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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Gasparini

Why I Broke up With Wheat

It may sound rather dramatic, but ditching wheat really did feel like a bad break up at first. You know how it is, everything is going great until one day you realize that although it feels like love and comfort, it is really just toxic and manipulative and deteriorating. You go weeks, even months or years knowing what it is doing to you but fearing what losing it might mean. You do everything in your power to try to convince yourself that it’s not all that bad and that you could learn to live with it. You let it control you until it starts to eat you up inside. Yes, I am still talking about wheat.

Nobody likes break ups. No one wants to go through the many stages of questioning your worth, feeling lonely, sad and in this case hungry. Even though you know it’s for the best, part of you wants to run back to it because it’s comfortable, safe and feels like home. Just like any serious relationship, even after years have gone by and you’ve moved on you might still think about it every now and then, but you will be just fine without it. Here is why I broke up with wheat.

Wheat Was Making Me Fat

There is approximately 30% more people suffering with obesity than there are people who are malnourished in the world. Wheat was actually a way of curing the problem of famine and starvation in earlier times. I see people giving up gluten as a way to lose weight, fast. Whether it’s a fad diet or an actual response to a very real problem, cutting wheat will probably make you lose weight. When I first cut out wheat I dropped nearly 90 pounds in less than 8 months. Don’t be fooled, swapping wheat for gluten-free alternatives may be a suitable option for those who are sensitive or allergic to wheat but will not help the average person to lose weight. Some people can process wheat just fine but others have a hard time managing their weight and digestion. Wheat could potentially be a factor in weight gain.

Wheat Isn’t What It Used to Be

Wheat is often considered a staple food in modern day society, but the wheat that we consume today is not the same wheat our grandparents did. In fact, everything about it is different, the way we grow it, process and consume it. Since the industrial era, food processing was all about efficiency and profit. Most of the wheat we consume in North America is soaked in chemicals and grown in synthetic soils, making it resistant to pests but terrible for our gut health.

There is Evidence-based Research on the Link Between Autoimmunity and Wheat (gluten).

You don’t suffer from celiac disease? It doesn’t matter. Just because you haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac Disease does not mean you aren’t sensitive to gluten. Have you heard of non-celiac gluten sensitivity? Many of us are sensitive to the proteins in wheat and we don’t even know it yet. In fact, gluten can actually damage the walls our intestines leading to leaky gut syndrome, one of the many root causes of autoimmunity.

Does it not alarm you that chronic illness as a result of dietary issues is killing nearly double the amount of people than infectious disease? Is it not scary to see the connection between chronic illness and our beloved, precious wheat? Research suggests that you don’t have to have celiac disease to have elevated antibodies that react to wheat proteins. Wheat is highly inflammatory and inflammation is the root of all disease.

Wheat is Addictive

This is one of the reasons breaking up with wheat can be so hard and emotional. Our bodies crave the sugar. When our diets are high in simple carbohydrates we become sugar-burners. We rely on wheat and sugar to stay sane. Without it we are emotional, irritable, and often feel sick. When I first ditched wheat I was miserable and lonely and sad. I had headaches and would lash out at people for no reason. Once your body becomes adapted to eating real foods, vegetables, fruits, organic meats, raw dairy, and complex carbohydrates you start to become a fat-burner. Your body no longer craves and relies on sugar to keep you feeling normal. Wheat is obviously not the only food that turns to sugar in our bodies, so be sure to do your research about complex carbohydrates as oppose to simple ones.

The Food Industry is Capitalizing on Our Health Issues

It used to take days to make one loaf of bread. It was an intricate process of fermentation that allowed the bread to keep its vitamins and minerals. Now, our production of wheat in the western world is enough to feed eleven billion people. For this reason, it is cheap and it is in everything. We have abused something that used to be so precious and nourishing. The food industry and politicians created the food pyramid, highlighting the importance of wheat as a way to market and capitalize on the vulnerable people in society. Not everyone can afford quality fruits and vegetables but they can afford wheat. This is extremely problematic. Today, we not only find wheat in our breads, pastas and cereals but we can find it in our cosmetics, our lotions, shampoos and conditioners. We can find it in our cleaning products, in our nail polishes, in our vitamins and supplements and even in our envelopes. No that wasn’t a typo, there is gluten containing proteins in the sticky part of the envelope.

This isn’t an invitation to some sort of gluten-free cult. I broke up with wheat because I was tired of being tired. I was done with buying into an industry that was profiting off my illness, an industry that cares more about the money in their pockets than the health of its consumers. I was sick of feeling sick and bloated and never fully satisfied. I was done with yo-yo dieting and counting every calorie that I put into my mouth. I can now eat real foods and heal my body by doing so.

Making Better Choices

Let me be clear, carbohydrates are not bad for you and I am not trying to convince anyone to diet, or deprive their bodies of carbs. I am also not saying that you are undoubtedly going to make yourself sick by consuming wheat. It’s also important to be aware of the fact that wheat is not the only processed food that we should be looking out for, but it is the most popular one. I am, however, sharing with you the realities of the wheat industry today. If anything, an awareness of what you are eating is what I intend to create. For a healthier lifestyle, try to swap out wheat with long-grain or jasmine rice and quinoa. If you feel like you just cannot give up your beloved wheat pasta, try Semolina or Durum wheat. These pastas are less processed than even some gluten-free options. Ezekial bread is also a form of wheat-bread that tends to be less processed as it is sprouted and fermented which helps to keep the vitamins and nutrients that wheat used to contain. Instead of focusing all three meals on wheat-based foods like cereal, sandwiches and pastas, try swapping out one of those meals with vegetables, meat or other forms of protein like lentils (lentil pasta is delicious) and a healthy, filling carb like sweet potato. Small changes can go along way for the betterment of your health.

Everything that has happened in your life has led you to this moment. Thank you for reading!

Victoria Gasparini

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