Having struggled post-chemo to keep my stomach flat, I’ve decided to try a wheat free diet. The other day, when I was browsing in my local library, the Ideas Store in Bow, I happened upon this book. I was intrigued by the science behind the bloat, how wheat can cause blood sugar levels to rise and plummet at an alarming speed and subsequently cause food cravings and tummy rumblings.
Now, I’m not one for faddy diets, and on the whole I get bored before I can see one through. The longest I’ve lasted was with Slimming World (a diet I can totally recommend btw, I lost almost 2 stone over a year and never once went hungry – really!).
The Slimming World diet does get you into good habits, eating your seven a day and rediscovering the joy of lentils and mung beans for example, but I did grow bored with eating fat free foods, the demon Mueller yoghurts especially. They’re tasteless and they don’t fill you up.
So, I got to thinking, why all the fuss about fat-free foods? I don’t believe they’re good for you, they’re full of chemicals and they leave you wondering what else there is to eat. Besides, the body needs fat to burn energy, to keep the metabolism strong, and to repair cells. You need some fat.
Fatty foods can be good, not least because they can satiate you for longer, and that’s why I was so happy to stumble upon this book. It’s a light read you can dip in and out of on the bus, but informative. When this low-fat obsession started in the Eighties, this was when obesity started to rise. It’s no wonder, really, as I’ve said, low fat foods don’t fill you up.
We know about the dangers of sugar now, but how about wheat?
Wheat is everywhere, as I’ve since discovered. Trust me, trying to find wheat-free food in Sainsburys is back-breaking work. I spent hours in there. I avoided the low-fat yoghurts too, treating myself to full-fat Greek yoghurt with ginger (hello you!). But my usual choices, vege sausages, cereals, soups, just about anything actually, contains wheat. Why? It’s cheap, of course, largely American produced, but like cat treats for cats, it’s also addictive (have you noticed how cats are insatiable after eating certain brands – Whiskers, I’m looking at you).
I’ve been wheat-free for two weeks now. I can report I’m fuller for longer and my food cravings are non-existent. I do still get hungry, naturally, but I don’t crave. When I’m hungry, I eat nuts or fruit or yoghurts, but I don’t live with my nose in the fridge. Obviously, I’m also keeping sugar to a minimum too, as this causes cravings, but I can still eat dark chocolate. And I can still drink wine.
It’s important for a diet to be workable.
Next time I’ll talk about how yoga transformed my life.