"Wheat is Evil"--I'm not buying it

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I know this might bring the grain-hating crusaders out of the woodwork, but I want to speak up.

Swearing off whole wheat and all grains is really, really popular right now. It seems that every third person has suddenly discovered they are gluten intolerant.  It reminds me of 20 years ago when every third person was lactose intolerant.  (and now most of those people are back to consuming dairy and most of the lactose-intolerance products are long gone)  Suddenly everybody is suffering from eating something that we've been eating all along, and this was just figured out in the last 5 years?  Um....ok.

While I FULLY respect your experience, I just cannot get on board with this myself, nor as a sweeping generalization for all people.  

Last year I did a 19-day juice fast.  I did it as a cleanse and detox.  I did it to get down to no dependency on sugar/dairy/wheat/grains/anything and then see how I felt and what seemed to work for me once I went back to eating regular food.  Know what happened?  Here's a bit from what I wrote 4 months after the juice fast ended:

For me, I did not experience any amazing energy, mental clarity, 
or general extraordinary wonderfulness either during my fast or after it.  
When I eventually tried eating a little bread, I found that my tumultuous stomach calmed down a bit, 
which was a better reaction than I had experienced with anything else I had eaten since exiting the fast.  
I didn't experience any adverse reactions that I could identify, and so wheat and brown rice and oatmeal have continued to be a regular part of my diet ever since.

I'm in the midst of updating my healthy eating class today, and I wondered about my recommendation of using whole wheat and other whole grains as a part of a healthy diet.  Seeing as how most people are eating non-whole grains all the time, I have to believe that switching to whole grains will be healthier for them. For people that suspect that they may have an intolerance to wheat/gluten/whatever, I think you should do a serious experiment with eliminating it from your diet and see what happens.  I know my mom is experiencing some encouraging health improvements after going gluten-free, and I think that's great.  What I cannot support is the vast vilification of all grains for all people.  

Yes, I read Wheat Belly.  All of it.  And that is one of the reasons I decided to do the juice fast.  But I remain unconvinced.  Sorry.


Jill in Kentucky said...

Amen. I have been saying the very same thing. Well said.

Jill in Kentucky said...

Brave woman! I agree 100%

Anonymous said...

I'm with ya! OF COURSE white breads/grains aren't good for you, but the whole grains?
Love my whole grains! :)
~Julie :)

clarice said...

what I took away from Wheat Belly was about the GMO'ing of grains. It needs to be resistant to drought, insects need to find it disgusting, it needs to be within a certain height to make it easy to harvest, easy to release from the stalk/covering, have more grains on each whatever they're called etc. This led us to look for ancient grains to bake with. Do you have any comments on this?

Supermom said...

Clarice, my understanding is that so far there is not GMO wheat available. if there was, I would avoid it like the plague, but not because it's grain.

If you can find and enjoy the ancient grains, more power to you. I don't have any objection to that, though grain-hating-crusaders might. :) I haven't put any effort into doing this yet myself, since I feel fine about the whole wheat that we grind ourselves and use regularly.