Wheat Belly - Book Review

- POSTED ON: Sep 06, 2012


Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (2011) by William Davis M.D.   Dr. William Davis, is a cardiologist who advocates eliminating wheat from the diet in order to lose weight and reverse health problems. Davis shares his conclusion that wheat is the single largest contributor to the obesity epidemic, and that the elimination of wheat is the key to dramatic weight loss and optimal health.

In Wheat Belly, Davis exposes the harmful effects of what is actually a product of genetic tinkering and agribusiness being sold to the American public as “wheat” and provides readers with suggestions of how to live a new, wheat-free lifestyle.

I purchased and read this book when it was first published, and did some experimentation with "wheat-free" eating last fall.  During the period when I was not eating wheat, ... while eating approximately the same calories...., my weight dropped into a 3 to 5 lb lower range, but within 2 weeks of returning wheat to my diet, .....while eating approximately the same calories...., my weight returned to it's previous level.  Therefore, the weight result of that personal experiment was about the same as my many experiments with low-carb and zero-carb, in that no actual fat loss occurred in my body as a result of my wheat elimination experiment.

Bread and other wheat products combined with sugar and fat are definitely some of the foods that I find the most difficult to resist eating, even when I'm not at all hungry, and I will probably be doing more experimentation with eliminating or reducing wheat sometime in the future.

Here is a recent article about this concept by CBS news.

Modern wheat a "perfect, chronic poison," doctor says
                     CBS News - September 3, 2012 

Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. "(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."

Watch Davis' full interview in the video below

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Sep 12, 2012 rroush wrote:
Woah! Are you kidding?! Wheat contains an opiate-like substance? If that's true, why isn't the FDA stepping in? It's so funny to me that certain supplements in the bodybuilding industry fall under great scrutiny and are subsequently banned because one person died (who was probably overdosing on several supplements at once), but something like this goes largely unnoticed and definitely ignored. Frustrating to say the least!

On Sep 12, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Rebecca, I find this whole wheat issue very interesting. The FDA is a governmental organization ... and as such it's policies are strongly influenced by politics. I'm always interested in "following the money". Look at the world economics surrounding the issue of wheat. There's absolutely no way the FDA is ever going to involve itself with that one.

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