You probably have heard of Meatless Monday. And, I get it. Too much meat, especially obese meat from corn-fed animals, can be bad for humans.
But did you know too much wheat, especially modern wheat, can be bad for humans?
More and more research indicates that modern wheat is arguably worse for our overall health and obesity than good, lean meat.
“I’ll see your Meatless Monday, and raise you Wheatless Wednesday.”
Many different biochemical components make grains like wheat inflammatory. The most notorious is a protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, semolina, spelt, kamut, and cous cous. Gluten may cause many symptoms and conditions ranging from Celiac (a disabling digestive disease) to more common conditions such as headaches.1
MORE PROBLEMS WITH WHEAT
As you may know, calcium is important for bone health. Grains contain phytic acid which is known to reduce the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Grains also promote the pH of our body to become more acidic, which is known to be inflammatory. Finally, grains contain higher amounts of fatty acid biochemicals called omega-6 fatty acids which cause inflammation.1 This is in contrast to fatty acid biochemicals called omega-3 fatty acids which are prevalent in fish and green vegetables that reduce inflammation.
TWO SIDES TO A “HEALTH FOOD”
Are you wondering why grains are heavily promoted as good for us? First, whole grains do contain nutrients and fiber which are healthy and anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, these benefits most likely do not outweigh the problems with grains previously discussed. We can obtain the nutrients and fiber required by eating good meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and using supplements wisely. Second, from an economic standpoint, grains are inexpensive and profitable to store and manufacture. This is why they are found everywhere in fast foods, snacks, easy to prepare meals, packaged foods, etc.
TRY WHEATLESS WEDNESDAY
Whether you do Meatless Monday or not, try Wheatless Wednesday. One day a week, preferably Wednesday, don’t eat wheat. No bread. No pasta. No desserts. No pizza.
Just like Meatless Monday, going wheatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like obesity, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
1. Cordain L. Cereal grains: humanity’s double-edged sword. World Rev Nutr Diet 1999; 84:19–73
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