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Episode 483
The Doctor's Farmacy

What Would Happen If You Stopped Eating Bread For 30 Days?

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The average American consumes 133 pounds of flour per year. Let that sink in. What we may not realize is that every time we eat white flour, we are harming ourselves. The starch in common wheat, typically known as modern dwarf wheat, raises your blood sugar more than table sugar! Eating a diet high in carbohydrates may affect not just your waistline, but also your brain function, energy, immune system, healthspan, and more.

In this episode of my new Masterclass series, I am interviewed by my good friend and podcast host, Dhru Purohit, about how and why to consider giving up bread for 30 days. We discuss why our modern wheat is not a good food choice on a daily basis, how to pause on eating bread for a month or more, why certain kinds of bread may be a better choice than others, questions from our community, and so much more.

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health and Mitopure.

Rupa Health is a place for Functional Medicine practitioners to access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, Great Plains, and more. You can check out a free live demo with a Q&A or create an account at RupaHealth.com.

Mitopure is the first and only clinically tested pure form of a natural gut metabolite called Urolithin A that clears damaged mitochondria away from our cells and supports the growth of new healthy mitochondria. Get 10% off at timelinenutrition.com/drhyman and use code DRHYMAN10.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dhru Purohit

Dhru Purohit is a podcast host, serial entrepreneur, and investor in the health and wellness industry. His podcast, The Dhru Purohit Podcast, is a top 50 global health podcast with over 30+ million unique downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Show Notes

  1. Lynn’s Life Breads

Transcript Note: Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Modern wheat has way more gliadin proteins, way more gluten essentially, and different kinds of gluten proteins that are very inflammatory. So this is why we’re seeing an increase in celiac and increase in non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat sensitivity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey, everybody. It’s Dr. Mark Hyman and welcome to a new series on The Doctor’s Farmacy called Masterclass, where we dive into popular health topics including inflammation, autoimmune disease, brain health, sleep, and so much more. Today, I’m joined by my guest, my good friend, my business partner and host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru Purohit himself, and we’re going to be talking about what would happen if you stop eating bread for 30 days. Welcome, Drew.

Dhru Purohit:
It’s a great question, Mark, and I think people want to know what your thoughts are about it. So let’s jump right in. What are three of the top reasons people might want to consider eating less bread or maybe even no bread for a period of 30 days?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s an easy question for me because I’ve been getting people out bread for the last 30 years and I’ve seen miracles happen over and over again. The top three reasons are, one, there is a special type of starch in dwarf wheat, and we’re going to get into what the kind of wheat we’re eating now is and why it’s bad, called amylopectin-A, which is a super starch that raises your blood sugar more than table sugar. So you’d be better off having a bunch of spoonfuls of sugar than you would having a slice of bread.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The second reason is that modern dwarf wheat has been hybridized in a way, not GMO, but hybridized bread in a way that has certain qualities that are helpful, like drought resistance, increased yields, and so forth. But it actually, when you breed plants together, they add their chromosomes. It’s not like you get 23 from my mom and 23 from your dad, you get 46. It’s like 46 plus 46, 92. What that does is that creates more proteins. And it turns out that the modern wheat has way more glide in proteins, way more gluten essentially, and different kinds of gluten proteins that are very inflammatory. So this is why we’re seeing an increase in celiac, an increase in non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat sensitivity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the third is it’s often sprayed at harvest with glyphosate, which is a weed killer that they use to desiccate the wheat to make it easier to get the grains off, and it’s not a GMO food, but it actually gets the harm of glyphosate right at the end, and that causes damage to your microbiome. It basically kills your microbiome and it also may be linked to cancer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s three, there’s a lot more reasons I can get into, but those are the top three.

Dhru Purohit:
Give us a little bit of background. When did wheat, and specifically bread, start becoming a staple inside of our diet. And was there ever a period of time where bread was a lot better for you compared to the wheat and bread that we have today?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure. I mean, in the Bible it says bread is a stuff of life. We’ve been eating bread forever ever, but the Sumerian wheat that our ancestors ate was quite different than the wheat we’re eating today, how it’s grown, how it’s processed, how it’s milled. I mean, we didn’t even have refined grains until the flour mills back in the 1800s, so we never ate refined grains. So there’s been a real change in our bread consumption and the quality of the bread, and then we had the dwarf wheat advance, which was a great advance to actually scale up production globally and increase yields and all sorts of benefits. But the downside of it was it ended up being like a super starch. So it ended up being worse than table sugar for your blood sugar, and that drives so much of the obesity epidemic and carbohydrate intolerance and pre-diabetes. It’s just not just the sugar in our diet, it’s a lot of the flour, which is about 133 pounds of flour per person per year, and that drives this catastrophic metabolic phenomena that we see in our society today where 88% of Americans are actually metabolically unhealthy. It means they have pre-diabetes at some degree; high blood sugar, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, which are all driven by starch or sugar.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We used to think that fat was bad and is the legacy of why we started to get into this sort of carbohydrate binge, essentially, was based on very poor science in the ’60s that showed that fat was the cause of heart disease, but it really was very poor science. It was observational data. It was cherry-picked data. They actually didn’t look at the randomized controlled trials when they came up with the dietary guidelines, which actually didn’t show that it was harmful, that fat was harmful. So back in the ’70s, we were finally looking at the link between diet and disease in America in the McGovern Report. George McGovern created dietary guidelines for Americans, which basically stated that we should be cutting out the fat and increasing the carbohydrate content of our diet. Then we got the food pyramid in 1992, which showed we should have 6 to 11 servings of bread, rice, and pasta a day, which is when you look at the graphs of that period of time and the obesity pandemic, we see now the epidemic, we see that is exactly when the hockey stick rise and obesity and diabetes came in.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it’s the worst possible thing that happened to us. We really need to think about how we should, if we’re going to eat carbohydrates or bread, we have to rethink bread entirely.

Dhru Purohit:
You recently did an episode on your podcast about insulin and how it’s a big driver behind a lot of what’s going on and just what you just covered. Can you do a little bit of a review of that and how does bread fit into that context?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So when you look at modern bread, it’s extremely finely milled flour and with a lot of surface areas. So when you consume it, it’s quickly absorbed just like sugar and, in fact, I guess, it’s worse in sugar in terms of its glycemic index. And that causes you to spike insulin levels. After your blood sugar goes up, your insulin spikes and that insulin spike causes a cascade of phenomena that leads to all the chronic diseases that we see: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and much more, infertility. I mean, I could go on and on, acne. And that phenomena of insulin resistance is driving inflammation in the body. It causes you to store fat around the middle. It causes you to crave more carbohydrates in food. It causes you to eat more overall. It slows your metabolism down. It really is a hormonal immune catastrophe.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s really because of the kind of flour we’re eating. So we really need to cut that out if we want to say healthy. Doesn’t mean we can’t have different kinds of bread and there’s many kinds of bread and food, what the heck should I cook? Which is my cookbook, there’s a couple of great recipes for seed and nut breads. There’s other breads like Lynn’s Life, which are made from just pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, psyllium husks, eggs, and the lime milk and lemon juice and baking soda. And it’s delicious bread, but it’s not made from flour; it’s made from nuts and seeds. So I think we really can reimagine bread, and also that we can look at all kinds of other grains that might be helpful and beneficial and how rich in phytochemicals.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because basically when you’re eating modern white flour, it’s just completely devoid of any nutrients. The reason they call it enriched flour is because when they first started making it and people started eating it, they would get massive nutritional deficiencies. Because of the lack of the B vitamins that are in the whole grain, so they would get thiamine deficiency, beriberi, pellagra, and it was a terrible time of vitamin deficiency and it was because of the refining of the flour. That’s how we began to actually discover vitamins because when we started milling the flour so fine, whether it was rice or whether it was other grains or flour, we saw this massive rise and really serious nutritional vitamin deficiencies.

Dhru Purohit:
So the question becomes what’s a bigger issue inside of the bread, is it the gluten? Is it, as you were sharing before, the glycemic index? What is the bigger problem them that’s there when it comes to bread?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think it’s two-fold. One is definitely the sugar content. So people don’t think of, “Oh, I’m eating a bagel” or “I’m having a piece of bread with dinner” that I’m actually harming myself. But the truth is we are. We are really harming ourselves when we have white flour.

Dhru Purohit:
Day in and day out. People have it here and there, it’s one thing, but you’re talking about having it day in and day out and often for multiple meals in a day.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly. Exactly. I mean, like I said, we eat 133 pounds of flour per person per year. That’s like a third of a pound a day basically or a little more, right? That’s a lot of flour. The second is just this phenomena of increased gliadin proteins in gluten and the number of gluten proteins that are inflammatory. That, combined with all the other stressors in our life that caused leaky gut from environmental toxins to food additives, to chronic stress, to microbiome changes and antibiotic use and other medication, we’re in a situation where we’re seeing rampant leaky gut, and gluten is one of the biggest drivers of leaky gut because it creates a damage to what we call the tight junctions, which is the little Lego block kind of things that put the cells together.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
When you consume gluten, this is work by Alessio Fasano from Harvard who discovered that it increases a compound called zonulin in the body and the gut. Zonulin is a very important molecule that will cause a weakening of the tight junctions, and it can be helpful. For example, if you get certain infections or disease, you want to flush the gut out, but this actually creates this chronic leaky gut and you absorb all the bacterial toxins and food proteins. You can get inflammation in the body and autoimmune disease and allergies and much worse. So I think that those two things, both the sugar content and the leaky gut damage from gluten and bread, are the two biggest real threats.

Dhru Purohit:
Just to expand on leaky gut a little bit, what are some common signs or signals or symptoms that people might be going through in their life that could be an indication that they’re struggling with leaky gut?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I mean, all of us, at some degree, have some permeability in our gut and the more wheat we eat, the more permeable it is. But not all of us are sick, and it’s a subtle dynamic that we have to be in balance with. However, if you are suffering from allergies, autoimmune disease, asthma, migraines, irritable bowel, reflux, all these chronic illnesses, they really can be linked to leaky gut. Even obesity, heart disease, dementia, all of those things can be linked to damage in leaky gut because it’s inflammation. Could even cause inflammation, will cause you to have these chronic illnesses. So leaky gut and the inflammation that’s a consequence of that plus the effect of the sugar content of bread on our biology are the two biggest threats that we face today from eating bread.

Dhru Purohit:
A topic that comes up often with bread and grains that people have a lot of questions about are the topic of lectins. What’s the connection between lectins, grains, leaky gut, and how concerned are you about lectins that people might be getting from foods in their diet?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So lectins are proteins and they can be little markers that are on cells or grains and they potentially have the ability to cause inflammation throughout the body, to cause damage in the gut. But the truth is we’ve evolved consuming mass amounts of different kinds of food, 800 different species of plants. We were exposed to all sorts of toxins in food. I mean, even animals will eat toxins. They’ll only eat to a certain amount. Like, for example, elks, for example, or goats will eat sagebrush, which is not the best food, but if there’s not a lot around, they’ll eat it. But they only eat a certain amount because they don’t want to get the toxin load from the terpenes, so they have to quit eating it when their body sort of go, “Enough.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So we’re eating all these foods, which contain a variety of different antigenic particles. There’s phytates, there’s lectins in food and grains, and grains have lectins, so do certain plant foods. But I’m not a big fan of getting people off lectins universally. I think that the biggest issue is we’re eating too much processed food. 60% of our diet is like food. 67% of kids diet is processed food, most of it is starch and sugar, and that is what we should be focusing getting people off of eating and eating whole real foods. So I’m very low to tell people to stop eating tomatoes or green peppers or real whole grains if they haven’t really first started to eat the whole foods diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think the other thing is that if you have a particular issue, if you have autoimmune disease, if you have certain challenges with your health, it may be worthwhile to do a trial of a lectin-free diet for a couple of weeks, three weeks, a month. But I’m not a huge fan of this view that lectins are the devil for everybody and we should all be off of them, and every tomatoes or eggplants or peppers. I mean, like people need to eat more vegetables, any vegetables, than people eating. I think that’s a good thing.

Dhru Purohit:
So walk us through this idea that’s the topic for this video, which is what would happen if you stop eating bread for 30 days based on your clinical experience and also having had thousands of people go through different programs and books where you’ve talked about removing certain foods, including bread. Take us through like week one, week two, week three. What is the typical person might notice that would happen inside of their body when they are stopping bread for 30 days?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Great question. Well, I think, really, you can break it down in a different phenomena, right? So there’s the effects of the sugar and starch. There’s the effects of the gluten. There’s the effects of glyphosate and some other things that are in bread. But the reality is that it’s different. If you’re celiac, you’ll notice one thing. If you’re a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you’ll notice something. And if you are just sort of weed allergy, you might notice something different. If you don’t have any gluten intolerance, but you’re eating it and it’s affecting you from the carbohydrate perspective, you’re going to notice all sorts of things. So everybody’s different, right? If you’re a celiac and you stop eating it, all sorts of chronic problems might get better. Autoimmune diseases might get better. Headaches might get better. Skin rashes might get better. Digestive symptoms will get better. So people have a dramatic improvement.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Same thing with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. People often will have dramatic changes in their ability to feel better quickly, and it doesn’t take a long time. It can be a week or more. Sometimes people need to stay off it for three months to really see, like I had a patient who had psoriatic arthritis, and she really wasn’t getting better until she had the like 10-week elimination. Because it takes about three months for the body to heal from the gut damage that happens when you eat gluten. So I think people will have more energy, their digestion will get better. They’ll lose weight. They’ll get rid of fluid in their bodies. Their guts won’t hurt. They might have more normal bowel movements, less reflux. They might get rid of things like headaches, migraines.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We’ve done a program called Grow the New Body or the 10-Day Detox Diet or Reset, 10-Day Reset, and they’re all very similar. Essentially, they cut out all that stuff. They cut all the grains, processed food, sugar, and it’s amazing. In a week, in 10 days, and we did this, I just did this last summer in Spain with a group, and in one week, there was an average reduction in all symptoms from all diseases by 70%. There’s no drug on the planet that can reduce all symptoms from all diseases by 70% a week. It just doesn’t happen. So, yes, they were also doing other things. They were eating healthier food. They were getting rid of all source of dairy and also gluten, obviously. But it’s striking when you see the power of the food changes to change people’s biology.

Dhru Purohit:
Talk to us about white bread versus wheat versus sourdough versus ancient bread.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay. Well, there’s a lot of different kinds of bread. Most of the bread we eat is from regular wheat, dwarf wheat flour. It’s highly refined and it’s quickly leavened, and it’s made into all kinds of bread products that often have added sugar and high fructose corn syrup, and it’s bad. No one should ever really eat that, I hate to say it. Then sourdough bread, if you’re getting, for example, maybe an heirloom grain or you get your flour from an organic non-dwarf wheat source, more heirloom grains, there’s einkorn wheat, there’s Kernza wheat, which is a new strain of wheat developed. A sourdough bread can be regular because it helps to digest the enzymes that may make gluten less of an issue, it’s easier to digest, and it’s been used for thousands of years with sourdough starters. So that’s an upgrade and improvement, but it really depends on the flour you’re starting with. If you start off with crappy flour and white flour from dwarf wheat is not a good idea.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Then there’s some interesting things where we see in Europe, when people go to Europe, they don’t have the same intolerance to wheat that they do in this country. There, they don’t actually use the same wheat. They don’t use dwarf wheat and also their process of making bread is not like a quick one hour leavening. They make leavening for 12 hours overnight and that changes the composition of the proteins and thus gluten, and allows it to be less reactive. Then there’s all sorts of other grains that you can use that contain gluten. Like in Germany, my favorite breads are those German rye breads or whole grain breads and they’re not made from flour, they’re made from whole grains.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, essentially, you get a meat slicer to cut it, because it’s so thick. If you stood on it, it wouldn’t squish at all and you, you can’t cut it with a regular knife because it’s too dense. That’s a really great bread. So no one’s really made that here, but that’s made from whole kernel grains. So whether you’re looking at trying other kinds of gluten grains like spelt or rye or certain oats, I mean, you may be able to tolerate those or you might not tolerate the dwarf wheat that is the prevalent wheat in this country. But my typical philosophy is if you’re not celiac and you’re not non-celiac gluten sensitivity or you don’t have a wheat allergy, that you probably should minimize your intake of wheat, in general, although you can have some of these other forms of sourdough or German rye or einkorn wheat, or you can make your own, that’s probably okay from time to time. But, again, it also depends on how dense the bread is, how mild it is, how thin the flour is because, forget about gluten sensitivity, if you’re dealing with weight and metabolic issues, which is almost 9 out of 10 Americans, it’s the devil. It just spikes your blood sugar, spikes your insulin, makes you gain weight, more inflammation, and you end up in the vicious cycle.

Dhru Purohit:
Talk to us about how someone can use the reintroduction process to figure out how well they tolerate or don’t tolerate a food like bread.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, well, I think most people never really do it properly, which is you’ve got to stop at 100%. Depending on what’s going on with you, you might need to do it for two weeks, three weeks, three months, but you need to go cold turkey 150% because even a thumbnail full of gluten in that time period can cause a relapse in leaky gut and a reactivation of the symptoms. So the key is to stay off it for a long period of time and then reintroduce it and see how you feel. So you just, let’s say, have pasta or you have bread or you have something and you see how you feel. And if your gut hurts, if your joints hurt, if you had a headache or your nose is runny, if you feel like crap, if you’re depressed, I can go on and on, then maybe your body doesn’t tolerate it. So you can stop it again then you can try it again.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So the best real challenge for assessing foods sensitivity is what we call a elimination/reintroduction diet, and that’s really what we’re trying to do is get rid of the symptoms by getting rid of the food and seeing what would happen when we add it back. And if we add it back and we feel like crap, well, our body’s telling us something, we should pay attention.

Dhru Purohit:
Let’s talk about a case study from your clinic of maybe somebody that you took off of bread and what you noticed happened for them and their body.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I just remember a patient who had so many different problems, and in medicine we treat people in silos, right? If you have multiple diagnoses, you see multiple doctors. This woman had psoriatic arthritis, she saw the rheumatologist. She had migraines, she saw the neurologist. She had reflux and irritable bowel, she saw the GI doctor. She had depression, she saw the psychiatrist. She had migraines, she saw the neurologist. And she was on different pills for every single one of her issues. No one really asked, “What is really going on underneath it all?” Clearly, she was systemically inflamed. Every single one of those diseases: depression, migraines, irritable bowel, reflux, psoriatic arthritis, all of that, all of that is inflammation. Even depression is inflammation of the brain.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So we took her off gluten, also dairy, cleaned up her gut, and it was a miracle. I mean, it’s not a miracle because I see it all the time, but it seems like a miracle because it’s not what we learned in traditional medicine. But she had elimination of all of her symptoms. So no more psoriasis, no more arthritis, no more migraines, no more depression, no more reflux, heartburn, and she lost 20 pounds. She was pre-diabetic as well. So she lost 20 pounds and got off all her medications and I didn’t tell her to stop her medications. She just did it on her own. But that’s how powerful it is when you get someone off of things that are driving inflammation. It’s super powerful.

Dhru Purohit:
And in her instance it wasn’t that she just stopped bread, although that was a big part of it. She also, it sounds like, stopped a few other things that were common triggers in people’s diet. What were some of those other things that she either greatly minimized or stopped?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, we did a combination of things. We essentially got her on a elimination diet, so gluten, dairy, sugar, processed food. We cleaned up her gut. We got her rid of the bad bugs on her gut. We gave her probiotics vitamin D, fish oil, and it was amazing to see how simple the intervention was and how dramatic the results were. She was able to get off all these medications, which were huge amount of money and they weren’t even working. Like she was marginally better, and she just was all better.

Dhru Purohit:
Is there a protocol or a book or something that people could look up that if they wanted to follow this kind of similar to the program that she followed, they can pull that up or get that book, or [crosstalk 00:22:53].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure. I mean the 10-Day Detox Diet is pretty much the book that was derived from my medical practice, where I designed a way of eating that was really universally effective for a whole host of problems, from obesity to diabetes, to autoimmune disease, to digestive disorders, hormonal imbalances, because it really just takes out all the bad food, puts in all the good food, and puts in the structures and things in place to actually help your bodies survive and thrive.

Dhru Purohit:
Fantastic. All right, let’s go into some community questions that we’ve gathered together. So the first one is why does bread in other countries seem to have a different effect on people and their metabolism?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, so we touched on this before, but if you go to Italy and you eat pasta or eat bread, it doesn’t even bother people. I was in Sardinia this summer and they had no crackers and they had their Sardinian bread that the shepherds would take. They’d make it in like these giant crackers and they would carry it and everything, and they’d just add a little water to it and last few months, and it was so interesting. But that was made from grano cappelli, which is an ancient grain that is from Sardinia. It wasn’t modern wheat, much more nutrient-dense, full of phytochemicals, full of really beneficial compounds that have more protein, more minerals, less starch, less sugar, and it’s full of phytochemicals just like the Himalayan tartary buckwheat, for example.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I think it’s really common, and also I think maybe not just different strains of wheat, but also how they ferment it and do the process of actual leavening, which is a much longer process rather than just being like one hour in and out American factories. It’s really a powerful way to actually get a lot of the harmful effects that bread minimized. So I see this universally. I talked to Alessio Fasano about it and different theories, but I think that’s really what we’ve come up with.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, great answer. Let’s go to the next question from our community that we have here: what factor does Roundup play in the quality of wheat and does it impact any other crops? I’m assuming that they mean Roundup glyphosate being applied to crops, especially to wheat?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Well, glyphosate is also known as weed killer, Roundup. It’s used on certain GMO products like soy and corn, but it’s basically on 70% of agricultural products, 70%, which is just a staggering number. It’s the number one agrichemical used globally. It’s been linked to significant damage to the soil microbiome, which our health is linked to, as well as our own microbiome. Then also is very much linked to cancer and there’s been 14,000 lawsuits and billions of dollars in settlements because of its link to lymphoma and other cancers.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So from my perspective, it’s not used on all wheat, but it is often used at harvest to actually drive an easier harvesting process where they desiccate or that makes it exfoliate the wheat and all you’ve got left is the grain and all the leaves and stuff is gone. So it makes it easier to handle. But an unintended consequence is that it’s destroying the microbiome of the soil, which is needed to create nutritional density in the plants, because if your soil is dead, the microbes and the organic matter in the soil that you’re killing are necessary for the plants to extract the nutrients from the soil. So you can look at broccoli today and it’s half as nutritious it was 50 years ago because of this sort of damage to the soil. So I think there’s a damage to the soil, there’s a damage to our microbiome, the damage to the risk of cancer. So I think it’s a problem. I mean, we really should ban it.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, next question from the community. So this person writes in and says, “I feel really hungry when I don’t eat breads and carbs with a meal. What can I do?”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So the reason you have hunger, and a beautiful book by my friend, David Ludwig, called Always Hungry, which essentially describes the process of our appetite regulation. What really is going on is that your appetite is controlled by your carbohydrate load. The more carbohydrates you eat, the more your sugar’s going to be fluctuating up and down. We work with a company called Levels, which uses continuous glucose monitoring on a little patch under your skin. You can see, when you eat foods that are not rich in protein and fat and you’re eating rich in starch and sugar, your sugar’s going to be up and down like a rollercoaster all day long. But if you actually combine protein and fat with your meals, not just carbohydrates, you’re going to actually even that out and have a much better balanced blood sugar and you won’t be hungry and craving.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m almost never hungry. The only time I get hungry is if I’m really like busy and I didn’t bring a snack and it might be a like 10 hours since I’ve eaten them. I get pretty hungry. But I’m amazed at how, when I make my protein fat food in the morning, a shake; this morning, I had two eggs, I had avocados, little olive oil. I mean, that was a great breakfast store. I might have a shake with protein and fat in it. So I think we really have to understand that we can’t be eating a lot of starch and sugar all day long because we’re just going to want more and more and more, and that’s what it’s designed to do. It really flips your brain into craving more carbohydrates, more sugar. So it’s really a process of shifting your biology to actually more accommodate fat and protein than accommodating sugar and carbohydrates and starch from bread.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, great. Next question. Does Dr. Mark Hyman ever eat bread? And if so, what bread is his go-to and how does he make sure he doesn’t eat too much?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I’m pretty good with bread. I’ve got into kind of some bread hacks. I like Lynn’s Life bread, which is yummy. I make it myself, takes 10 minutes to make or less, and you can buy it online. I don’t have any affiliation with the company, but it’s just great bread.

Dhru Purohit:
And what was the name of that brand, just so that people-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Lynn’s Life. Lynn’s Life.

Dhru Purohit:
Lynn’s Life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, Lynn’s Life bread. You can just Google it and just buy the packets. It comes in little brown packets of powdered seeds and stuff. I also like the German rye bread. So I’m not really gluten sensitive, but I really like to eat the German rye bread. They have it in America, in these packets, which are okay, but they’re not like the German bread you get in Germany that’s just fresh. So many whole grains, so much like rich flavor and texture, it’s just very different, but it’s a good standby that you can get in most grocery stores in America and that’s what I like to use. Sometimes, yeah, sometimes I’ll eat bread or wheat and I’m not fanatical about it, but I’m very cautious about not eating too much and I don’t ever go for the bread basket at the table. I never will deliberately have a lot of bread. If I do, I’ll try to eat sourdough or I’ll try to make sure it’s organic and not sprayed with glyphosate and not dwarf wheat. So I try all that.

Dhru Purohit:
Fantastic. We’ll have the link for that Lynn’s Life in the show notes for people that want to check that out. Okay, next question from the community: can you tell me why wheat affects me so negatively now that I’m post-menopausal? My joints, and especially my left hand, ache terribly. I even think it affects whether I snore or not.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, for sure. I mean, as you get older, your gut can break down, you can get more leaky gut, you can get more inflammation. So I think we can get this at any stage of life, but often people will find they’re being more intolerant as they’re more unhealthy as they get older. It doesn’t mean you can’t maintain your health as you get older; it just means if you don’t focus on it, it’s going to decline. That’s probably what you’re experiencing. That it just creates more leaky gut, more inflammation, and it’s probably good for you to not to take it at all.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, next question from our community: if I buy pasta or wheat that’s made in Italy, does that help me side slide the issues with American wheat? Can I have as much bread as I want?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, yes and no. I mean, I would say if you’re going to go for pasta or something, yeah, get the Italian pasta, heirloom pasta, organic pasta. That’s great. As far as eating as much as you want, no. Bread is bread is bread. I mean, unless you’re eating that German bread that I mentioned where you literally can stand on and it doesn’t squish, you need a meat slicer to cut it and you can’t cut it with a knife because the knife would break, then okay. A highly pulverized, extremely fine flours that we use in this country to make bread are extremely dangerous. Look, if you’re like, “Oh, well, I don’t care. I’m just going to drink Coke all day,” well, then fine. Then eat bread. But like, whenever you eat bread, think like you’re drinking a Coke and think twice about what that does to you. So I would be very cautious about it.

Dhru Purohit:
Oh, that’s great, and I think you recently had an episode with Dan Buettner who created the blue zones and went out and did a bunch of research on them, and most of those longest living societies, even the one that you visited in Italy, they’re not having the bread that we think of on a regular basis. So even if you might find bread from Italy or Europe is little bit more tolerable, I just was in France, sure, you might have a croissant here or there when you’re on vacation, if you don’t feel as crappy as you do when you have it in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a healthy food, that it’s a staple as a regular part of our diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, like if you have dessert once in a while, fine, but like, it’s like that. Think of it as dessert or as a can of Coke and then should not be your staple.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, last question from our community here. If I don’t feel bad eating bread daily, do I still need to give it up? Is it still worth trying to give up bread for 30 days?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You never know. I mean, I always say people never know how bad they feel until they start feeling good, right? So you just could have this low level of inflammation, you think it’s normal, it’s how you feel. Mental clarity, energy, focus, digestion, skin, hair, nails, all that can change really quickly when you get off the foods that are inflammatory. So I encourage people to do it anyway. Even 10 days, 10 days is amazing. That’s why I created the 10-Day Detox and we’ll see people have dramatic changes. So it doesn’t have to be your whole life, but try to check it out, because you might really notice something change in your health.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark, somebody watches this video, they’re inspired. They want to try either an elimination diet or they want to step out of having bread for 30 days to see if it makes a difference in their health. What are some of the first steps that they take after watching this video?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, don’t eat flour. Getting rid of sugar and flour, I would say, is so powerful for people, and just start to notice how you feel. Notice day 1, 2, 3, 4. The first few days you might feel bad. Often when people … There are few other things I didn’t really mention about wheat that are a problem. One is that it’s preserved with something called calcium propionate in this country, which can cause a lot of neurologic effects and it’s caused ADD and behavioral issues in kids. It also contains, when you’re digesting gluten, you create something called gluteomorphins, which are peptide-like small protein kind of like fragments that go to the brain and act like morphine or heroin, and, literally, they’re called gluteomorphins and they can cause behavioral issues. We see this in schizophrenic and autistic kids and it can make you a little crazy. So I think nobody knows how we’re affected until we stop, and that’s really why I encourage people to take a break.

Dhru Purohit:
So that’s fantastic information, Mark. Go ahead and let’s conclude out this episode with just a few reminders.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I think the big picture here is that the wheat we eat is not the wheat we ate, and if you’re going to eat wheat or any kind of bread products, make sure you’re sourcing from organic sources. That you’re not eating dwarf wheat. That you may be eating Europeans forms of grains. So you’re looking at funky wonky grains, like einkorn wheat or Kernza wheat, or maybe other grains like spelt and rye, which are less monkeyed with. Then trial elimination diet. If you’re really thinking you might have some issue with wheat, it’s the best diagnostic test. You can do blood work for gluten sensitivity, but I encourage people to get rid of it. Remember, if you’re eating the modern wheat, you’re also getting glyphosate, you’re getting more gluten proteins, you’re getting calcium propionate, you’re getting gluteomorphins.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s a whole set of problems that occur with wheat that we don’t even know we’re facing until we stop. So I encourage people to check it out. Also, if you really should experience the transformation by stopping gluten and wheat and bread, let us know, we’d love to hear from you on comments. So that’s really it for this week’s Masterclass. If you enjoyed the episode, please share with your friends and family, on social media. Subscribe wherever you get your podcast and we’ll see you next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Speaker 1:
Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search their Find a Practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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