Posted: Jan 18, 2013
I've fielded many questions over the past week about Dr. William Davis' book, “Wheat Belly” as he recently spoke here in Ottawa. Let's assume that the science Dr. Davis presents is one hundred percent true; that wheat and other grains are making us fat and if we eliminate it from our diet we'll not only lose weight but also improve health conditions such as hypertension, arthritis and acid reflux. The question you would need to ask yourself is “can I eliminate wheat/grains from my life permanently and still be happy?” Or put another way – can you go the rest of your life without ever having a piece of bread, Christmas baking treats or cereal? Perhaps you could, but chances are you would be depriving yourself of foods that you enjoy and would be miserable as a result. And if you're miserable you're far less likely to maintain your efforts.
Here’s perhaps a more sustainable approach on how to limit wheat and other grains in your diet. Keep your intake of highly processed, refined grains such as instant white rice, instant oatmeal and white bread to the smallest amount you need to be satisfied. Including whole, minimally processed grains is a part of healthy eating. They contain carbohydrates which give us energy, fibre which promotes healthy bowel function, helps us feel full and may help lower cholesterol. Whole grains also contain healthy fats, B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium.
Remember, in order for any diet to be effective you need to be able to sustain it. Otherwise, any changes you see will only be temporary. As the saying goes: the best diet to follow is the one you can stick with.
Mark McGill, RD