August 18, 2011

Top 10 Surprising Facts About Wheat/Grains

By Tim Lochhead

#5 Whole Wheat or Holy Love Handles!

Continuing our countdown of the Top 10 Surprising Facts about Wheat/Grains.

So far we’ve learned the concept that all living things, plant or animal, have defensive or offensive mechanisms for survival.

Grains and wheat have several offensive ones that work to disrupt predators (anyone who would eat the grains). We’ve looked at a variety of substances found in wheat and grains and how they wreak havoc on our digestive system, from causing intestinal damage to blocking nutrient absorption.

Additionally, typical serving sizes of wheat and grains tend to have very high glycemic loads (what is this? Read this). We basically know “complex carbs” are a thing of the past – what matters is insulin. This is the hormone our bodies secrete in response to an increase in blood sugar. (Wheat and grains are high in starch. Starch could really be labelled and thought of as sugar, since starch is just broken down into several simple sugars in our bodies).

Insulin does several things including turning off fat burning and turning on fat storage – particularly around the middle.

Want a little more info about insulin? Check out this quick intro to carbs and insulin.

Carbs themselves aren’t evil. It’s just that excessive carb consumption, especially processed or refined carbs, as well as super starch insulin spiking juggernauts aren’t the best thing (at least if you want lower insulin levels and enjoy all the related benefits like balanced blood sugar, lower bodyfat, a trimmer waistline, and reduced susceptibility to diabetes and heart disease).

Mismanaged insulin levels also have other consequences including affecting the health and appearance of your skin, which we’ll explore next time (in just a couple of days).