Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wheat Free Diet Update

We started a wheat free diet last November and although we had some great results weight loss was not one of them.  In July we happened to watch a documentary, “The Perfect Human Diet”, that tells about the original human diet and health issues with grains.  The movie presented a radically different view of the ideal human diet when compared to the currently accepted “healthy” diet and foods. 

Citing research on the skeletal remains of pre-agriculture societies in Europe, the movie concludes that the human body is designed to flourish on the diet of northern European hunter gatherers.  The film makes a lot of assumptions such as the reason all skeletal remains are all tall and disease free is because of diet; it may be that environmental challenges at the time led to a minimum size and food requirement to survive rather than diet alone.  And there is the even greater assumption that a diet ideal for people from northern Europe is good for all humans.  Even so, the journalist CJ Hunt made a very convincing argument that modern grains are a major cause of obesity and diet related illnesses and we were intrigued at his proposal for ancestral eating.

Since becoming wheat-free 8 months earlier, we had come to rely heavily on rice in our diet.  Not eating wheat, spelt, rye, and oats, had just changed, and not reduced, the grains in our diet.  We decided to remove all grains from our diet after watching the movie because our ancestors are northern European and since we had seen beneficial results from taking wheat out of our diet (in particular ending gout flare ups) it seemed possible that removing all grains would offer even more benefits.  We had already stopped eating what we considered “unhealthy” foods years ago like sugar, corn, GMO foods, etc. and although we had lost weight and felt much better, we were still struggling with losing the last pounds.

Going on the diet was fairly simple for us, we just stopped eating rice, which was much easier than removing wheat and bread from our diet a year earlier.  To replace rice at our meals, we added  more vegetables (carrots, kale, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce, avocados, green beans) more nuts (macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans) and hunter gather fruits (dates, figs, cherries, bananas).  We realize  the  availability of the foods on the “perfect diet” is one of the many gifts of living on Hawaii Island and we doubt we could have made the diet change as easily and inexpensively on the mainland.

Within weeks we started to lose weight and had a major reduction in our hunger.  We noticed that a meal of beef heated us up and we were more physically active during the day.  At night we are sore and more tired than we used to be from our additional activity.   Within three months we had both lost 10 pounds without having to count calories or be hungry.  Even better, our weight has stopped fluctuating so much and seems stabilized.  We plan to get our blood tested to verify the effect of this new diet.

Although the non-grain diet has been positive for us, we are not sure this diet is for everyone. 


mv morejon said...

i think you are making smart choices.you might be interested in the new book by john durant called "the paleo manifesto". it is superb.

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