Okay, I know exactly what you are thinking, “Here we go again, there’s something else I have to give up in order to lose weight.” It’s no wonder the weight-loss industry is booming as fast as our collective bellies are growing — sucking you into the latest diet fad or weight-loss product promising to shrink your belly once and for all. Gismos, gadgets, pills, and powders may have caused more harm than good. They are that “something shiny” that distracts our attention away from a common sense approach to losing belly fat. Let’s see if we can bust a few myths along with a few unwanted inches.
Shopping Cart Caution
In the 1950’s Dr. Theodore Kalogris, one of the most funded scientists with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), conducted a study in which he analyzed the groceries of the average family of four. In front of a Senate SubCommittee, he presented his findings which revealed over 200 preservatives. He stated that if the trend continued we would be the most overfed and undernourished country in the world and that heart, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and obesity would become epidemic. In the 1980’s the NIH study was duplicated. Researchers didn’t find 200 preservatives, instead they found over 2,000 and a bevy of herbicides, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
My personal theory is that the more we stray from natural ingredients, the greater the risk to our health and our waistline. I recently watched a documentary on corn and it’s evolution into a multipurpose crop from sweetening soda to filling our gas tanks. Corn has been genetically modified to the point that it’s original natural state is barely recognizable.
The same seems to be true for wheat production. Cardiologist, Dr. WIlliam Davis, author of Wheat Bellies, has a theory that the genetically modified wheat is even more destructive to our health and our weight than a Snickers bar. Now before you load up on candy bars, you need to understand why wheat may be a weighty problem for you.
Breaking It Down
According to Dr. Davis, when processed by the body modern wheat and wheat products become a super carbohydrate producing a chemical called Amylopectin-A which may result in:
- Sky-rocketing blood sugar
- Increased cravings
- Appetite stimulation
- Visceral fat
In recent studies, the NIH found that the polypeptides in gluten (a protein in wheat) actually penetrate the blood-brain barrier creating mild euphoria much like a drug and stimulating the reward centers of our brain. This may explain why some people can’t stop until they’ve eaten the whole bag of Oreo cookies. All kidding aside, Dr. Davis estimates that wheat eaters consume an extra 400 calories per day because of such cravings. That’s a whopping 42 extra pounds per year! In addition to obesity, wheat and gluten consumption may lead to:
- Celiac & other autoimmune diseases
- Heart Disease
Gluten Free, Not Good
Gluten free products and diets may be all the rage lately, however, replacing wheat products with gluten free products may not be a good alternative. In order to replace the binding benefits of gluten, manufacturers are using the following:
- rice starch
- potato starch
- tapioca starch
While they may not have the negative brain stimulating effects of gluten, these ingredients can increase blood sugar even more than wheat. When blood sugar spikes, more insulin is released by the body which allows glucose to enter the cells. If it isn’t burned as fuel, excess glucose gets stored as fat.
There is Hope
If you’ve been struggling to lose weight while remaining faithful to a standard “healthy” diet including whole grains, low calorie meals, lean protein, low fat dairy, fruits and vegetables, eliminating wheat based products may be a good option for you. Here are some simple replacements you can incorporate:
- Try ancient grains — Quinoa, millet, einkorn and emmer are all considered ancient grains that haven’t been modified and may be a better alternative to wheat.
- Simplify your diet — instead of processed wheat-based foods, enjoy vegetables, nuts, meats, eggs, avocados, oils (olive and grapeseed are my recommendation) and cheese.
- Grass Fed — keep in mind that beef and poultry may come from cows and chickens who eat GMO wheat and corn. If you want to go all out, find grass-fed beef and organic chicken fed with non-gmo feed.
- Fiber Alternatives — if you’re concerned you won’t get enough fiber if you cut out whole grains consider that 24 almonds has the same calorie count and fiber content as two slices of whole wheat bread. Read my Fiber Fanatic article for more options.
Here are some additional benefits you may enjoy by saying whoe to wheat:
- Better Energy
- Reduced Cravings
- Improved Sleep
- Balance Blood Sugar
- Reduced water retention & bloating
- Visceral Fat reduction
- Reduction in body fat, especially belly fat
With a little tweaking by replacing processed foods with natural options, you can step away from the fads and step up to a more fit and fabulous you.
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“Bigger snacks means bigger slacks.” Unknown
Copyright © 2013 by Christine A.Toriello, all rights reserved.