Monday, January 26, 2015
Re-posted from http://www.rodalenews.com/wheat-bad
I include this article from rodalenews.com because it so resonates with my own experience regarding wheat. I am diabetic and wheat spikes my blood sugar even more than white sugar. This is no surprise as the glycemic index gives wheat a rating of 79 (higher is worse) while white sugar gets a 59. That is rather telling. It's because today's wheat is not the wheat your grandparents ate. It is a frankenfood meaning it has been genetically modified. At first I thought I could just reduce my consumption of wheat as I battled type 2 diabetes with diet only. But, recently I decide to completely eliminate wheat from my meals and snacks and was shocked to discover over the next day or two that my blood sugars are almost normal (without meds). That's amazing. Any way, here is the article from rodalenews.com:
7 Surprising Reasons to Give Up Wheat
The dark side of this "health" food could be destroying your body.
BY LEAH ZERBE Share on emailShare on stumbleupon
Why you should stop eating wheat
Is wheat bad?
Here's the quick backstory: The modern version of wheat is a far cry from the ancient plant. In fact, the newer, high-yield wheat we've been eating since the 1980s is full of genetic changes that seem to inflame our bodies, cause our guts to leak, and trigger autoimmune diseases.
To figure out some of the strange health problems associated with wheat, we flicked through the pages of the New York Times best-selling book Wheat Belly, and spoke with its author, cardiologist William Davis, MD. But is a wheat-free diet really for you? Regardless of whether you suffer from celiac disease—an ailment triggered by wheat's gluten—or not, many experts now believe anyone giving up not just gluten, but wheat altogether, could enjoy tremendous weight loss and health benefits. "It means making soups, salad dressings, and dinners yourself, the most assured way to avoid problem ingredients," says Dr. Davis. "Wheat Belly also discourages people from resorting to the unhealthy gluten-free replacement foods." Is wheat bad? You be the judge…
Sugar-Saturated Bodies You've been brainwashed into thinking you need whole wheat as part of a healthy diet. The truth is, whole wheat, whether in bread or pasta form or hiding out as an ingredient in canned soup or frozen dinners, could be sending you on a path toward type 2 diabetes. Get this: Eating two slices of whole wheat bread could spike your blood sugar levels more than if you'd eat two tablespoons of pure sugar! "Aside from some extra fiber, eating two slices of whole wheat bread is really little different, and often worse, than drinking a can of sugar-sweetened soda or eating a sugary candy bar," Dr. Davis writes in Wheat Belly.
The chronic spikes in blood sugar and insulin spur the growth of dangerous visceral fat, an accumulation that leads to fat encasing your liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestines, and, on the outside, your belly. This unique abdominal fat manufactures excess estrogen in both men and women. That increases the risk of breast cancer in women and could lead to dreaded "man boobs" in men. Use it as a signal that you need to cut wheat. "I'd go as far as saying that overly enthusiastic wheat consumption is the main cause of the obesity and diabetes crisis in the United States," Dr. Davis writes in Wheat Belly.
Skin is your largest organ and a major part of your immune system. Unfortunately, it is not immune to wheat's wicked health effects. According to Dr. Davis, also author of the new Wheat Belly 30-Minute (or Less!) Cookbook, wheat exerts age-advancing skin effects, including wrinkles and lost elasticity, due to the formation of advanced glycation end products, nasty muck that accumulates and ages us as it elevates our blood sugar. Wheat's been shown to advance aging and cause wrinkles, but it's also linked to other skin problems, including herpes-like skin inflammation, oral ulcers, psoriasis, and erythema nodosum, shiny red, hot, painful lesions that usually appear on the shins.
Ironically, the government pushes whole wheat as a healthy way to keep your heart in good shape. Dr. Davis says that no matter what type of wheat, be it organic, stone-ground, sprouted grain, or home-baked, it's still wheat, a combination of compounds that trigger high blood sugar, visceral fat, unhealthy cholesterol particles in the blood, and inflammation—all bad news for your heart.
There are many different causes of baldness, some of them hereditary, some of them side effects of medical treatments like chemotherapy. But one type, alopecia areata, could pertain to eating wheat, Dr. Davis says. Referring to hair loss that occurs in patches, usually from the scalp but sometimes in other parts of the body, too, alopecia areata is fueled by eating wheat and the celiac-like inflammation that flares up in the skin as a result, according to Wheat Belly. Dr. Davis has seen hair growth return in many of his bald patients after they give up wheat—no hair plugs, creams, or surgery required. Onboard with the Wheat Belly program? Order the new Wheat Belly Journal today!
You've probably heard of "hormone disruptors," but how about pH disruptors? Acids that stress your body's normal pH are common in American diets, and animal products are often blamed. Enter wheat, the most commonly ingested grain in the American diet. Grains are the only plant foods that generate acidic by-products. And when your body is chronically acidic, it starts pulling calcium carbonate and calcium phosphates out of your bones to maintain a healthy pH. That's bad news for bone health: Your bones could eventually become demineralized, setting you up for osteoporosis and fractures.
Dr. Davis has seen thousands of patients enjoy fewer mood swings, better moods, deeper sleep, and better concentration when wheat is tossed from their diet. Getting off of it comes with short-term challenges, though. About 30 percent of people kicking the wheat habit experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, extreme fatigue, brain fog, and even depression—all signs of addiction. And get this. Wheat's even been implicated in schizophrenia. Davis writes in Wheat Belly, "There have been reports of complete remission of the disease, such as the 72-year-old schizophrenic woman described by Duke University doctors, suffering with delusions, hallucinations, and suicide attempts with sharp objects and cleaning solutions over a period of 53 years, who experienced complete relief from psychosis and suicidal desires within eight days of stopping wheat."
Secret Wheat Hideouts
The bread aisle isn't the only place modern wheat hides. It's in tons of processed foods, including many:
• Frozen dinners
• Salad dressings
• Couscous products • Different gums
• Canned soups and soup mixes
• Artificial food dyes (and some natural flavorings)
• Fast-food fries—they're often fried in the same oil as breaded chicken patties
• Many other places!
Secrets to Going Wheat-Free
It may take a little time to adjust, but going wheat free is easier than you might think, so long as you're willing to start cooking again. (The recipes can be fast and simple.) Three key steps are to:
• Start cooking from scratch (you'll save money and your health!).
• Create simple salad dressing using extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, minced garlic, and onion powder.
• Avoid fast-food joints and convenience foods in your supermarket
Informative, right? Well, the proof is in the 'wheat-free' pudding. I will commit to eating completely wheat-free and I will keep you posted on the benefits and/or side effects. Stay healthy.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
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Thursday, January 1, 2015
You catch your breath. It may hurt to breathe. And, it scares the bejeebers out of you. You begin to panic and you are afraid to move or breathe. You may keep your cool but you breathe more slowly and are distracted from whatever else you may be doing. It never seems to happen on the right side of your chest. So it just has to be your heart, right? While you are checking for other symptoms of a heart attack, the pain vanishes and doesn't return. Or it does. Over and over again. You realize you have no other symptoms. Is it gas? You wonder. You hope. But why is it always on the left of the chest? It's maddening.
What is this painful and uncomfortable sensation? It is actually a very common condition and most people have experienced it. The medical term for this occurrence is Precordial Catch Syndrome or PCS.
Many people become paranoid and worry that they may be having a heart attack at the onset of this type of pain. While the pain is strong and located in an area that would seem like the heart, this condition is not a heart attack, nor is it heart related. Precordial Catch Syndrome (PCS) is the most common cause of recurring chest pain. It is also sometimes known as “a stitch in the side” or “Texidor’s twinge”. It occurs most often in children and teenagers, but does persist into adulthood as well. I am 51 and I get this. The pain occurs just under the left nipple, near where you feel the heart beat most strongly on the front of the chest, and comes on very suddenly.
This extremely sharp pain causes a person to not want to move or breathe. This is where the “catch” part of the name is derived. Any movement or breathing only seems to intensify the pain. The pain usually lasts for around 30 seconds to 1 minute before disappearing. Sometimes the pain will suddenly disappear upon taking a strong breath or moving suddenly as well. This can almost feel like a pop of an imaginary bubble. After the pain is gone, there is usually a dull ache that lingers. It can occur frequently, sometimes several times a day, and can occur when exercising, resting, or when in virtually any other state. Doctors have not been able to correlate PCS with any particular triggers, such as heavy activity or the like. However, there are some doctors that believe things like heavy or irregular breathing or even posture could play some type of role in bringing about an episode of PCS.
Medical Professionals are baffled that they cannot accurately pinpoint the cause but the most accepted theory is that the pain is the result of a pinched nerve somewhere. Due to the fact that the onsets of PCS are so quick and disappear just as quickly, it’s hard for doctors to actually see the condition in action. While doctors aren’t sure of the actual causes, they are sure that it poses no danger. They believe PCS to be benign and that there is no cause for alarm. For this reason, there is not a lot of information or studies regarding the physical cause of PCS available. Doctors feel no urgency to research further what they know to be only a minor inconvenience.
The only real worry is that sometimes, what seemed like PCS, could possibly turn out to be something more serious. The following are signs of more concerning illness:
- Chest pain that extends into the left side of the jaw or arm
- Chest pain that a person describes as a “heavy” feeling
- Pain that does not improve at least a little after 24 hours of regular doses of ibuprofen
- Cough, especially a cough that produces phlegm
- Extreme anxiety with the pain or a feeling of “impending doom”
- Blueness or paleness of the lips or fingernails
- An irregular, rapid, or pounding heart rate
- Marked difficulty breathing or catching one’s breath (different from mild pain with breathing)
If any of these occur, please be sure to call your doctor’s office right away. These could be indications of a more serious and potentially threatening condition.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014
I want to sing the praises of Xylitol as a weapon against weight-gain. Stick this arrow in your weight-loss quiver because xylitol is AWESOME. It will most definitely help you reduce calories if you are a sugar fiend.
What is it? Xylitol was discovered late in the 1890’s. In the 1930’s xylitol was synthesized into a pure form. It was used as a sugar replacement during World War II in some countries when sugar shortages occurred. Today xylitol is added to a number of products including chewing gum, mouthwash, floride treatments, toothpaste, and in some pharmaceuticals. But we can purchase it as a sugar substitute in health food stores and bulk food stores.
Xylitol is a “polyol,” or sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols are neither sugar nor alcohol, but have a chemical structure that has similarities of both sugar and alcohol. Other sugar alcohols include maltitol, erythritol, mannitol, and sorbitol, amongst others.
Fibers of fruits and vegetables naturally contain xylitol. It can be extracted from various berries, oats, mushrooms, corn husks, sugar cane, and birch trees. It is a fermented sweetener made from whole plant pulp, but must undergo an extensive treatment and processing to become the sugar like crystals you find sitting on the shelf at health food stores and bulk food stores. Some would say it is a 'natural' substitute for sugar.
Benefits of Xylitol
There are well-established benefits to sugar-like xylitol.
Since the 1970’s there have been many peer reviewed journals indicating the dental benefits associated with xylitol. Xylitol not only prevents bacterial growth, but also helps to remineralize teeth that already have begun to decay.
For this reason, scientists speculate that xylitol may help to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Studies on rats have shown this. Human studies need to be done to settle this for sure.
Xylitol's proven anti-bacterial properties show it to be effective for ear infections in some studies.
Yeast & Bacteria in the Gut
Xylitol is a probiotic because it encourages good gut flora (helpful microorganisms that live in your digestive tract). Sugar does the opposite and actually encourages the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast in the gut. So candida sufferers, take note: xylitol may be a much better option than splenda and aspartame which do encourage the growth of yeast in the gut.
Blood Glucose & Insulin
One of my main reasons for loving xylitol is because I have diabetes. Xylitol is absorbed more slowly than sugar, and because it is not completely broken down in our system it does not cause a rapid spike in blood glucose. It has little effect on glucose and none on insulin. Take if from a guy with diabetes, sugar is the devil for diabetics. And the evil stuff makes you fat.
Some scientists have indicated that xylitol increases WBC (specifically netrophil’s). These are cells that help us fight off infection.
I love the stuff. It tastes more like actual sugar than any other substitute in my humble opinion. But try it out for yourself. I have just one caveat for you about Xylitol. Some people take a few hours or a day to get used to it. It can cause loose bowel movements in some people, but only for a few hours to a day. I had it happen to me but, again, only for a few hours. I take it in everything now. I especially love using it in coffee, tea, and pure cocoa. The last makes me very happy since cocoa is an amazing source of phyto-nutrients. And if you love making your own desserts, well you will be singing it's praises too.
Give it a try. You might want to ask a health professional if it's a good option for you … if you are concerned. Xylitol, the amazing substitute you may not have heard of, is worth looking into.