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"Wheat Belly" by William Davis, this may be my most important blog

Thursday, February 02, 2012

This information could be critical to the well-being of millions of people. The message is "unbelievable" but it may be true.
I'm copying a post I made in the spark group "Wheat Belly" earlier today:

I just finished the book "Wheatbelly".
Let's say I finished everything but part 3 which is mostly recipes.
This is my conclusion about it for the moment: This is either one of the greatest discoveries of the 21st century or one of the greatest scams of the 21st century.

Here's why:

The author says that wheat as we have known it over the last 50 years (before that it was different) is a primary contributor to most leading causes of death and debilitating disease in this and many other countries: obesity, diabetes, cholesterol problems, heart disease, brain dysfunctions, autoimmune diseases of many kinds, mental health problems, many common skin problems,epilepsy and premature aging (of many body tissues). If this is the case then the elimination of wheat alone has the potential to reduce the cost of health care in the US enough to where health care for all citizens would be very affordable. If wheat is as bad as the book describes then it should not be served in schools any more than wine or cigarettes and should not be sold to minors.

If the majority of people then understood and followed even half of the recommendations in this book our economy would be impacted in a big way. Wheat, like corn, is in almost everything. Mass production agriculture would be impacted in a big way as would companies like Monsanto and other GMO and pesticide companies that have a lot of money invested in GMO wheat. Of course most food manufacturing companies would be affected and would either have to find other ingredients for processed foods or lose buyers for their products. The menus in restaurants would change dramatically as would the items on shelves in our local supermarkets. Even the pet food market would change completely and pets would be a lot healthier without having to eat food with wheat in it.
Many doctors would lose a lot of income because they would have very few patients to write prescriptions for to treat all the diseases that are going to be a lot less common.
Of course we know that knowledge alone does not change behavior, especially not for substances that are addictive as wheat seems to be.
In any case, if we believe that William Davis is on to something I guess we should pass it on to as many people as possible. The book came out about 6 months ago and is already on the New York Times Bestseller list.
The word is spreading fast. Let's discuss this book and spread the word.
If it turns out that the benefits aren't as great as the author describes we and anyone who gives this a try don't have much to lose but much to gain: A diet that includes a much greater variety of grains and seeds than we have previously eaten, and that's always a good thing.

Everyone who has responded so far to the wheat belly blogs I've written has received a spark mail.
P. S. If your computer screen looks like mine you are starting to be bombarded with ads for gluten-free products by now. Some are ok in moderation but they may be much more expensive than buying some bulk grains locally and they are not necessary. I guess we'll have to put up with it to get all the benefits of Spark for free. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hi there:

    Tomorrow I am going back to Wheat Belly. For some stupid reason I thought there was another program out there that was better but now I know there is not. I will have to take one day at a time....perhaps one hour at a time but going to be a success this time. My weight has gone up drastically and I need to take it off like NOW.

    Good look to each and everyone on your journey.

    1308 days ago
    really interesting and is causing me to think deeply on what you have just blogged and I thank you so very much.
    2203 days ago
    ROSEWAND, I can see that taking probiotics prophylactically makes sense for a lot of people as does helping our body in every way we can to deal with the onslaught of everyday toxin exposure. emoticon
    2206 days ago
    HOUNDLOVER1, the problem with your theory that
    with wheat elimination, probiotics would not be
    needed is that our gut is constantly under assault
    from our environment and our stressful lives.

    Even water with chlorine will kill off these friendly
    bacteria because that is what chlorine is designed
    to do. I, personally, do not use chlorinated water
    but many do. Also pesticides and herbicides in
    our foods, play havoc in our gut environment
    and it is hard to avoid these in our modern diet.
    And as i said, if meat, poultry, eggs, and diary
    are consumed from conventional sources, both
    antibiotics and GMO's are consumed as well
    as additional amounts of chlorinated water.
    These, too, damage the flora.

    I would rather have the assurance that I am
    regularly reinforcing my healthy flora than
    take the chance that they are endangered.

    I have never taken probiotics because I
    eat wheat or because of symptoms if I do
    not take them. I take them prophylactically as
    part of my program for good health.

    2206 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 6:20:07 PM
    great that your plan is working for you. emoticon
    Concerning the probiotics I am not at all against using them. What I meant was only that if they are needed on an ongoing daily basis it may be a sign that the cause of the leaky gut has not been removed. In some cases removing the cause may not be possible as there are so many possibilities, wheat and other allergens as well as antibiotics and other toxins that we absorb with our food being some of the possible causes. I'm wondering, but don't know, if removing wheat from one's diet may make ongoing use of probiotics unncessary at least for some people.
    2206 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 5:55:09 PM
    HOUNDLOVER1, thank your responding to my
    comments on your blog. My purpose in doing
    so was not to discourage your efforts to find
    better health, but to show that its possible to
    include wheat in your diet and remain thin
    and healthy.

    The different between us is that you are in
    the beginning stages of testing another's
    theories and I am living with a diet that has
    worked very well for me for years both in terms
    of diet and health.

    Adding probiotics to one's diet is hardly a
    "short-term fix." The health of our gut flora
    is as important as any aspect of our health.
    Science is just starting to understand that
    the types of flora that live with us impact our
    health in many ways. The overuse of antibiotics
    in meat production and in medical treatment
    have done much to undo our healthy flora.
    And if one eliminates leaky gut, "substances
    "that should stay in the gut" do stay there and
    do not reach the organs of our bodies.

    If one is concerned about GMO's and everyone
    should be, one should have great worry about
    the meat production in this country. Most animals
    slaughtered for food are fed a diet of GMO corn.
    So if you eat these animals, you are eating this
    GMO product. I eat no meat or poultry so that
    is not a concern for me.

    Despite your statements to the contrary, the way
    I eat takes little effort, is fun, very pleasurable
    and healthy. I weigh only occasionally, need
    no psychological techniques to stay on course.
    Since I eat no meat, I do take supplements such
    as zinc.

    My diet is its own reward. I eat only three times
    each day. Rarely feel hungry between meals.
    And crave neither sweets or starches.
    2206 days ago
    I agree that what Monsanto has done to wheat and many other food crops through genetic engineering is scary. Many people don't know that this is not just about breeding in a different way, it is primarily about modifying genes so food crops like corn, wheat, soy, cotton, alfalfa and now several others can withstand spraying with the herbicide Roundup, also made by Monsato, until shortly before harvest. If anyone has not seen the documentary Food Inc. , you can watch it free online.
    2206 days ago
    I agree that there is no perfect diet for everyone. But there are foods that will do damage to everyone and should therefore be avoided by everyone. Of course maybe those things should not be allowed to be called food. That's where the problem starts for me. Even what we do to real foods in our kitchen may not be recognizable for our bodies as food, microwaving comes to mind. The fact that a plant dies within 2 weeks that has been watered with microwaved water makes me want to be careful.
    2206 days ago
    I feed my dogs raw as much as I can afford and I have eliminated all wheat from their diet. Many dog breeds are far less tolerant of any grains, especially gluten-grains in their diet than people. I have a Cocker Spaniel that I rescued that has allergies/sensitivities to all grains, with wheat being by far the worst (essentially Celiac disease) and is also allergic to dairy and beef (possibly only grain-fed). He has plenty of autoimmune type responses when on grain foods like chronically inflamed gums, chronic ear and skin infections and that's just what I can see.
    2206 days ago
    I do think leaving out most or all sugar along with wheat is a very good idea. If you have to have a little sugar combine it with fat and/or protein. Right now my go-to treat are dark chocolate covered almonds. Concerning bread, I'm going to make my "sandwiches" by using lettuce and cabbage leaves instead of bread slices and roll them up like tortillas. I'm also using buckwheat flour (not wheat related), corn flour, millet flour and nut flours to make pancakes and other baked items. I really don't miss wheat. emoticon
    2206 days ago
    thanks for your input. There are a couple of things I wanted to comment on which might affect many people:
    Your suspicion is not only legitimate but smart and necessary. If the author of "Wheat Belly" said that one thing only is the main source of all health issues I would be very suspicious, too. I hope I did not misrepresent him in my blog but I would say that he sees wheat as one of the major, maybe the most important of many, but not by any means all, major health issues in the DEVELOPED WORLD. Other major issues are clearly sugar consumption and consumption of other processed foods, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, stress etc.
    It is very possible to lose most extra weight and even maintain it for a long time eating a high-carb diet. But it may not be the easiest way and require very involved management like daily recording of weight, calories, macronutrients, psychological techniques, etc.
    I agree that it is not necessary to spend extra money on gluten-free (processed) foods. Exploring grains and seeds other than wheat can be equally as beneficial as exploring many fruits and veggies.
    I don't know too much about leaky gut syndrome yet but suspect that as long as you keep eating wheat any probiotics you take will at best be a very short-term fix to cure some of the symptoms of leaky-gut syndrome. Many of the symptoms seem to occur in other organs of the body once substances that should stay in the gut are distributed via the blood stream everywhere, incl. the brain.
    Wheat is the only grain (apart fromGMO modifications to grains) that has undergone the types of changes explained in the book and they are far-reaching. More on that in my next blog.

    2206 days ago
    Interesting. I have also read that sugar is the source of all our miseries, and yeast in our bodies cause cancer and other woes. What's a person to do??
    2206 days ago
    I am suspicious of any author who claims that one
    thing is the main source of all health issues. My
    experience has been very different.

    I have easily lost sixty pounds and maintained that
    loss for nearly one and one-half years. I include
    wheat and other grains in my diet regularly. I enjoy
    pasta, white bread, and pizza. I eat these foods as
    I do all foods in moderation. I also eat these foods
    in the context of a low glycemic diet, so that they do
    not spike my blood sugar or insulin.

    My waist has gone for 35" to 25" so needless to
    say I have lost most of my belly fat. I am healthy,
    and very happy with my diet and the delicious
    range of foods that I eat. I do not have to spend
    extra money on gluten-free or wheat free products.
    I would rather spend that money on organic fruits
    and vegetables that make up a large part of my diet.

    Many digestive problems with wheat are do to
    what is called the leaky gut syndrome.. Healing our
    gut with probiotics, digestive enzymes and fiber
    can minimize or eliminate many digestive
    issues and food sensitivities.

    Do I think Americans eat too much processed food
    including white flour and sugar? Yes Do I think
    most people need to completely eliminate these
    foods to be healthy? No Moderation in all things
    including moderation.

    2206 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/3/2012 3:12:53 PM
    I can believe this is true.
    2206 days ago
    I totally agree that wheat is a culprit to all the diseases. However I think a lot of it is processing. I have been pretty much wheat free for over a year. I feel so much more healthier and energetic.
    2206 days ago
    Good blog.
    The GMO's wreak havoc on us all.
    Some suffer more than others.
    Glad the word is getting out.

    2206 days ago
  • GLC2009
    i am looking forward to reading wheat belly. the librarian recommended it. said she lost 15 pds in a few weeks just eliminating wheat.
    right now, i'm reading good calories, bad calories by gary taubes, so, that will take me a little while.....and then wheat belly.....
    2206 days ago
    Thank you all for the comments. They are so very much appreciated. emoticon
    I'm aware that many people will not see all these comments and am going to try to send everyone who has commented an e-mail so they can continue reading if they are interested. After that I will try to respond to some of the thoughts that have been shared.

    2206 days ago
    I have been gluten free for a few years now and LOVE it!!! I have also been feeding my dogs a raw meat diet since 1999 and they love it!
    2206 days ago
  • RR1_RR1
    I think the raw food diet is coming in bigtime. Would be a good time to start up raw food stores or restaurants now! i limit my wheat intake- I do think it causes problems.
    2206 days ago
    Birgit...have you tried or looked into Spelt flour? I know the history of it but as I haven't eaten wheat for many years it seems to be a good substitute, not too much though.
    I'm going to check out the spark team and have already checked out amazon re the book...just wonder if it's what I'm doing/ eating already?
    2206 days ago
    I am glad that you are enjoying(?) your new found diet. My overall belief in diets is that they are as individual as our bodies. There is no absolute solution for everyone because we have some people who do really well with various diets while others do not do well with the same diet (sometimes within the same household!) The one source I have found that has a similar proposed belief is Dr Mercola (tho many people write him off as some sort of quack) and his "nutritional typing", which I admit I have never purchased simply because I have not wanted to feel as tho I wasted money.

    I also believe that many people write off food allergies, including drs, because the symptoms are not severe enough to readily be acknowledged, So many people go on a diet that removes an allergen to which they have had only mild symptoms for a prolonged time and find wonderful results then claim that removing this allergen from a diet is the solution for everyone.

    No matter what I appreciate your honesty and wish you continued success with your new diet :)
    2206 days ago
    I'm looking forward to see the results of your experiment with this diet,
    if it works for you it may work for me too,
    thought I'm pretty happy with Spark Diet.
    2206 days ago
  • JENN03275
    I gave up wheat about a year ago after years of digestive problems and being treated for Lyme disease. When I gave up wheat during my Lyme treatment I lost 30 pounds in what seemed like overnight. I feel better when I avoid wheat.
    2206 days ago
    Have you watched Food Incv. What a show. Made me go to grass fed animals. I tried paleo last summer and lasted 2wks before pain in my legs was so bad - muscle cramps. I know now that I wasn't getting enough sodium, I upped my potassium,mag. but not just salt.
    I have started primal/paleo again cos I really belive it. I don't know if grains were so bad way back before all the chemicals, genetically mod junk but know that in the 9 days I have done it now, my knees have not ached once and the weather has changed. That is awesome cos I have bone on bone arthritis and am waiting for a brace for one of my knees.
    My hubby doesnt believe it all, but believes moderation and is doing better cos the stuff isn't in the house.
    My son is paleo he is 34 and suffers from Crohns disease and feels 100% bettter when not eating grain and dairy.
    Has to be something to it.
    I am going to friend you as I too want to keep up on this. Awesome
    2206 days ago
    Unless someone subscribes to this particular blog, and most don't, they won't see your comments back to them. Best to SparkMail them or put your comments back to them on their SparkPages.

    I don't do grains unless they are organic - that leaves Monsanto eating dust! - and then I sprout them. I don't do cooked and I do raw organic vegan 98% of the time. I love it!

    Wheat, the way it is farmed today, is a disaster to the human and animal population, and destroying our planet. Thanks Monsanto! Thanks big agri-business! Thanks carnivorous herbivores!

    I am doing what I can to vote with my $ and with my fork. I am also putting a lot of energy of getting Monsanto out of business and out of agriculture. Personally, I'd be shaking in my boots if I were them!

    Great blog!
    2206 days ago
    This is interesting. I've heard a lot of negative comments about wheat. But there aren't any alternatives as far as bread goes, if you are on a tight budget and feeding a lot of ppl. And I think the chance of wheat getting out of public schools and such is absolute zero. They haven't even banned trans fats, just hidden them! (0 trans fats means .5 or less, they aren't gone!)
    2206 days ago
    I was under the assumption that eating roughly between 50- 100 grams of carbs, which is what the wheat belly book recommends does not qualify as low-carb but I guess for some people it may be low enough in carbs to induce ketosis.
    I assume you are currently on the Atkins diet or something similar. How many carbs do you roughly eat per day?
    I can only speak for myself in that I have eaten much lower carb before this and while I lost weight I never lost all my belly fat nor did I lose the cravings to eat after dinner. So while this is a moderately low-carb lifestyle there are many things specifically damaging about wheat that are not a problem with other carbs or even other gluten-grains like rye or barley.
    I may decide at some point to try to add rye and barley back in and see if it makes a difference. This last week I had quite a few carbs from grains and beans, rolled oats with breakfast, corn chips, brown rice with dinner, brown rice pasta, quinoa, black beans, hummus, but I had all those in moderation while not limiting fats, proteins or veggies.
    2207 days ago
    I have given up gluten and reached my weight loss goal and have remained here for over two years now. I would have never thought I would lose 120+ pounds just by giving up wheat and sugar and things made with those two ingredients.
    I have not read the book but will put it on my must read list. Thanks for the info. Sandy
    2207 days ago
  • EILISH99
    One of the reasons you lose the 'belly fat' on this program is because you are essentially on a ketogenic diet. When you eat a ketogenic diet your body goes into ketosis, which is the process of burning fat for energy. You do this every single day of your life whether you are low carb or not.

    When you eat grains/high carbs/sugars your body releases insulin to use those sugars (all carbs are sugars) for energy. This lasts for about 2-4 hours. Once those sugars have been burned your body turns to its own energy store - fat. If you go more than 4 hours between meals/snacks/sweets, like when you sleep at night, you go into ketosis. If you are following a low carb way of eating, then you spend a great deal of your day in ketosis and lots of fat gets burned.

    Yjnana, I use almond flour (almond meal), flax seed meal and coconut flour as substitutes for wheat flour. You can look on sparkrecipes for recipes for muffins in a minute, revolution rolls, low carb breads to see what people have come up with.

    Martha, Dr. Davis is writing from both his personal experience, and using case studies of his own patients. I personally am not a patient of his, but after starting Atkins I experienced a lot of what he describes in the book. My own physician allowed me to try Atkins, then asked me to do a 3 day normal standard American diet so he could compare my blood glucose readings. I could barely get through the 3 days. My stomach bothered me so badly during that time. When I went in for my physical my doc ran an indepth cholesterol test and was amazed at how much my cholesterol had improved, not to mention how much inflammation (C-RP) had disappeared. Of course, that was before Wheat Belly had come out. Wheat Belly helped explain what caused the pain & why, and reinforces my Atkins lifestyle.
    2207 days ago
    good question. I generally have only faith in God. emoticon
    The degree to which people can benefit from this may depend on their existing health situation and also on there current eating style. People who already eat a paleo diet or a gluten-free diet may not have that much to gain.
    I'll say that I feel strongly enough to where eating wheat will be a very rare thing for me and I'm actively encouraging my daughter to stay away from it for the most part.
    This guy seems to have read a lot of research and he gives references in the backof the book by chapter and a lot of it seems to be from medical research articles and reputable sources. I'm not a scientist, though. It looks like the author has looked at existing research and interpreted some of it differently but a lot of it may be common knowledge in the medical profession. Given the potential I guess I'm willing to take the risk in this case. Tell me what you think once you've read it.
    2207 days ago
    How much faith do you have in the information? I've ordered the book but am skeptical of all " this is the absolute solution" books.
    2207 days ago
    I'll respond quickly to some of your responses. Thank you for reading. emoticon
    There is so much in this book that's hard to summerize I would strongly recommend you buy it and join the "Wheat Belly" group on Spark. You can find it from my spark page or you can find it here:
    The other thing I did not make clear enough in my blog is that people who are not gluten-sensitive at all can still benefit hugely from eliminating wheat, even if they continue to eat other grains, although the fewer the better for blood sugar.
    there are many grains and grain-like seeds that do not contain gluten: oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff and most of these can be ground into flour and used for baked goods, but not for yeast recipes because those would require gluten.
    There are many good gluten-free cookbooks available. Take a look for all of these at a health food store.
    great job on giving up sugar along with wheat. Good luck in going 7 days, I know you can do it. You can always have some natural low-glycemic sweetener like Xylitol if you should get a craving for sweet things.
    that's great that you broke through the plateau. I'm hoping to get rid of my remaining wheat belly pretty quickly. The book mentions examples of people who lost all or mostly belly fat, the most dangerous kind when they gave up wheat. This seems to contradict the common wisdom that spot-reducing is not possible so I can't wait to see what happens.

    2207 days ago
    i think there is something to it. I have started low-carb about a week ago and talk about withdrawls and cravings. basically it feels like i am "drying out" I have eaten reasonably healthy in my mind but it is amazing what happens when you reduce alot of the wheat / grain based stuff that you eat. I finally broke a 1.5 year plateau by shaking it up a little.

    I guess one must ask, what did we eat before all of this other stuff?? probably much of what I am currently eating minus much of the grain products.
    2207 days ago
    I think if people dumped wheat and sugar, the health of the American people would COMPLETELY turn around -- dramatic reductions in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

    I currently am 100% wheat and sugar free 6 days a week. For the next month, I'm going to go wheat and sugar free 7 days a week. It will be interesting to see if I notice even more of a difference.
    2207 days ago
    I was told a hugh percentage of people are allergic to Wheat, I am one, but haven't taken it out of my shopping.
    What Subs do you use, as in baking?

    2207 days ago
    Thanks for the insights - I look forward to reading this book.

    Of course, being Paleo I dumped wheat 6 months ago and feel amazing!
    2207 days ago
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