The Trouble with Wheat I, or “How You Got Fat Silently”

September 24, 2010

The Trouble with Wheat, or “How You Got Fat Silently” 


Reference: Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat, Rudy Rivera 2002 Date:  Sept  24th, 2010 

 Wheat, the staff of life.  Bread of Life.  Sort of like a holy topic.  But there’s trouble just below the surface.  We eat a lot of wheat.  Donuts, cookies, cake, bread, crackers, bagels, tortillas, chapattis, buns, spaghetti, pasta, noodles, rolls, pie, turnovers, ….. We like wheat.   Humans have thousands of forms of wheat.  And as civilizations have evolved, wheat has served us pretty well.  As a whole grain, it seems to be pretty good for us when we eat it with all its fiber attached.   But there is something about wheat that’s lurking just below the surface that opens up a much bigger topic.  

How you got fat is the much bigger topic.  And the problem to explore is how wheat plays a role in that.  That and “long latency” disease.  Silent inflammation. Humans only figured out how to grow, store and keep wheat about 10,000 years a go.  Prior to that, we ate grains for about two weeks of any given year as they ripened, and during our evolution in Africa in the proverbial “Garden”, we didn’t have wheat at all.  It was only 150 years ago that we figured out how to make fine white flour in Minneapolis and only 50 years ago how to make huge combines in Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas where we grow wheat by the million tons, and store it for the world to eat later.  

So wheat is everywhere in our food chain.  And with it, we are living into our 70s and 80s. But we are developing degenerative diseases in our 50s and 60s that make life miserable for us, and eventually kill us in our 70s.  And you could be living safely and happily into your hundreds.  But not with wheat, at least not for many of us. Long latency diseases are illnesses that start the day you are born, but take 30 to 40 years before they are expressed.  In that time, you can still successfully have babies, pass on your genes, raise families, get jobs, have careers and retire, only to find yourself ill.  Your doctor tells you, “You need to lose weight”, “Your diabetes is a problem”, “You must get your blood pressure down” “Your cholesterol is too high”.  

Where did all that come from?  Who invented this cholesterol craze?  What’s wrong with my blood pressure?  But in that long latent period, you body had silent inflammation going on in your gut, in your arteries, in your cells that was quietly eating away at your vitality, until something had to give.  One example of a long latency disease is high blood pressure.  High blood pressure is not common in indigenous societies that don’t eat sugar and white flour.  In America, 70% of us have it by age 70.  Vitamin D in childhood protects you from multiple sclerosis.  The disease starts in your 40s and 50s, but the latency period goes back to pregnancy.  We know mothers with more sunshine have children with less MS decades later. 

 WWW. What will Work for Me.  The first step of understanding is accepting the premise that you can live to 100 with a good mind if you avoid degenerative long latency illnesses.  The next step, which we will do next week, will be to explain where silent inflammation gets started.  And then, how to avoid it and fix it, today!

Column Written by John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI 53045 (262-784-5300)