I had heard of Wheat Belly so I grabbed it from the Express Reads section of the library. I have a lot of gluten-free people around me so I’m familiar with the diet and what happens when they eat gluten, but I didn’t know about the science behind gluten-intolerance and celiac disease.
Wheat Belly did a great job of explaining the history of wheat and how the grain has changed since humans started eating it. What started out as a simple grain has naturally evolved, been hybridized and crossbred, to create a grain that is genetically different from the wheat of even 50 years ago. The author convinced me that not only is wheat different from what it once was, that the changes have produced a plant with higher yield and therefore helped more humans survive longer, but that it isn’t harmless to humans.
In short, the gluten in wheat, when consumed by humans, causes a spike in blood sugar, more so than most foods do. This spike and subsequent crash lead us to feel hungry every 2 or so hours and so we eat again. Continual spikes in blood sugar trigger our bodies to store fat around our midsections, hence the title of the book. The author makes a case for wheat belly contributing to many conditions and diseases from simply carrying some extra weight, to acne, to diabetes, to arthritis, to schizophrenia.
The author suggests that these conditions and diseases can be cured, reversed, or helped by the elimination of gluten from the diet. Obviously, I’ve simplified it greatly here, and I encourage you to read the book if you’re at all interested in why so many people are avoiding gluten. I know that a gluten-free diet is possible and becoming easier and easier, but I’m still on the fence about adapting it for myself and my family.
Do you avoid gluten?