Wheat Belly Bologna?

This space has advocated for limiting grains from your diet (and subsequently most gluten by osmosis) before, and I stand by those statements, with a caveat.

Simply bywheat-belly cutting back on your grain consumption, you’re eliminating a lot of processed foods, and that’s obviously a good thing. Too many foods come in boxes with fancy labels nowadays. For the average sedentary person, a heavy carbohydrate diet is often unnecessary, and ridding yourself of most wheat products (I didn’t say all – that’s a recipe for failure) helps manage your consumption.

But too often wheat and its buddy gluten are vilified as the sole proprietor of health/weight problems, and it’s not entirely fair.

A recent episode of CBC’s Fifth Estate, a Canadian investigative journalism program, examined the science behind Dr. William Davis’ claims in his best-selling book, Wheat Belly, finding considerable holes in the science he references.

Davis uses scare tactics to legitimize his cause – calling today’s form of wheat a genetically modified monster known as “Frankenwheat” — believing it’s responsible for a laundry list of disease and health complications.

But research conducted in Saskatchewan – featured in the episode linked below – suggests little to no difference exists between different strains of wheat throughout the years, per the CBC report:

Wheat geneticist Dr. Ravi Chabbar is heading up the Saskatchewan project and is paid to advise the grain industry, but this particular project is being funded by the federal government. Dr. Chabbar says that over time, wheat has been modified to produce high-yield crops. But when it comes to wheat’s proteins – gluten and gliadins – the basic structure of “ancient” and modern wheat is the same.

Dietary fads come and go. What is bad one cycle, is OK the next. Anti-Gluten, anti-carb, anti-saturated fat, anti-cholesterol, the list goes on, and the Wheat Belly book movement is another rung in the ladder (unless you have celiac disease, then keep doing what you’re doing). What’s often missed – and it’s also the reason so many diets fail – is the fact moderation is not such a bad thing. Moderation leads to sustainable results. Moderation is easy to stick to. Permanently banning foods from your diet is going to make you crave them even more.

If you’re on the “gluten free” bandwagon and/or at least open to seeing all the facts presented, check out the video below:

YouTube video


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Mitch Calvert is a Winnipeg-based fitness coach for men and women like his former self. Heavyset in his 20s, he lost 60 pounds and now helps clients find their spark and lose the weight for life.