Now that you’ve finished off the turkey, dressing, pie and potatoes…
I’ve gotten through most of Wheat Belly. Have you read that yet? There are several interviews with the author online (here, here, here, and here, are some I read. Google “wheat belly interview” for more), if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
I won’t recap the book; you can find that in the interviews and reviews, I’m sure. But I am going to tell you to read it. 🙂
I’ll tell you what surprised me.. I expected to read some non-politically-correct information about America’s favorite grain (favorite food?). I expected to be fascinated by his (and he’s an MD; a preventive cardiologist, I think) take on the effect of wheat on weight, health, etc. I love reading that kind of thing, and do so often. 🙂
I did not expect to be mad.
And I’m not mad because I dislike hearing negative things about wheat (despite the fact that my mom used to say I had a “love affair with flour” when I was a teen). I’m mad because if – if – the claims this doctor makes are even half true, then there are people I love whose lives could be so much better, but no one has told them. I’m mad because while I might be able to shift our household further away from wheat, the thought of all the cultural influences just turns my stomach. You can get away with bringing your own food to a potluck if you have a bona fide diagnosis, but if not…. oi. It’s hard. And I don’t necessarily mean that people are offended and despise you (although that does happen), it’s just… cultural. You’ve stumbled upon what may be, for you, life-changing information, but the rest of the world doesn’t even question the status quo. It makes me mad that what should be unifying, nourishing, and beneficial to individuals, family, and community, instead is often harmful, sterile, and (if you try to step out of that), divisive. Ugh.
I’m mad that agriculture has used science to develop food that is not more healthy or nourishing, but that produces more, faster, cheaper. Easier to harvest, store, process… and nary a question as to whether their tinkering might be responsible for the many-fold increase of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in modern times (quick; when you were growing up, did you know ANYONE with a wheat allergy? Did you EVER see a ‘gluten-free’ product advertised on store shelves?). And no, it’s not just more-diagnosed now (read the book).
I haven’t double-checked every journal article or study or research result that the author has cited (and there are a LOT), but he has implicated wheat in far more than just celiac and obesity. How about heart disease and arterial sclerosis? Diabetes (and Pre-diabetes)? Acne? IBS? Hair loss? ADHD? Arthritis? Dementia? Seizures? High blood pressure? Poor cholesterol/triglyceride profile… It just doesn’t end. I don’t know about you, but I have close friends and family members who suffer with some of these things. What if they could be helped by eliminating this one thing from their diet? Do their doctors know this? Would they recommend it? Would they just decide that a(nother) prescription is in order?
I don’t think wheat should be outlawed, by the way. 🙂 I don’t even think everyone would be wise to eschew it in all its forms, forever. I DO think that this information should be available to each person, to weigh and decide, to double-check and pray and think through… There is no such thing as choice, or consent, if you lack the appropriate information. I encourage you, if you or your loved ones have any minor (or major) health issues, or can’t lose that ‘belly fat’, or feel like you’re lacking mental clarity at times (ahem)… Give this a read. It’s an easy read, with some fun, unexpected pop-culture references, but includes enough science to satisfy my appetite for “But HOW does it do that..?” I paid about $10 for it on my Kindle, but I wish I’d gotten the hard copy, so I could loan it out. 🙂 [this title currently doesn’t have the loan feature enabled, by the way, so you can’t even borrow it from me if you have a Kindle.]
So now that I’ve told YOU about it, I’ll try to stop being mad. And start being thankful (’tis the season, always!) that this information IS out there now, and it might be just what someone has been needing. There is hope. 🙂