By: Brian Miles, M.D.
Many patients cringe when I recommend removing grain based foods such as bread from their diet. I often receive responses such as, “But Dr. Miles, I love my bread” or “I think I can give up just about anything, but not bread.” Bread is really “pushed” in our society. Sandwiches and fast food restaurants make accessibility to bread all too convenient. When you sit down at a restaurant, the wait staff automatically brings you bread, even if you tell them you don’t want it.
Unfortunately, bread is a concentrated serving of carbohydrates, which are readily converted to sugars upon digestion. It is often “laced” with high fructose corn syrup. Most bread is predominantly made from wheat grains, which contain proteins known as gluten. It is a combination of two proteins: gliadin and glutenin.
The abundance of these proteins in our diet has caused many people to develop food sensitivities and allergies to them. The most severe form is known as celiac disease. Many people have subtle responses to gluten that they are not even aware of. Gluten can affect all organ systems (including your brain, heart and kidneys), your extended nervous system, moods, immunological system, digestive system and musculoskeletal system in adverse ways. Also, there are morphine like compounds in grains called exorphins which can lead to the craving, addictive behavior common with breads.