The Reva Clinic News

12 Dec 2013 Date Holder

Ditch The Wheat!

Wheat Belly

Want to shift those extra pounds pre-Christmas?  Maybe it’s time to ditch the wheat!

I’m sure you have all heard of people talking about being ‘wheat-free’ or ‘gluten-free’ – it’s pretty hard to get away from as more and more research is being published.  And you might have read about the link between wheat and various health conditions, from autism to IBS to arthritis.  But you might not be aware of the link between wheat and weight loss.

So to understand why wheat is not our friend if we’re trying to lose weight, we need to understand a little bit about it.  Here comes the technical bit, so stick with me! Wheat is a carbohydrate, that is made up of a couple of different components.  One of these components is called amylopectin. 

The type of amylopectin found in wheat is broken down very quickly by our digestive system and is turned into a sugar called glucose.  Glucose is an essential energy source for the body, but when we eat wheat, this glucose gets into the bloodstream very quickly (because it’s digested very quickly) giving us a big rise in our blood-sugar levels.

Now glucose can only be used by the body as energy when it is in our tissues or cells, not whilst it’s floating around in our blood.  This sugar or glucose is actually very toxic to our cells and our nerves, which explains why people with diabetes (uncontrolled blood sugar) can end up with nerve damage.  Therefore we need to control our levels of blood glucose very carefully and we do this with a clever hormone called insulin.  Insulin basically comes along, picks up the glucose in the blood and takes it to the cells or organs to be used.

If there is too much glucose in the blood, insulin will shove the glucose into the liver to be stored temporarily – anything to get it out of the bloodstream.  And then what does the liver do with all this excess glucose because it has to go somewhere, right? 

Yep you guessed it – it goes on to our bellies, our thighs, our behind etc – because this excess glucose is literally turned into, and stored as fat.  Lovely.

So the take home points are:

-       Carbohydrates like wheat that are digested very quickly, give us very fast spikes in blood-sugar or glucose levels

-       Excess glucose needs to be taken out of the bloodstream, so it’s stored in our bodies as fat.

Tip of the day:

Start the day the right way!

 

I know one of the most difficult meals to enjoy wheat-free is breakfast.  Most of us lead busy lives and breakfast is thrown together in between showers, kids, running for the train etc.  Cereal and toast are easy.

 

But the key to achieving weight loss, as well as all-day energy, and a nice clear-head, is actually to eat more proteins and good fats.  Try having a boiled egg with a dash of mayo and an avocado for breakfast, or a tomato and basil omelette, or even leftovers from dinner.  All of this can be made the night before, or definitely chucked in a pan between showering and dressing!

 

And if the thought of these ‘proper’ foods in the morning doesn’t tempt you then stick it in a Tupperware and have it mid-morning.  You can breakfast (break your fast) whenever you’re hungry!