Some studies examining the effect of wheat, barley and rye products on our health, demonstrate that cutting out these products can help us lose weight from “Wheat Belly”. Cutting out these products has been linked to weight loss from the deep visceral fat that resides within the abdomen, what can be represented on the surface as “love handles” or “muffin top”.

Over the last 40 years or so, wheat has been hybridized and mutated to grow to a certain height and yield more product per acre. Along with these modifications, the wheat has, over time, become a potential health problem rather than a health solution. Even organic and non-GMO certified wheat is not immune to the problems associated with the cross breeding of wheat.

As an advocate for a varied diet, that doesn’t focus on any one food, my opinion is that all grains fit into a healthy diet if you don’t have a health problem that precludes it. There are two situations in which it would be prudent to avoid wheat.

  • If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Eating wheat and other gluten-rich foods causes some people difficulties including depression, ADHD-like behavior, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and chronic fatigue. While gluten sensitive people don’t experience the internal organ damage experienced by those with celiac disease, the symptoms can be unpleasant and unhealthy.
  • If you have a “carb” addiction. Some people find wheat and products containing wheat to be a trigger food for overeating. Although many of us jones for a piece of crusty bread, true carb addiction is a breeding ground for numerous problems, from weight gain to disease. Signs of carb addiction include conditioning to eat certain foods, even if you aren’t hungry; you are emotionally attached to a food; you have a hard time having just one cookie, piece of candy or slice of bread.

As always, you should eat a variety of foods for good health. Not only does eating a varied diet ensure that you get more essential nutrients, it can also help you avoid the hazards of “too much of a good thing”. The list of grains available to eat is very long with the rising popularity of ancient grains such as quinoa, farro and amaranth. If you think you have a problem with wheat, barley and rye, cut them out or limit them for better health; otherwise, a slice of crusty bread or a Twizzler (Yep! They have wheat in them) once in a while is not likely to adversely affect your health. If you find yourself with a muffin top or love handles, varying the grains in your diet, and cutting out refined food products, can help you dump the plump on your midsection.