TV ads, media conversations, magazine articles, even advice from the American Heart Association and USDA (a la Food Pyramid) all agree: eat more whole grains, get more fiber.
What happens when you follow the advice to add more and more whole grains to your diet?
Remember the kid's joke: Why did the man keep hitting his head with a hammer? Because it felt so good when he stopped.
With whole grains, we've exchanged a rubber hammer for a steel hammer. It still hurts, though not as much. The conversion from white, enriched flour products to whole grains is better for us─the data are clear on this. But it still is not good for the vast majority. We have simply traded for a lesser evil.
When we indulge in plentiful whole grains, abnormal lipid (cholesterol) and lipoprotein patterns emerge: increased triglycerides and VLDL, reduced HDL, small LDL─the number one cause for heart disease in the U.S.
"Official" agencies have urged us to eat more grains, get more fiber and most Americans have complied. We now have a nationwide health disaster that will eventually lead to more people with coronary plaque, more heart disease, more heart attack, more heart procedures.
This is why I've been urging patients to go wheat-free. It has proven an extraordinarily and surprisingly effective strategy for:
1) rapid and profound weight loss
2) raising HDL and reducing triglycerides, VLDL, and small LDL
3) reducing blood sugars, pre-diabetes and diabetes
Without fail, when I first advise people to consider going wheat-free, they are incredulous. "You've got to be kidding me! Everyone says to eat healthy whole grains!" Sometimes they can't decide if this is some miracle finding or whether I'm just plain crazy.
So, to give you a sample of what happens to real people when they follow this strategy, I am posting a sampling of the responses I've received over the past year from people who have eliminated wheat from their diet:
Barbara W said:
It's true! We've done it. My husband and I stopped eating all grains and sugar in February. At this point, we really don't miss them any more. It was a huge change, but it's worth the effort. I've lost over 20 pounds (10 to go) and my husband has lost 45 pounds (20 to go). On top of it, our body shapes have changed drastically. It is really amazing. I've got my waist back (and a whole wardrobe of clothes)─I'm thrilled.
I'm also very happy to be eating foods that I always loved like eggs, avocados, and meats─ without feeling guilty that they're not good for me.
With the extremely hot weather this week in our area, we thought we'd "treat" ourselves to small ice cream cones. To our surprise, it wasn't that much of a treat. Didn't even taste as good as we'd anticipated. I know I would have been much more satisfied with a snack of smoked salmon with fresh dill, capers, chopped onion and drizzled with lemon juice.