Modern Wheat

The Modern Wheat – and other grains.

In the post ‘Basic Nutrition Tips’, I have mentioned that “hybrid seeds and genetic modification has ruined the nutritional value of our agricultural produce”. Let’s have a closer look how, by looking at modern wheat. More than 99% of the wheat that is grown today is not the wheat that was available 50 years ago. It’s not what our forefathers had, and told historic tales about. Please don’t confuse the two.

Dr. Norman Borlaug is known as the father of The Green Revolution. This revolution ‘greened’ parts of the world and ensured food supply for many starving nations. A notable and praise worthy cause, for which he was conferred The Nobel Prize in 1990, and also The Padma Vibhushan by the Indian government in 2006. He also made it to the cover of the "Times" magazine for this worthy cause. His revolution meant that wheat output more than doubled in countries like India, Pakistan and Mexico. Not just that, wheat surpluses were available for export.  

Dr. Borlaug did that by developing newer wheat hybrid varieties. Varieties that had greater uniformity, improved colour, resistance to pests and disease, ability to withstand changing weather patterns and above all substantially increased yield per acre. Farmers became richer, people had food and everyone was happy. I’m sure he did not foresee the health problems that these newer wheat varieties would introduce. Mind you, the term “Genetically Modified” was not even born then.

Hybrid varieties are developed by cross-pollinating different varieties of plants. And then you have newer varieties which can again be cross bred with the older varieties, and so on and so forth. You could keep this up for a long time, and end up with varieties which have no resemblance to either of the original parent. The result is that modern wheat has 73 new proteins never earlier known in the human diet. Besides, all grains contain toxic anti nutrients like lectins, gluten, phytates and other harmful stuff.

After a meal, in a normally metabolic person, it is leptin that signals the brain that the person has been well fed. The nutrients are then ‘partitioned’ by the liver which sends about 40% of the calories to the peripheral tissues and the muscles. The remainder is kept as a reserve for energy to be used between meals. Leptin and Insulin play a role in this partitioning and delivery and it is imperative that the cells be leptin and insulin sensitive to receive and consume this energy. Lectins bind to the insulin receptors and the stomach and intestinal lining and cause leptin and insulin resistance. Welcome metabolic syndrome.

Gluten is made out of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin works like an opium substrate and binds to opiate receptors in the brain that stimulate appetite. It is estimated that this increased appetite results in the consumption of approximately 400 more calories a day. More and more people are reportedly become gluten intolerant and afflicted by ‘celiac disease’. Gliadin can compromise Vit D3 and calcium absorption, and result in thyroid problems.

Wheat also contains a carbohydrate amylopectin which is rapidly broken down by the salivary juices, even before it hits the stomach. The result is rapid shooting high blood sugars. Over time this results in a diminished response to the insulin secreted, causing Insulin Resistance and Inflammation.

Phytates are esters of phytic acid. These are humanly indigestible and also capable of forming insoluble complex substances with minerals like Calcium, Iron, Zinc and other nutrients. The end result, your body cannot absorb and use the essential minerals and vitamins contained in your other foods. An unending supply of carbs causes repetitive high blood sugars. We have already examined the damage this causes in the post ‘Glucotoxicity’. The high carbs in diet also push the liver in making more fats by a process known as de novo lipogenesis (as explained in The Lipid Hypothesis). The resultant excess of lipids and triglycerides in the blood can have lipotoxic outcomes and all sorts of complications ranging from cardiovascular disease to tumors.        


  1. How bad is the position in case of rice and other grains like Bajra etcc

    1. WRT genetic modifications, I'd say wheat, corn and soya are the most dangerous. As far as the other ingredients that are mentioned, all grains contain them. Brown, unpolished rice may be OK once in a while. But do remember all grains are too carb heavy.

  2. Hi, I ve stopped eating Rice & Wheat for more than 2 years now & My BG is always below 115 PP or FA. On 23rd Sept I deliberately tried dal khichdi and my BG shoot up to 164 PP. in the evening it was 93 RA. Boss you were right its life time change. I will never try rice n wheat again.
    Thank you Shyambhai though I am diabetic I never felt like i am suffering from it.