In the 1960s, American farmers started to use a revolutionary hybrid wheat. It was a shorter stalk, averaging 16 inches high instead of the classic 24 inches, and they could grow 3 or 4 crops a year! Not only was it prolific, but it was also resistant to bugs. That’s how the United States became known as the “breadbasket of the world”. The only thing is not only is this wheat resistant to bugs, who have trouble digesting it, but so do people.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, who I’ve met several times and who serves as Bill Clinton’s physician, a groundbreaking physician famous for what is called “functional medicine”, wheat causes inflammation. We should stop eating wheat. To paraphrase Dr. Hyman as he spoke on his PBS special, he said he doesn’t mean inflammation like a swollen finger. He means inflammation like leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, and autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. That whatever you put in your body that you can’t digest causes inflammation. That’s just the way it is. In that talk, he said that approximately 10 percent of people have celiac disease. But it’s not about celiac disease or gluten. It’s about the wheat itself. Especially this new hybrid he calls FrankenWheat.
The paleo diet has become very popular. Our bodies are essentially the same as they were one hundred thousand years ago. Evolution happens slowly. So we don’t have any trouble digesting foods from a hundred thousand years ago. We don’t have any trouble digesting cooked foods, which have been around for eons. But farming is relatively new in the evolutionary scheme of things. And grains, because of that, are more difficult for us to digest. The American hybrid wheat is especially difficult to digest because it has been bred to be difficult to digest. It is having a very negative impact on individuals’, on virtually everyone.
I would like to tell you something from my personal experience. For years I was suffering with arthritis in my hands. I’d wake up in the morning, and I couldn’t make a fist. My fingers were so stiff, and I had trigger finger in one of my fingers. And then during the day, little by little, I’d get more usage back. I was fortunate enough to meet a life coach, and through her, I met Dr. Hyman. She and I used to do exchanges, and I think I got the better of the deal. She put me on Dr. Hyman’s diet, and that meant no white food including grains and especially wheat. Not only did I lose a bunch of weight, but I became more energetic, more resilient, could exercise without getting sore, wasn’t pulling and straining things like I used to, and the arthritis in my hands went away. I’m still not eating wheat and the arthritis has not returned. This inflammation, produced by wheat, is not just in the digestive tract. It is implicated in a whole host of diseases including those of the brain and nervous system. See the book “Grain Brain” by Dr. Perlmutter, famous neurologist and biochemist.
You can’t sit down to a meal without being offered wheat on the table in the form of bread or crackers. For free! Because it’s so cheap and plentiful. And it’s so satisfying to the palate. It’s satisfying to the palate because our genetic makeup is such that pleasure hormones are triggered by high-calorie foods. And bread is definitely one of those. So it gives us the same kind of satisfaction as alcohol or drugs or sex – it produces dopamine. Which is a pleasure hormone. For more information, read on!
So I would suggest you seriously consider cutting down on or eliminating wheat consumption and realize how pervasive it is. We can work together to get rid of this inflammation and other challenges that may be plaguing you.
When a new client comes to see me, I can usually tell if their diet is really poor because of the amount of inflammation that they have in their bodies. I can help them get rid of inflammation, but I cannot stop them from recreating it – I can only help them maintain, and advise them in a healthy direction. I see my job as helping people return to full function. That’s the aim of these newsletters.