I wish people didn't know about gluten . I really do, because people are so hyperfocused on it they ignore the other issues.
I am not a gluten-intolerant person by the standard definition (although I believe every person is gluten-intolerant, just to varying degrees). If I consume an entire pound of pasta right now, I'll be absolutely fine. If I were to do it after a heavy workout I'd probably feel pretty good, actually. But gluten content is one of many reasons to avoid wheat.
1.) WGA - wheat germ agglutinin - could be an even bigger problem than gluten. I'll leave it up to you to research this lectin, but WGA content is going to be much more prevalent in whole wheat pasta because the germ is removed in white flour.
2.) Phytic acid content - whole wheat pasta has more whan white flour. Mark Sisson posted a study years ago that showed people that ate whole wheat pasta actually absorbed less nutrients than people that ate white flour pasta. It was interesting to say the least, though I don't have a link.
3.) Nutrient density and bioavailability. Whole wheat pasta may look decent compared to other pastas, but compare it to potatoes, eggs, shrimp or broccoli. Grains in general are low-nutrient poverty foods. Then factor in the minerals that are there are generally bound to insoluble fibers that can't be digested by humans, paired with the phytic acid content that further blocks absorption...well, the real nutrients in potato or white rice flour you can actually use while the nutrients in wheat are a small fraction of what is actually shown.
4.) Insoluble fiber. Fiber is popular in CW, but just like there are different types of fats, there are different types of fibers. Soluble fiber, found in roots, tubers and legumes, feed gut bacteria and promote healthy digestion. Some soluble fibers and resistant starches ferment in the large intestine and produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate, which are beneficial. Insoluble grain fibers, however, are known to scar the colon and lead to colon cancer.
I don't blindly do paleo. Just because something is neolithic doesn't make it bad and just because something is traditional or ancient doesn't make it good. I view food on a "nutrient density per calorie versus toxin load" basis. Because of this, I'm not opposed to white rice or nixtamalized non-GMO corn. I'm not a huge rice eater, but I eat a 12 pack of Whole Food's organic corn tortillas a week because they're delicious, somewhat nutritious and nearly toxin free thanks to the nixtamalization. Potatoes are in a whole different league. They are extremely nutritious, satiating and as long as you remove the skins, very low toxin. Most leafy greens contain higher toxin loads than potatoes.
Because of this, I see no reason to logically eat wheat, and my avoidance of it for so long has taken away any taste I once had for it. The caloric content is high, the toxin load is high and the nutrient value is low. That makes it a poor quality food at best and a downright toxic food at worst. And remember, for 98% of us, wheat isn't going to be immediately toxic. It will happen over years or decades. Autoimmune conditions take a very long time to develop. Removing wheat from my diet has eliminated nearly all my outdoor allergies and really helped my tolerance to cat and dog dander. YMMV.
Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 06-12-2013 at 07:15 AM.
Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.