Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health
by by William Davis MD
listed in allergies
In my personal history I had suffered for years with an annoying crusty eyelid condition known as blepharitis. Itchy, flaky, inflamed eyelids would greet me each morning, even after a great night's sleep.
My well-meaning and dear friend Holistic Medical Doctor merely shrugged his shoulders and instructed me to swab my eyelids daily with Baby shampoo and Q-tips.
About six years ago I happened upon Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health by James Braly MD. Since I was not convinced about Alkaline diets, blood types, organic, kosher, and Macro, I decided to follow sensible advice and withdraw from wheat for one month.
Lo and behold, my eyelid condition cleared up and has never returned. When I had a health food store three years ago I advised a 40-year-old woman with 68-year-old Mum in a wheel chair to try wheat-free for a while. The very next week BOTH of them walked into my store to thank me. “We are telling everyone at Church,” they exclaimed.
One of the most talked-about health books right now is Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find Your Path Back to Health a New York Times bestseller by US Cardiologist Dr William Davis.
Earlier this year, reality-TV star Kim Kardashian made headlines when she announced that she had cut wheat from her diet. These types of publicity are an apparent subcutaneous mite that makes the skin of Registered Dieticians and healthcare providers itch and burn; they are obviously offended by someone proving that their own diets and dietary recommendations wreak havoc on the general population, as well as to themselves.
In Dr Davis' words, ''Who had the audacity to write such an against-the-grain book exposing 'healthy whole grains' for the incredibly destructive genetic monsters they’ve become?
''That’s me, Dr William Davis, cardiologist and seeker-of-truth in health. Over 80% of the people I meet today are pre-diabetic or diabetic. In an effort to reduce blood sugar, I asked patients to remove all wheat products from their diet based on the simple fact that, with few exceptions, foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. Yes, that’s true for even whole grains. More than table sugar, more than a Snickers bar. Organic, multigrain, sprouted–it makes no difference.
''People returned several months later and did indeed show lower blood sugar, often sufficient for pre-diabetics to be non-prediabetics. But it was the other results they described that took me by surprise: weight loss of 25 to 30 pounds over several months, marked improvement or total relief from arthritis, improvement in asthma sufficient to chuck two or three inhalers, complete relief from acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, disappearance of leg swelling and numbness. Most reported increased mental clarity, deeper sleep, and more stable moods and emotions. I witnessed even more incredible experiences like the 26-year old man incapacitated by full-body joint pains who started to jog again, pain-free. And the 38-year old school teacher who, just weeks before her surgeon scheduled colon removal and ileostomy bag, experienced cure - cure - from ulcerative colitis and intestinal haemorrhage - and stopped all medications. That’s when I knew that I had to broadcast this message. Wheat Belly was the result.
''I’m not promoting drugs, fancy medical procedures, or costly equipment. I’m not promoting a process that makes a pharmaceutical company rich or helps a hospital gain more revenue-producing procedures. I’m talking about a simple change in diet that yields incredible and unexpected health benefits in so many more ways than you’d think. And it’s not just about celiac disease, the destructive intestinal disease from wheat gluten that affects 1% of the population. It’s about all the other destructive health effects of wheat consumption, from arthritis to acid reflux to schizophrenia, caused or made worse by this food we are advised to eat more of. It’s about being set free from the peculiar appetite-stimulating effects of the opiate-like compounds unique to wheat. It’s also about losing weight–10, 20, or 30 pounds is often just the start - all from this thing I call wheat belly. The key to understanding wheat’s undesirable effects is to recognize that the total effect on human health is greater than the sum of its parts.''
Dr Davis says he discovered the harmful effects of wheat several years ago, "when I made myself diabetic by accident." Despite being on a low-fat, vegetarian diet and jogging up to eight kilometres a day, Dr. Davis found that his blood sugar was inexplicably spiking.
It didn't become clear to him what was going on until he began doing research into how to prevent heart disease. Then he learned that it was impossible to control the risks of heart disease - such as coronary atherosclerosis - if the patient was diabetic or pre-diabetic. And one of the things that raises blood sugar is wheat, which is the basis of everything from bread to pasta to pastries.
"The glycaemic index of wheat is very high, and wheat products dominate the diets of most Canadians and Americans," Dr Davis said.
Not only does wheat raise blood sugar, but Dr Davis says that in the digestion process, one of the proteins contained in wheat - gliadin - becomes "degraded to a morphine-like compound" that creates an appetite for even more wheat.
So why all of a sudden are we discovering that wheat is NOT to be included in the famous USDA Food Pyramid 'healthy grains' base.
From my own understanding of my European roots, generations of families passed down bread starter cultures. Wheat was ground, moistened, cultured, and allowed to ferment for several days prior to forming loaves and baking. Today, specialty shops sell this bread as 'pain levain’.
With the advent of baking yeasts, the art of sourdough bread making has virtually been lost to generations of consumers who are now addicted to yeasted sandwich breads, organic whole wheat pasta, kosher farina, whole grain cakes, muffins, pancakes, waffles, and biscuits.
''It's clear that gluten-free products are commanding an ever-increasing market share. The market has been growing significantly year over year, so I don't see it as a fad like the grapefruit diet or that sort of thing," says Sue Newell, communication and education officer at the Canadian Celiac Association.''
A July 2011 report by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada said that the gluten-free market in the US reached about $1.3 billion US in sales in 2011, and was expected to achieve a growth rate of 31 per cent from 2011 to 2014.
According to my own research, wheat or gluten intolerance lends itself to so many misdiagnoses from both standard medicine as well as Holistic healthcare practitioners, such as:
Children generally develop symptoms that include:
- Upset stomach;
- Failure to thrive or delayed growth;
- Weight loss;
- Painful abdominal bloating or distension;
- Pale, foul-smelling, greasy stools;
- Chronic or recurring diarrhoea;
In adults, symptoms may include:
- Chronic diarrhoea;
- Foul, pale stool;
- Recurring abdominal bloating;
- Type II diabetes;
- Hashimoto's thyroiditis;
- Lack of menstruation [amenorrhoea];
- Bone or joint pain, or calcium loss;
- Depression, irritability or mood changes;
- Neurological problems, including weakness, poor balance, seizures;
- Itchy, painful skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis);
- Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel, sores on lips or tongue;
- Vitamin deficiency, such as scaly skin or hyperkeratosis (from lack of vitamin A), or bleeding gums or bruising easily (from lack of vitamin K);
May I suggest that you not only read and comprehend what Dr. Davis has to offer, you go against the grain, or the hybridized wheat grain will go against you.
Available on Amazon
- Mike Menkes
- Published by Rodale Press.
- -13: 9781609611545