You Have a Wheat Belly?
a common food, consumed every day by most people, that:
overall calorie consumption by 400 calories per day
Affects the human brain in much the same way as morphine
Has a greater impact on blood sugar levels than a candy bar
Is consumed at the rate of 133 pounds per person per year
Has been associated with increased Type 1 Diabetes
Increases both insulin resistance and leptin resistance,
conditions that lead to obesity
Is the only common food with its own mortality rate
If you guessed
sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, you're on the right track, but,
no, that's not the correct answer.
The true culprit:
Triticum aestivum, or modern wheat.
Note that I
said "modern" wheat, because I would argue that what we
are being sold today in the form of whole grain bread, raisin bagels,
blueberry muffins, pizza, ciabatta, bruschetta, and so on is not
the same grain our grandparents grew up on. It's not even close.
is the altered offspring of thousands of genetic manipulations,
crude and sometimes bizarre techniques that pre-date the age of
genetic modification. The result: a high-yield, 2-foot-tall "semi-dwarf"
plant that no more resembles the wheat consumed by our ancestors
than a chimpanzee (which shares 99% of the same genes that we do)
resembles a human. I trust that you can tell the difference that
outward differences are accompanied by biochemical differences.
The gluten proteins in modern wheat, for instance, differ from the
gluten proteins found in wheat as recently as 1960. This likely
explains why the incidence of celiac disease, the devastating intestinal
condition caused by gluten, has quadrupled in the past 40 years.
Furthermore, a whole range of inflammatory diseases, from rheumatoid
arthritis to inflammatory bowel disease, are also on the rise. Humans
haven't changed but the wheat we consume has changed considerably.
of "beer bellies," the protuberant, sagging abdomen of
someone who drinks beer to excess. That distinctive look is often
attributed to alcohol consumption when in fact it's just as likely
to be caused by the pretzels not just the beer you're
downing after work. A wheat belly is a protuberant, sagging
abdomen that develops when you overindulge in wheat products like
crackers, breads, waffles, pancakes, breakfast cereals and pasta.
Dimpled or smooth, hairy or hairless, tense or flaccid, wheat bellies
come in as many shapes, colors, and sizes as there are humans. But
millions of Americans have a wheat belly, and the underlying metabolic
reasons for having one are all the same. Wheat contains a type of
sugar called amylopectin A that raises blood sugar in an
extravagant fashion. Eating just two slices of whole wheat bread,
can raise blood sugar more than two tablespoons of pure sugar. This
leads to the accumulation of visceral fat on the body, the deep
fat encircling organs that is a hotbed of inflammatory activity.
Inflammation, in turn, leads to hypertension, heart disease, cancer,
and other conditions.
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© 2012 Boing Boing