Is Wheat Paleo?

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Wheat is probably the biggest offender to eating a healthy diet. Not only is it unnatural (making it edible requires a fair amount of processing), but it is also extremely high in carbohydrates and low in nutrients. Just two slices of bread (even whole wheat bread) is equivalent to eating 10 teaspoons of sugar. It spikes your blood sugar just as much as all that sugar and your body processes it the same way it processes table sugar. It can’t tell the difference.

The Problems With Wheat

In addition to the high carbohydrate content, wheat lacks nutrition and contains a protein called gluten, which acts as an anti-nutrient. Gluten is the sticky stuff that holds bread together. The problem with that is it does the same thing in our stomachs. This is not good because the lining of our guts are designed to be permeable so they can let certain nutrients into the blood stream while keeping others in the stomach until they are more fully digested or they pass through.

Gluten and Gut Permeability

Gluten disrupts this system by sticking to the lining of our gut and preventing nutrients from getting through. Our guts respond by becoming more permeable, but in addition to letting in nutrients, it also lets undigested food and toxins into our blood stream. Our bodies then use an immune response to attack the foreign substances.

A large part of the immune response is inflammation and people who eat wheat on a regular basis are more likely to have chronic inflammation, which is connected to a number of health risks, including higher rates of diabetes and heart disease.

For more reasons not to eat wheat, Mark Sisson explains why our modern version of wheat is even worse than what our grandparents grew up eating.

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