This is a free excerpt from the book, North American
Crackers, shredded wheat, shake and bake, hot dog buns, pretzels, bran flakes, donuts, pop tarts, muffins, pies, macaroni, spaghetti, stuffing, noodles, croutons, pizza, puffed wheat, rice cakes, puffed rice, corn chips, scones, bagels, burritos, pita, tacos, pancakes, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, granola, biscuits, popcorn, corn starch and the list goes on. We welcome you to the world of grains.
The impact grain has on the North American diet is nothing short of massive. One walk through your grocery store will reveal the high percentage of shelving space surrendered to this source of nutrition. The question that needs to be answered is whether or not it is healthy to have the majority of our diet consisting of grains, especially wheat products.
The average American diet consists of 150 lb. of grain products per year, making it a large percentage of our diet. Through greater education in nutrition, most people are now aware of how useless and destructive white flour products are to health. Whole wheat bread is growing in popularity. When parents decide to switch to 100% whole wheat bread with its healthy brown color, they feel good about making a positive move in eating more healthily. They have been led to believe that 100% Whole Wheat is exactly what it says, flour produced from a complete kernel of wheat, nothing added, nothing taken away. They believe that wheat is filled with nutrition, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and a good source of protein and fiber to maintain a healthy bowel. Nothing could be further from the truth!
PROCESSED TO DEATH
Wheat was a common part of people’s lives during the time of Christ. We can picture the Israelites sowing seeds in the fields, reaching into their pouches to throw kernels of wheat onto the cultivated soils. The soil would then be lightly brushed to cover the seed with a thin layer of earth. At harvest time, with the swinging of a sickle, the wheat was bound in sheaves and carted to the threshing floor, a large circular area of hard ground often 100 feet in diameter. Because of the law of God, unmuzzled oxen would be led onto the threshing floor to trample out the grain. After this process was complete, the winnowing would begin. Evening was the best time, just as pictured in the Book of Ruth, with a soft, warm breeze blowing. With a broad shovel, the grain would be thrown into the wind, the chaff blowing away, leaving behind the precious kernels of wheat.
When flour was needed for bread, two Israelite women would sit down on the dusty ground with a small mill, two feet in diameter between them. This mill would be a simple construction of two circular stones, one on top of the other. The top stone would have a hole where the grain would be poured. The women would grasp the handle and turn it, grinding fresh flour for the evening meal. If there were time, leaven would be used in the baking, but was often left out, producing heavy, unleavened bread that is still baked in the Middle East today.
Wheat, barley and spelt were used in the flours that made this important mainstay.
We now enter into a sterile environment where men and women in bright white lab coats manipulate the genetic codes of wheat so that it may be able to grow in impoverished soil filled with pesticides and chemicals. These new Super Grains must be resistant to disease. Natural wheat would be too weak and malnourished to withstand the plagues of nature that haunt mass production. The wheat is then harvested and taken to the mill where the germ is separated because its delicate oil would cause the flour to taste rancid. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to the bread, making up for the loss of the germ, the most nutritious part of the wheat. If it is whole wheat, it is ground to a fine talcum powder through many rollers. The finer the flour the better the bread is able to have a soft, spongy texture that the consumer has grown to love and demand. In many cases, extra gluten is added with other preservatives and additives to enhance texture and preserve the bread’s appearance of freshness. Color is added to give Whole Wheat that dark nutritious look. Unsuspectingly, your are eating mostly white flour, a substance so refined that a diet of it will kill laboratory rats in less than 60 days.
When we eat stone ground wheat or any grain for that matter, the particles have sharp, rough edges which help sweep the colon wall. When wheat is ground to such a fine texture the particles are round and stick to one another, becoming deadly in the bowel. A sticky goo that impacts itself on the side of the colon wall, creating irritation and possible colon cancer. Canadians have the highest rate of colon cancer in the world.
The word gluten comes from the Greek word glue. Gluten is commonly used in adhesives. It is a strong protein molecule that has an elastic quality which makes it excellent for the purpose of making high bread. Gluten allows dough to trap carbon dioxide that is produced as a byproduct in the fermentation of yeast.
The best wheat for bread is grown in Canada, producing the highest amount of gluten in the grain. Gluten is also added to most breads to increase its elastic quality.
Mucus is a response to an irritant in the body. Because of gluten’s rubber-like quality, it is an extremely difficult protein to digest and break down. Celiac Disease is a complete intolerance to gluten. The only treatment is to completely remove gluten from their diet, then they could fully return to health and vigor.
A gluten-free diet has helped people with multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, regional enteritis and autism. There does not seem to be any known scientific understanding of why removing gluten from the diet can cause complete recovery from these crippling diseases. The fact is, the proof is in the gluten-free pudding. Dr. R. Shatin of Alford Hospital, in Melbourne, Australia, suggests that in the case of celiac disease, damage is caused in the small intestine and to the de-myelination of the nerve sheaths from the intolerance to gluten. He sees a pattern in the high rate of multiple sclerosis in Canada, Scotland and Western Ireland. All consume Canadian hard wheat, which has the highest amount of gluten-content of any wheat in the world. In comparison, Africans, who primarily eat millet and less wheat, have a very low occurrence of multiple sclerosis.
In 1974, Mrs. Hughes who suffered with multiple sclerosis, removed gluten from her diet. There was dramatic improvement. She became free from her wheelchair, walking normally. Witnessing such dramatic changes in Mrs. Hughes’ health caused a stir amongst the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Research on gluten is still shrouded with questions, but there are strong patterns that have begun to surface. Gluten is not a direct poison to the lining of the bowel, so why it causes such trouble is still a mystery. It is theorized that it may stimulate an immunological reaction of defense to rid the colon of an irritant. Gluten is a large sticky molecule that is acid-forming that many find difficult to digest.
According to Carolee Bateson-Kosh, an expert in food allergies, drawing from her 25 years of experience, she states Milk and wheat are the two most common allergic foods... With the exception of milk, whole wheat bread is considered to be the most mucus-forming food on earth. All foods which contain wheat, barely, rye, oats or buckwheat contain gluten, unless stated to be gluten-free. Rice, millet, corn, spelt, soy flour and wheat germ are examples of some grains and grain products that are gluten-free.
THE COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATE SCANDAL
In 1992, Health and Welfare Canada issued Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. It was a beautifully illustrated diagram of the four food groups, represented by a four layered multicolored rainbow. The highest and largest layer represented grain products such as white pasta, white pancakes, white rice, white bread, white bagels, a tiny bran muffin, and at the very bottom of the rainbow, two loaves of brown bread. The second layer of the rainbow is fruits and vegetables. The third layer is milk products and lastly is the meats and alternatives. The food guide recommends 5-12 servings of grain per day, the equivalent of 12 slices of bread. In the vegetable and fruit section, 5-10 servings of fruit or vegetables are recommended. A half cup of juice was considered one serving. In other words, 12 slices of highly concentrated food and 2 to 5 cups of high-water-content fruit juice would be considered a perfectly balanced diet. The guide elevates grain products, especially white flour, to the king position of all foods. The only pot at the end of this rainbow is the one you sit on when suffering with constipation.
Why elevate a sticky, non-nutritious, gluten-filled, allergy-causing product to being the main dietary component for Canadians. It is largely to do with a complete misunderstanding of complex carbohydrates.
Let us unveil some simple mysteries to make complex carbohydrates simple to understand.
Whole wheat bread is believed to be a superior form of energy because like most starches, it is slow in breaking down into glucose, the pure energy the body uses. This is untrue with bread, especially with white flour, because of the milling and heating of bread. The breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars begins in chewing, through the amylase released in the saliva. Whole wheat bread whacks the bloodstream with glucose more quickly than white sugar, raisins, orange juice, bananas, or apples. (Refer to Blood Glucose Response Chart on page 49.) For most, this information will come as a complete shock, yet to a diabetic, blood glucose response information is essential to their survival.
Fruit is one of the finest foods for releasing the fuel the body needs gradually, without resulting in the all-too-familiar crash that comes after a glucose high.
BEATING A DEAD HORSE0
If you eat a diet high in bread and cooked grains, your pancreas is probably three times its normal size. Cooked concentrated food forces the pancreas to produce enzymes that are completely deficient in a cooked-food diet. Bread is one of the hardest foods to digest. It offers no help in the form of enzymes, demanding a weary pancreas into overdrive which can result in sickness and disease.
Enzymes are vital to every chemical reaction in the body. When you force the enzymes in your body to concentrate on digesting concentrated, dead food, you are taking them away from other tasks that need to be performed to maintain optimum health.
Being in the health and nutrition field, we rub shoulders with many vegetarians who eat no animal products. We have been surprised to find many of them sickly, pale and suffering from ill health. Should they not be brimming with health, eating a diet free from fatty meats and dairy products? In talking to them, we discovered that they had replaced a high-meat intake with heavy, starchy cooked foods. In our opinion, it would be better for them to go back to eating meat rather than eating such a mucus-forming, high-starch diet. We believe that grain does have a place in a healthy diet, however, the majority of what you eat should be raw, enzyme-filled, easily digestible fruits, vegetables and sprouts.
There are some excellent, high-quality breads on the market today. Our first recommendation is manna bread, a sprouted grain bread that has been slowly baked at a low temperature. It is absolutely fabulous in flavor with a cake-like taste and texture. Its natural sweetness comes from the breaking down of complex carbohydrates and gluten into simple sugars. Stone ground rye breads such as pumpernickel are also excellent. Amaranth, millet and more uncommon grain breads can be found at your local health food store. Hopefully, these high quality breads will begin to make their way into grocery stores as people become more educated. Making your own flours fresh in small batches and baking your own bread is the best, but do not fall into the trap of overeating even the good quality breads.
Bread is a funny thing. It sneaks up on your diet, and before you know it, it is a major part. It would be fine if we were living 2,000 years ago, burning large amounts of calories because of an active lifestyle. Men and women’s hands were callused, and they needed these solid rich foods to sustain them through a long day’s work. Fruit is more suited to the calories you burn driving a car. Much more suited than a ham on rye. Eating concentrated foods without physical activity will result in eroded health.
The mucus-forming effect of grain can be reduced by chewing it well and not mixing it with sugars or fruits.