Thursday, December 29, 2011


In a previous post I commented on the book by Dr. William Davis titled "Wheat Belly".   I recently bought the book and I am now reading it.  Of course I read the end of the book first as I wanted to read what foods were on the 'can eat list' and how he framed his wheat-free diet.

Dr. Davis, a cardiologist, has found the following health benefits by eliminating wheat from your diet.  He bases his theory on research clinical trials conducted by others and the diet he put thousands of his patients on.

  1. Weight loss in the first few months
  2. Alleviation of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  3. Recovery from intestinal challenges including ulcerative colitis and celiac disease
  4. Improvement in overall cholesterol and LDL counts
  5. Improvement in bone density and reversal of osteopenia
  6. Relief from skin conditions including psoriasis, oral ulcers and hair loss
  7. Reduction of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
There are a number of interesting observations that he makes in this book.  One of them is about the differences between ancient varieties of wheat such as emmer and einkorn and the modern varieties we now consume.  Dr. Davis has a wheat sensitivity and on separate days he consumed bread made with either the ancient variety or the modern variety.  The ancient variety did not bother him, did not substantially increase his sugar levels nor did he have side effects.  Eating bread made with a modern variety of wheat resulted in substantial increases in blood sugar and made him nauseous.  The genetic breeding over the past 20th century has changed wheat.  He calls wheat a super carbohydrate and eating whole wheat bread increases blood sugar to a higher level than sucrose.  He also feels that wheat is addictive for some people and is an appetite stimulant.   

Dr. Davis compares body weights, exercise levels and body shapes of people in the 1950s to today.  He discusses the differences in the diets and what was consumed.  His conclusion is that it is not fat, not sugar and not a sedentary lifestyle that is causing the epidemic obesity but wheat.  The book contains a number of individual patient stories and the health improvements made by following this diet. 

Besides eliminating wheat products, processed meats, gluten free processed foods, dried fruit, fried foods and sugary snacks,  Dr. Davis recommends consuming in limited quantities non-cheese dairy, sugary fruit including banana, papaya, nonwheat nongluten grains, legumes and soy products.  So what can you eat in unlimited quantities?  Vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, oils, meat and eggs, cheese, non-sugary condiments, flaxseed, olives, avocados, and unsweetened cocoa.  

This diet reminds me of a paleo diet, south beach diet, Weight Watchers' filling foods and Atkins.  The diet also follows the components of clean eating.  It is about not consuming foods with a high gylcemic index.  Dr. Davis has a blog site wheat belly which provides information on this diet.

I have started to follow the wheat belly diet and have to admit that I do miss the carbs, really the bread.  For the past two mornings I have had half a cup of steel cut oatmeal with some berries and yogurt.  I add yogurt to the oatmeal instead of almond milk.  This is one of may favourite breakfast meals.  I am conscious of how much food I should be consuming in the limited quantity category.  It is about the glycemic index.

I do need to read the whole book and have started to read the book from the beginning.  It is interesting. 

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