Last week, I discussed the negative effects that grains, particularly gliadin-derived opiates, have on the human brain. This week, I want to discuss yet another ill-effect that they have had on your previously never ending battle with unwanted weight. I say previously, because you can win this battle.
You can conquer those cravings once and for all, but to do so you must understand how to disarm the enemy. Imagine triumphantly enjoying your healthy new lifestyle and wardrobe.
As I have discussed in Wheat Belly Total Health:
Gliadin-derived opiates drive appetite in an “I can never get enough to eat” way. —Tweet this!
The amylopectin A carbohydrate drives blood sugar highs, followed by blood sugar lows that launch a 2-hour cycle of hunger.
But there’s more…
Grains also contain wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), a lectin protein in wheat. The lectin proteins of grains are, by design, nature’s form of bodyguards. These toxins discourage molds, fungi, and insects from eating seeds of plants.
The lectins of rye, barley, and rice are structurally identical to WGA and share all its properties and are also often referred to as “WGA.” The only substantial difference is that rye, barley, and rice express a single form of lectin, while genetically more complex wheat expresses up to three different forms. WGA is indigestible and toxic, resistant to any breakdown in the human body, and unaltered by heat (cooking, baking, frying) or fermentation. WGA wreaks ill effects on everyone, regardless of whether you have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or no digestive issues at all.
WGA mimics the effects of insulin on fat cells.
When WGA encounters a fat cell, it acts just as if it were insulin, inhibiting the activation of fat release and blocking weight loss while making the body more reliant on sugar sources for energy.
WGA is also suspected of blocking leptin, the hormone of satiety charged with signaling your brain with a “stop eating” message when your stomach is full after, say, two trips to the all-you-can-eat buffet. In the presence of WGA, this signaling system is blocked, causing you to eat even after you are full, after you have taken in what you require for sustenance, making the chocolate cake, peach pie, and cheesecake at the end of the buffet irresistible— even when common sense, good judgment, and every other body signal tell you that you’ve had enough.
Making matters worse, high blood insulin provoked by amylopectin A causes belly fat to grow, viewed on the surface as a “muffin top” or “love handles” and seen on imaging tests such as CT scans as deep visceral fat encircling the abdominal organs. This belly fat is inflammatory fat that drives insulin levels up even further.
Insulin causes fat storage and prevents mobilization of fat for energy. —Tweet this!
Eat grains, increase appetite, provoke high insulin, grow belly fat, increase inflammation, provoke even higher blood insulin— around and around it goes, a vicious cycle that ensures weight gain. The entire process being initiated by a friendly looking piece of warm sourdough bread, blueberry muffin or bowl of organic oatmeal.
Therefore, I call wheat and its closely related grains not just perfect chronic poisons, but also perfect obesogens: foods that are perfectly crafted to make you fat, especially in the abdomen, what I call a wheat belly.
Yours in grainless health,
Dr. William Davis