Mike Bloomberg, Health Cop: Where's The War On Wheaties?
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has declared war on sodium, baby formula, sugar and, most recently, soda. But if Hizzoner is so concerned with your health, where's the war on Wheaties?
Wheat is actually pretty horrible in terms of its ability to turn people into unhealthy fatsos. And unlike soda, it apparently has crack-like addictive properties that can turn the average person into a wheat-aholic.
The problem with wheat isn't just the gluten it contains -- wheat apparently has "hidden" qualities that make it "a major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and so many other modern ills."
Doctor Mark Hyman penned an essay for the Huffington Post outlining the "hidden reasons" wheat is one of the most unhealthy foods known to man. He notes that modern-day wheat isn't the same stuff described in the Bible when it mentions the "daily bread," but has morphed into a "FrankenFood," a "scientifically engineered" food developed in the last 50 years.
Today's wheat contains what Hyman describes as a "super starch," a "super gluten," and a "super drug" that gives today's wheat it's addictive qualities.
From Hyman's essay:
The Super Starch
The Bible says, "Give us this day our daily bread." Eating bread is nearly a religious commandment. But the Einkorn, heirloom, Biblical wheat of our ancestors is something modern humans never eat.
Instead, we eat dwarf wheat, the product of genetic manipulation and hybridization that created short, stubby, hardy, high-yielding wheat plants with much higher amounts of starch and gluten and many more chromosomes coding for all sorts of new odd proteins. The man who engineered this modern wheat won the Nobel Prize -- it promised to feed millions of starving around the world. Well, it has, and it has made them fat and sick.
The first major difference of this dwarf wheat is that it contains very high levels of a super starch called amylopectin A. This is how we get big fluffy Wonder Bread and Cinnabons.
Here's the downside. Two slices of whole wheat bread now raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar.
There is no difference between whole wheat and white flour here. The biggest scam perpetrated on the unsuspecting public is the inclusion of "whole grains" in many processed foods full of sugar and wheat, giving the food a virtuous glow. The best way to avoid foods that are bad for you is to stay away from foods with health claims on the labels. They are usually hiding something bad.
In people with diabetes, both white and whole grain bread raises blood sugar levels 70 to 120 mg/dl over starting levels. We know that foods with a high glycemic index make people store belly fat, trigger hidden fires of inflammation in the body and give you a fatty liver, leading the whole cascade of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes. This problem now affects every other American and is the major driver of nearly all chronic disease and most our health care costs. Diabetes now sucks up one in three Medicare dollars.
The Super Gluten
Not only does this dwarf, FrankenWheat, contain the super starch, but it also contains super gluten which is much more likely to create inflammation in the body. And in addition to a host of inflammatory and chronic diseases caused by gluten, it causes obesity and diabetes.
Gluten is that sticky protein in wheat that holds bread together and makes it rise. The old fourteen-chromosome-containing Einkorn wheat codes for the small number of gluten proteins, and those that it does produce are the least likely to trigger celiac disease and inflammation. The new dwarf wheat contains twenty-eight or twice as many chromosomes and produces a large variety of gluten proteins, including the ones most likely to cause celiac disease.
And wheat isn't just found in bread, it's "disguised in literally hundreds of thousands of different food-like products" like soup, vodka, lipstick and envelope adhesive.
Another issue with wheat is that -- unlike soda -- it's found in products a lot of people consider to be healthy, so they're often unknowingly turning themselves into fatsos.
In other words, the health-conscious mayor may want to amend his selective food-bullying to include wheat -- which is found in just about everything. That or stop playing health cop for a while and let adults decide on their own what they should and shouldn't eat.
We have a feeling most people would prefer the latter.
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