NUTRITIONIST AVAANTI DESHPAANDE

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Facts about wheat

There has been a lot of buzz about removal of wheat and wheat products from the diet. A lot of people seem to  have achieved their dream weight by banishing wheat from their diets. Or girls have corrected their hormonal imbalances after cutting down on chapatis and breads. Does it really work? Does wheat really lead to weight gain? Let us know real facts about wheat.

Wheat or wheat products?

When you start cutting down on wheat products, you not only cut on the chapatis or rawa, but also breads, biscuits and other bakery products like puffs, cream rolls, cakes, etc. so with all these products, you are also cutting down on fats, specially trans-fat or hydrogenated fats and many other non-nutritional components. And you are replacing that with some other wholesome food like other millets, fruits or protein. And then you see a weight loss. So it’s a simple replacement of junk food with wholesome food and not just the wheat per say.

In some of the cases, cutting down the wheat helps them to lose the weight or fat. And why does this happen? Because they don’t just avoid wheat, but also a protein from it called ‘gluten’.

Gluten is a type of protein naturally found in wheat and other grains, including rye and barley. In people who have gluten intolerance even small amounts of gluten trigger the immune system to damage or destroy villi, the tiny, finger-like outgrowths that line the small intestine. Healthy villi absorb nutrients through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, so when they’re damaged, chronic malnutrition occurs, with symptoms including abdominal pain, bloating, and muscle loss.

Most of the time, this gluten causes weight/fat gain as body cannot easily digest it. Undigested mass gets converted to glucose and extra glucose leads to fat gain. Also prolonged period of malabsorption changes body’s healthy metabolism. And slow metabolism can cause weight gain.

Wheat has its share of xenoestrogens, as well, thanks to the pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides that factory farms use on wheat crops. These chemicals encourage women’s bodies to store fat around the thighs, hips, and belly; xenoestrogens will swell a man’s waistline, and it can encourage the growth of breast tissue.

Food manufacturers will be quick to tell you how much consumers love a pillowy slice of bread. To achieve that airy quality, manufacturers rely on a chemical dough conditioner called potassium bromate. But this conditioner also happens to be an endocrine disruptor — it interferes with the body’s natural hormones and is linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

A slow thyroid equals a slow metabolism, and when your metabolism slows down, you burn fewer calories and store more energy as fat.

Another fact

You must have heard that eating the traditional crop variety of wheat does not affect the same way recent wheat variety does. The name is “khapli gehu’. It does not lead to weight gain and is easy on stomach, claimed by many “khapli gehu” eaters.

Traditional wheat variety is easy on our stomach because it’s the native one and our body can easily recognise it and digest it. And the wheat which we usually eat is not the traditional one, but genetically modified.

Another one is organic wheat. Now organic wheat does not mean that it’s a native variety, but a genetically modified variety only processed in organic way. So we need to be clear between these concepts while buying the wheat.

Bottom line is the wheat was never a bad guy was, but is made by the recent commercial practices working on the wheat.

Using pesticides, chemicals while processing on wheat leads to structural changes in wheat and hence on our guts.

So what is the bottom-line?

It might not be necessary to completely remove the wheat from your diets. What you can do is first try to reduce all the bakery products or products made from refined flour completely. Replace them with something wholesome & healthier.

If you see persistent bloating, skin irritations, inflammations or some sort of intolerance, consult a doctor or get your tests done. Be sure that it’s the wheat causing these things and then remove it completely from the diet.

check my Youtube video on the same topic for further details

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