It is certainly marketed as the healthier, better for your heart, filled with fiber, and NOT the evil “white” bread alternative. The majority of people do not know this, but wheat, along with rye and barley, contain a family of gluten proteins that create long-term digestive problems for nearly everyone. Yes, it is the gluten in wheat and most grains that is to blame for so many chronic and life altering diseases, such as, arthritis , cancer, depression, dermatitis herpetiformis (intensely itchy, blistering hives), lupus, manic depression, migraine headaches, osteoporosis, and other neurological diseases (multiple sclerosis, epilepsy) and schizophrenia to list a few.
On a more scientific level, another important point people should know is that the wheat being grown and consumed today is vastly different from the wheat 50 years ago, because the wheat of today is genetically modified using extreme techniques. Sadly, their safety for human consumption has never been tested or questioned. If you held up a conventional wheat plant from 50 years ago against a modern, high-yield dwarf wheat plant, you would see that today’s plant is about 2½ feet shorter. It’s stockier, so it can support a much heavier seedbed, and it grows much faster. The great irony here is that the term “genetic modification” refers to the actual insertion or deletion of a gene, and that’s not what’s happened with wheat. Instead, the plant has been hybridized and crossbred to make it resistant to drought and fungi, and to vastly increase yield per acre.
Agricultural geneticists have shown that wheat proteins undergo structural change with hybridization, and that the hybrid contains proteins that are found in neither parent plant. New strains have been generated using what the wheat industry proudly insists are “traditional breeding techniques,” though they involve processes like gamma irradiation and toxins such as sodium azide. The poison control people will tell you that if someone accidentally ingests sodium azide, you shouldn’t try to resuscitate the person because you could die, too, giving CPR. This is a highly toxic chemical.
Why are farmers allowed to grow wheat that produces such harmful effects to the human population? Wheat is a huge industry and money maker. Just like the tobacco industry, it is a business and it fuels the agricultural economy from all sides. Making our society sicker will generate more patients in the hospitals and pump the insurance companies with a constant flow of business.
For many, gluten is an intestinal abrasive that effectively "sandpapers" your insides. Allergies, light-sensitivity, and even autoimmune reactions can be traced to gluten, not to mention "beer belly" and chronic fatigue. Gluten-sensitivity is the most prevalent food reaction there is. To make matters worse, gluten tends to be addictive. A simple blood test is all you need to find out if you're at risk. If you suffer from psoriasis, migraines, depression, or fatigue, you might want to get one from your healthcare provider.
Wheat also may cause adrenal exhaustion, where your body will be constantly reacting to the inflammation caused by gluten in the intestines. After a while, the adrenal glands will have no capacity left over to produce the other hormones they are responsible for, including steroidal hormones that act as anti-histamines and the hormone that unlocks fat. Taxing the adrenal system may produce dizziness, allergies, insomnia, chronic fatigue, inflammation, lowered immune system, and fast weight gain.
Eating wheat causes you to crave more wheat, and in doing so, the intestines begin to weaken, the stomach size enlarges and weight will begin creeping up the scale.
The adrenal glands are too busy dealing with inflammation in the intestines (or too exhausted from doing so) to release the hormone that lets you burn fat (progesterone). So what you gain, you keep.
The addiction caused by gluten and additive MSG (monosodium glutamate-found in many prepared grains) causes "hunger attacks" that cannot be denied with sheer will sheer power. You can try, but you're fighting a survival instinct that goes back a lot longer than you do. So you overeat and add fat.
National Institutes of Health researchers showed that gluten-derived polypeptides can cross into the brain and bind to the brain’s opiate receptors. So people get a mild euphoria after eating a product made with whole wheat and it becomes addictive. It actually takes 5 days of zero wheat (after the withdraws) for the wheat free brain to be more clear and alert and the body to improve in overall health.
Wheat also contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly.
Instead of traditional breads such as white, wheat, rye or barley, consume more grains that are made of oats or "mimic" grains (these grains do not contain gluten, but the reactions they cause haven't been studied as much, either. The folks at Health Now Medical feel that these grains mimic gluten's effects, and should be avoided), amaranth, quinoa ("keen-wa"), and teff.
By avoiding grain products and baked goods, you will be drastically reducing your exposure to the trans fats found in partially hydrogenated oils.
Resources: rawfoodexplained.com, drweil.com, paleodietlifestyle.com, mayoclinic.com, livestrong.com