For the past 30 years, whole wheat has been considered the staple of a heart-healthy diet. This may be the biggest lie in nutrition today. Not only is wheat not healthy, but I also discovered that removing it was the single best step I took to improve my health. Other books including The Paleo Solution and The Primal Blueprint have gone after wheat in a chapter or two. Wheat Belly is an entire book dedicated to exposing wheat for the poison it is. Dr. Davis pulls no punches.
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by Dr. William Davis.
Wheat Belly reminded me of that scene from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Kahn. The evil Kahn confident of victory tells Captain Kirk that his time is up. Kirk responds by saying “Here it comes..” and launches an attack. Wheat Belly is the “Here it Comes” attack on wheat and all its defenders.
Since I’ve long given up wheat, you might wonder why I read this book. I read it because I really like the writing style of Dr. Davis. Too many blogs these days have become bloated PubMed abstracts. It is refreshing to find writers that can educate readers on important health issues using crisp writing. Wheat Belly is highly accessible to the average reader. You do not need to be a nutrition geek to understand it.
Some topics covered in the book include:
- How wheat spikes your blood sugar more than ice cream and candy bars.
- How wheat can cause gut permeability, which can lead to a host of health problems.
- Wheat, insulin resistance, and obesity.
- How wheat has changed as a plant in the past 30 years for the worse.
- Explains wheat’s role in glycation, which leads to wrinkles and cataracts.
- Wheat and mental health.
- Heirloom wheat.
- Wheat has addictive opiate-like properties and how it stimulates appetite.
- Although it did not cover rosacea, there is an excellent chapter on the damage wheat does to healthy skin.
Wheat Belly is an excellent book if you are looking for motivation or reasons to go gluten-free. One final word, when I cut back and eventually eliminated wheat I didn’t lose a lot of weight at first, what I did lose was inches. That puffiness went away faster than the pounds dropped off the scale. So if you are going to go wheat free as a fat loss strategy, be sure to also take a tape measure reading of your belly. Like me, you may lose the bloat before you lose the pounds.
Also see The Downside to Life Without Bread.
Sep 29, 2011 — 5:57 am
I love this book. Everything in it makes perfect sense. Wait until the wheat industry gets wind of this, i hope Dr. Davis is well-protected. I have lost almost 60 pounds by eliminating wheat and dairy.
Sep 29, 2011 — 7:05 am
@Gabriele – Congrats on the fat loss. Seems Dr. Davis and at least one pro-wheat group are already mixing it up.
Eat this, SixServings!
Sep 29, 2011 — 9:59 am
What is a good alternative for peanut butter sandwiches? Do you eat peanut butter, i like the fact it is a cheap protein that is portable and usually keep bread and pb in my car. Any ideas for an alternative (non-meat)?
Sep 29, 2011 — 10:12 am
@Thomas – I avoid peanut butter and instead choose almond butter. Slice up celery sticks and dip away. For portability, a trail mix might be better. I prefer soaked or roasted nuts to raw. Anything is better than wheat.
Sep 30, 2011 — 6:14 pm
I’ve just started considering cutting wheat out of my diet and so your book review is really timely for me. It seems like a big challenge and so I’ve just started by slowly looking for opportunities to replace it with other things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still eating wheat pretty regularly, but I’m starting to see that life without wheat might be possible! Thanks, I’m definitely going to give this book a read.
Sep 30, 2011 — 6:21 pm
@Hannahmarie – I just visited your website. Now I want to make EGG SALAD. I’ll use your recipe.
Sep 30, 2011 — 6:28 pm
@MAS It is awesome and you will love it.
Oct 11, 2011 — 2:21 pm
Wow. Odd that I finally read this today. I have been seriously restricting wheat, although I’m still consuming small amounts here and there. I noticed that I haven’t lost any weight, but yesterday I measured, and had lost over an inch on my waste. I was completely puzzled, until I read your post. 🙂
Oct 21, 2011 — 12:02 am
Glad you liked Davis’s writing style and approach to wheat. Some of the reviews I’ve read though he is over the top. I too enjoy it. It’s a message that too many people need to hear. I cut wheat from my diet after reading Dr. Davis’s previous book, Track Your Plaque. True to form, I lost 35 pounds from my belly and haven’t looked back since. Glad to see his new book is shedding a light on the ilks of modern wheat.
Oct 21, 2011 — 9:29 am
@Marc – I like wheat removal as a high probability quick test for fat loss. Maybe his critics have a point that wheat removal doesn’t explain all obesity, but I think it is great first test. Was for me.