best bit, I will. My point is that this isn’t about scaring you off wheat for life but it is about being aware of they effects it's having on our health, becoming more in tune with how wheat or other foods make YOU feel, consider alternatives that make you feel better and stay balanced.
Sally Fallon, founder of The Western A. Price Foundation says; "Wheat is probably the most problematic food in the diet”. The issue is that what was once a healthy part of a balanced diet has now changed so dramatically that it doesn't resemble what it used to be. So what has changed?
Wheat has been hybridised into new forms that are more pest resistant and yield more crops for production & money money money mooney. This has also created new strains of gluten that our body views as a threat. Therefore when we eat it, our body goes into attack mode which causes damage to our body and triggers the disease process. This has led to the dramatic increase in celiac disease and other inflammatory conditions.
There are a lot more chemicals used in the crop production to kill bacteria and pests that would otherwise destroy the crops. Humans are made up of 10x more bacteria than cells so these chemicals are essentially killing us. These health promoting bacteria reside all over our body, a key concentrated area being in our digestive tract and therefore is completely destroying our digestion. Our guts are not the only part of our body affected by wheat. Depending on your susceptibility depends on where the symptoms show up – gut, bloating, irritability, headaches, muscle ached and pains, itches, depression, anxiety. This is why it’s so widespread and affects people in so many different ways.
We are eating far too much of it. Wheat is a huge commodity and it’s therefore in the interests of our government to subsidies and encourage mass consumption. A classic example of this is the fact that up until recently wheat based products such as bread, cereal and pasta were are at the bottom of the food pyramid. This means that the government recommended that the bulk of our diet should be made up of bread, cereal, pasta and other grain foods. As a nutritionist I can safely say this is absolutely rubbish. The bulk of our diet should be made up fruit and vegetables. The movement finally came to their senses in 2013 and updated the pyramid.
People have become so dependent on wheat in the diet that when I’ve recommended that certain clients remove it as part of an elimination diet, they go into complete panic mode. What’s left to eat? Won’t l starve? Where will I get my energy from?
Of course wheat isn't at the root cause of all disease however it is proving to be a common irritant to many. If you are experiencing symptoms that you think could be related to a wheat intolerance and/or are interested in making some dietary changes and don’t know where to start, feel free to get in touch.
Watch the full documentary below: