Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Poor wheat. And fruit. And Corn. And potatoes. And dairy. And red meat. They are all getting an unnecessarily bad rap.
I don't know about you, but I have heard reports speaking against all of the above, even to the extremes of saying many of these shouldn't have been in the human diet in the first place and should be eliminated. I think this is, at least, very inconvenient (and expensive) and, at most, dangerous. My belief is that God put on these foods on earth for our consumption. Eliminating any or all of them from our diets, for reasons other than allergies or intolerance's, leaves our bodies void of many nutrients they need to run at max efficiency.
Food fads come and go. Someone will decide that a food "causes" problems. Remember when they said peanut butter caused cancer? The same thing came around about cauliflower. Now, peanuts are considered a valuable source of healthy fats (A-hem... They always were!), and cruciferous vegetables, to include cauliflower, are considered healthy for their unique blend of nutrients and fiber.
Hey, if you overeat ANY food, even a healthy one in it's most natural form possible, there are going to be negative side effects. The key is to eat a very wide variety all the time.
So, starting with wheat, I plan to do a series of blogs on what I have heard to be the reasons to avoid the above mentioned foods, and my rebuttal to these reasons:
Reason to avoid: It has a high glycemic index, making it mess with blood sugar.
My rebuttal: When wheat isn't stripped of it's wheat bran, bleached free of it's nutrients, smooshed to bits, and then sprayed with vitamins to "fortify it" (in other words, been turned into common white flour), the glycemic index isn't bad at all and it can actually help to stabilize blood sugar, due to the high fiber content. It's the fact that man has jacked with it so much that has screwed it up. If you want to use white flour for a special and rare dessert, be my guest! Whole wheat flour does not a light dessert make. But for your regular, day-to-day use, go with whole wheat: either white (it's actually a type of wheat, still in it's whole form) or regular brown whole wheat flour. King Arthur is my favorite brand of either. Try it once, and you'll see why. Totally worth the extra cost, IMHO
Reason to avoid: The glucose in it is bad for you.
My rebuttal: The glucose in your regular, cheap, processed white wheat is indeed bad for you. The glucose in whole wheat is not. (See above.)
Reason to avoid: It is a high allergen.
My rebuttal: Are you allergic to it? If so, then avoid it. If not, this is a moot point. I am allergic to tree nuts, but I'm not going to tell you to avoid tree nuts if you are not allergic to them. They are good for you, but they are bad for me. You should eat them, I should not. Duh.
Reason to avoid: It makes you bloat ("wheat belly").
My rebuttal: When some people digest wheat their midriffs do indeed temporarily swell. It's the gases produced by the bacteria in the intestinal tract that are digesting the wheat. In other words, it's air. And this is a good thing: It means the body is breaking the wheat down and sending the good stuff into your body to be used as healthy fuel, as well as separating the fiber to keep your elimination system moving regularly and in a healthy manner. It's a temporary, healthy, and necessary process that will go down as soon as the digestion is complete. Additionally, this tendency tends to be worse if you haven't had wheat for a while. As your system adjusts to it, "wheat belly" will usually go away.
Reason to avoid: It has little nutritional value.
My rebuttal: Hogwash! It's an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, choline, betaine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, copper, zinc, potassium, not to mention fiber. If that's not a nutrient-rich food, I don't know what is.
Reason to avoid: Celiac Disease
My rebuttal: If you have celiac disease, wheat is going to be a problem for you. So is anything else with gluten in it. But do you know how rare celiac disease is? Last I heard, about 1/2 a percent of all people actually have it, and only 15% of the population are gluten intolerant. How many of the remaining 84 & 1/2% are avoiding gluten because they think it is bad for them? They are missing out on important nutrients, all packaged into one very healthy food, unnecessarily. This is ridiculous. Gluten is what gives wheat it's protein and is rich in iron, among other things. Vegetarians often use it for this reason. Don't go for gluten-free foods unless you have been medically diagnosed as being sensitive to gluten.
Next up: Fruit......