Beer Belly Diet is a Lie!!!
We have become a society obsessed with food, but not the consumption of this necessity but the fear of it. If we walk into a mall and smell the sugar and cinnamon from the Cinnabon kiosk, we feel compelled to run over to Whole Foods where we can confront our own mortality in every isle.
At stores like Whole Foods and Goodness Me, everything is “free” of something and yet it is so expensive. We let them pick our berries and mushrooms for us and hope they are pesticide and chemical free and we pay dearly for this privilege.
And of course, the food that strikes fear into our hearts today has become our arch-enemy number one; gluten. Thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow, an actress who suddenly has become an expert in science, diet, and nutrition we have become aware of a new condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity or simply gluten intolerance.
A new study published this month, titled Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: A Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover-Trial proved conclusively that there is no such thing as gluten intolerance. The only people who cannot ingest gluten are those suffering from celiac disease and this is less than 1% of the population of Canada.
However, at this time, almost 30 per cent of the Canadian population feel they have gluten intolerance and consume a gluten free diet.
This movement was started by Dr. William Davis who wrote the book, “The Beer Belly Diet” that became a best a best seller and convinced people that their indigestion and weight gain problems were all caused by gluten. His book is a total lie because not only is it based on inaccurate research data, it misses the main point. It is not the gluten that causes the problem. It is the products that contain gluten such as bread, cookies, muffins, potatoes, pasta and a wide variety of starchy foods.
The biggest lie in the book is told when Dr. Davis says that our wheat has been genetically modified and this is absolutely false. The DNA of Canadian and American wheat is exactly the same as it was 100 years ago. We only have developed new methods to increase the yield.
A gluten-free diet is actually very healthy if you did it the right way. This would mean making all your food from scratch, preparing it all at home and having a diet rich in protein, fruits and vegetables. This diet would not include grains so no bread or cereal and of course no fast food eaten out of the house or prepared food brought into the house.
However, most people are lazy when it comes to changing their life style for their health so they look for short-cuts and the food manufacturers were right there to supply them. Gluten-free foods have become the newest fad. Rice Krispies removed barley malt so they could say they were gluten-free. Campbell soups brought out a whole line of gluten-free soups. In a short period of time we had gluten-free salad dressing, potato chips, hot dogs, veggie burgers, licorice pickles, beer, vodka, toothpaste, makeup and even playdough. This was all in addition to the gluten-free breads, cookies and pasta. My favourite was a gluten-free Eucharistic wafer sold to churches for communion.
The problem with all these gluten-free products was that the manufacturers had to use large amounts of sugar and fat to replace the gluten. Gluten is made of two hapless proteins, gliadin and glutenin. They give bread its elasticity and its unique taste. With the gluten removed, the new gluten-free products lack important vitamins and fibre and are made with substitute starches such as rice and tapioca that have no nutritional value at all. However, they do have a very high glycemic index and makes them very dangerous for people with Type 2 diabetes or even people with borderline sugar issues.
Of course when the food manufacturers made all these gluten-free products that are actually bad for you, the price skyrocketed. Gluten-free foods are on average 242 per cent more expensive than their “regular” counterparts. It has become a huge business and everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. If there never was gluten in the product, they advertise it as gluten free. Soon you will be seeing gluten-free tires, I-phones and of course gluten-free clothes.
The fact that gluten-free products are higher in fat and sugar and lower in protein than their regular counterparts, means not only less nutrition for the consumer but positive weight gain. We have been concerned for years about an overweight society suffering from high blood sugar, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, all of which contribute to heart disease. Now thanks to a best seller book of lies we are contributing even more to our obese society. It also means that people who never had any of those health issues before could now develop them because of a gluten-free diet.
To a person who has celiac disease, gluten is like Kryptonite to Superman and they must adhere strictly to a gluten-free diet. Celiac is easily diagnosed with a blood test and a minimally-invasive biopsy of the intestine. Or you go completely gluten-free for one week and if all the cramps, bloating diarrhea and nauseas disappear, then you may have the disease.
You must be careful because gluten is everywhere, even in ketchup and coffee, noodles, spices, processed meats, imitation seafood and even some vegetarian substitutes. You can also be fooled by food processors that use other names for gluten such as triticum valgare or hordeum vulgare or secale cereal. Other ingredients that contain gluten are bulgar, couscous, farina, malt and seitan. This means if you have celiac, better bring your reading glasses to the supermarket and study every label, especially watching out for teas and coffees.
For the rest of us who do not have celiac, this is a very unhealthy diet that will surely cause weight gain and may lead to blood sugar problems.
If you have poor digestion and are having weight problems, then consider stop eating bread, corn, potatoes and pastries. They are the real culprits. Its spring so get out there and so a little aerobic exercise. Go for a walk. Take out the bike and you will be much leaner, healthier and happier than before and your food bill will go down.