This is my personal blog, on which I talk about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy. Some topics are serious, others whimsical. I love comments and questions so don't be shy, just courteous, even if you don't agree with me. I have another blog, The Story Template, on which I post writing-related topics on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Let's see, a bit about me... I'm married with two children, and spend much time taking care of our family. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research. I am a Christian who came to faith under protest through studying the historic circumstances surrounding the death of Jesus. I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. I also have written a nonfiction book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This book is a programmed learner-type book that helps you, the writer, develop a complete compelling story (novel or screenplay) from a vague idea.

YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whole Grains are NOT Healthy!

Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, also postulates that insulin is a problem. He believes that America's growing obesity problem can be explained largely through the large consumption of "Whole Grains." In the American diet wheat is a component of most foods, and there is evidence that we Americans eat more of it than we have in the past. The problem with this is that the wheat we eat now may not be the same plant we ate even 50 years ago. Davis references aggressive cross-breeding of different strains of wheat to produce desired characteristics such as shorter growing season and resistance to different conditions (drought, parasites etc.). He notes that gluten composition (gluten is a major protein in wheat) is also altered, and new gluten types are appearing. He postulates that these changes may alter how wheat is metabolically handled in the body.

Dr. Davis uses the glycemic index to show how "Whole Grains" may be contributing to America's obesity problem.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a standardize measurement that quantifies how quickly a particular food converts to blood sugar in the human body. The standard is glucose, with a GI of 100. Other foods are compared to the glucose GI to receive their own GI. A high GI food means that blood sugar rises quickly, and causes an intense insulin release. The insulin causes fat cells (and other cells) to absorb the sugar for proper functioning. When fat cells are stimulated by insulin, they manufacture more fat and eventually cause unsightly bulges. Many experts believe that keeping insulin levels as low as possibly will decrease fat formation.

Whole Grains are viewed as being "healthy" in our society, but in reality they have high GIs. For example, Shredded Wheat cereal has a GI of about 69, whereas a Snickers candy bar has a GI of 40. This high GI in grain is in large part due to high quantities of amylopectin A, a form of branched sugar molecules (complex carbohydrates) that are quickly broken down in the body.

Davis gives a chain of reaction: whole grains --> amylopectin A broken down --> sugar absorbed into the blood --> quick and high release of insulin --> fat cells take up the blood sugar --> fat cells produce more fat --> blood sugar levels drop --> brain senses low blood glucose levels --> brain stimulates the appetite --> whole grains often preferred because they produce a fast sugar rise

Davis' prescription to his patients is simple: DON'T EAT WHEAT PRODUCTS! Other grain products, such as corn and rice, are also not encouraged. He suggests using flax flour, almond flour, and coconut flour for baking. He also recommends avoiding simple sugar ingestion, since the sugar also gives fast insulin responses.

It's interesting to contemplate that a Snickers candy bar might be a better breakfast than breakfast cereal and milk.

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