gluten free
It saddens me: As popular as the Wheat Belly books and lifestyle have been, there are still millions of people who say things like "Oh, that Wheat Belly thing is just about being gluten-free." They couldn't be more wrong and have clearly not read any of the books.

Yes, you can be gluten-free and consume foods that naturally have no gluten, gliadin, wheat germ agglutinin, amylopectin A, phytates, and the rest of the toxic components contained in wheat and related grains. You can eat apples, bacon, eggs, and salmon that are naturally gluten-free. You can drink water or tea that is gluten-free. No problems here.

But turn to the thousands of processed gluten-free foods made with cornstarch, rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch and all sorts of awful things happen-despite the double-digit growth of this industry that has swelled to many billions of dollars per year. You won't, of course, hear any of this from companies like Udi's and Schar who make a lot of money selling their products. And it doesn't help that there are dozens of cookbooks written by authors who have no understanding of the damaging message they are propagating.

So what happens when you are misled into thinking that processed gluten-free foods are healthy replacements for wheat and grains? Here are 10 reasons:
  1. Gluten-free foods raise blood sugar higher than all other foods-Higher than wheat, higher than sugar, higher than candy bars or jelly beans. Just ask anyone who tracks fingers stick blood sugars 30-60 minutes after consuming something gluten-free.
  2. Gluten-free foods cause insulin resistance-High blood sugar provokes high blood insulin that, in turn, leads to insulin resistance followed by type 2 diabetes.
  3. Gluten-free foods can reactivate celiac disease and gluten-intolerance reactions-The cornstarch, for instance, included in many gluten-free processed foods contains residues of the corn protein, zein. While zein is not gluten or gliadin, it overlaps in structure with gliadin and can thereby reactivate many of the same responses.(Gliadin and zein are members of a class of proteins called prolamins by agricultural scientists-they are closely related.) Likewise, rice flour contains residues of wheat germ agglutinin that is toxic even in small amounts to the human gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Gluten-free foods provoke formation of small LDL particles-Small LDL particles-prone to oxidation, glycation, last 5-7 days rather than the 24 hours of large LDL particles, adherent to artery walls, highly inflammatory within artery walls-are the real cause for heart disease, not cholesterol. ("Cholesterol" is Big Pharma's kindergarten version of how heart disease is caused, a profitable deception.) Gluten-free foods provoke small LDL particle formation extravagantly. Gluten-free foods thereby are prominent causes of heart attack and heart disease.
  5. Gluten-free foods send fasting triglycerides through the roof-The rapidly-digested carbohydrate/sugars of gluten-free foods provoke a liver process called de novo lipogenesis that converts sugar to triglycerides that are released into the bloodstream. The increase in blood triglycerides is the first step in yielding small LDL particles and thereby increases heart disease risk.
  6. Gluten-free foods amplify postprandial lipoprotein abnormalities-After you consume, say, a sandwich made with gluten-free flours, there is a flood of digestive byproducts that enter the blood stream as VLDL particles and chylomicrons. Because of the high carb/sugar content of gluten-free foods, there is an enormous surge of these particles after a gluten-free containing meal. It's this period when most heart disease is caused, i.e., in the after-meal or postprandial period.
  7. Gluten-free foods cause fatty liver-The same de novo lipogenesis in the liver that causes blood triglycerides to skyrocket with gluten-free foods causes some of the triglycerides to become trapped in the liver. Trapped triglycerides accumulate, leading to fatty liver that, if not reversed, leads to cirrhosis and liver failure over time.
  8. Gluten-free foods alter bowel flora-Just as putting out bread crumbs makes the ducks follow you, ingesting gluten-free carbs/sugars "invites" unhealthy bacterial species to ascend up the intestinal tract, a phenomenon that leads to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, SIBO, that, in turn, increases risk for autoimmune conditions, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, and colon cancer.
  9. Gluten-free foods cause tooth decay-Just as the amylopectin carbohydrate of wheat and grains are extravagant contributors to dental decay and gingivitis, gluten-free foods do likewise due to their high carb/sugar content.
  10. Gluten-free foods accelerate aging-Readers of the original Wheat Belly book know that whenever blood sugar goes up, irreversible reactions occur in the proteins of the body, a process called glycation. Glycated proteins become useless or dysfunctional.This is how cartilage proteins become glycated, causing cartilage to become brittle, then erode, leading over time to bone-on-bone arthritis. This is how the proteins of the lenses of the eyes become opaque and lead to cataracts. There are hundreds of other proteins that become glycated with the high blood sugars that occur after consuming gluten-free foods. The sum total effect? Accelerated aging.
Now I could go on and list a number of other adverse consequences that develop when you make the mistake of consuming gluten-free processed foods. Yes, you can be gluten-free. But don't fall for the awful products made by the gluten-free processed food industry.