Wheat's health benefits and risks are debated and controversial although it is a staple item in many parts of the world. The George Mateljan Foundation for the World's Healthiest Foods ranks whole wheat as an excellent source of fiber, manganese, copper and magnesium but admits its health benefits are dependent on the form of wheat consumed.
According to the World's Healthiest Foods, most wheat found in the United States is bleached and processed with the vast majority of its nutrients removed. To gain the maximum amount of nutrition, the site suggests purchasing 100 percent whole wheat products instead of ordinary or "enriched" versions. Whole grains are linked to decreased or minimal weight gain, reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, lowered incidence of type 2 diabetes and other health benefits.
Leah Zerbe for Rodale News points out that modern wheat has been genetically modified and is linked to allergic responses and inflammation. In his book "Wheat Belly," Dr. William Davis states that wheat causes chronic spikes and crashes in blood sugar and insulin, leading to an increased growth in dangerous fat around the liver, kidneys, pancreas, small intestines and belly. Excess abdominal fat is linked to an increase in estrogen, which is associated with a higher chance of developing breast cancer. Wheat is also linked to eczema, psoriasis and other skin inflammations.