Wheat Belly

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis is a compelling text.  It’s a couple of years old but the author is still putting out books, so no one has shut him down yet.  It was interesting because I was looking at it from the perspective of the whole30 diet.  Basically, the book is written by a cardiologist that contends that you shouldn’t eat wheat or foods made from wheat.  He gives many examples of people who have come to his practice, some in very poor health–some on the brink of death.  Having tried every conventional treatment or medication, with nowhere else to turn, Dr. Davis prescribes them a wheat-free diet.  He goes on to relate the stories of the amazing turnaround in the people’s health, weight, and overall happiness.  What he’s offering in this book sounds like a modern-day miracle cure.

The middle of the text gets pretty technical with the hows-and-whys of the digestive system and the hormonal communication of the stomach and the brain.  Eating wheat causes a huge disruption in the normal functioning of both and causes us to eat more, well, actually crave more wheat products.  Wheat, it seems, is possibly more addictive than crack.  All of this is because wheat has been hybridized as a crop and is no longer the simple grain that the good Lord gave us.  Instead, it’s a synthetic food product that is designed to made loads of sugary-starchy bread products that will be sure to sell great volumes at low prices.  As a carbohydrate, the body quickly digests it and stores it as fat.

Dr. Davis advocates a diet high in meats, fruits, and vegetables with no grains.  That high-fiber, low-fat diet pushed by the USDA for the past 50 years is completely misguided information. We’ve all heard it a thousand times, “Eat a diet high in whole grains and low in fat.”   Eating fat has no correlation to the amount of fat stored by the body.  If your body realizes that you’re consuming fat, it has no reason to store it.  Conversely,  eating a diet of whole grains, which are quickly converted to fat by the body, is what causes weight gain.  Dr. Davis says, “Cut out the wheat and lose the weight!”

As an aside, why IS the USDA shoving wheat and corn down our throats?  Because the Federal Government has subsidized farmers to grow a surplus of grain for nearly a century in the name of Dust Bowl relief.  Corn and wheat are huge cash crops in this country.  Look at these figures:

Value of production (in US$ billions)
Crops in the USA 1997 2014
Corn $24.4 $52.4
Soybeans $17.7 $40.3
Wheat $8.6 $11.9
Alfalfa $8.3 $10.8
What to DO with all that grain?  Solution:  Tell the American people to “Eat a diet high in whole grains”  None for me, thanks!   

About John MacDowall

I was born in Poughkeepsie, NY. We moved to a farm during middle school where I learned about raising animals and growing food. Now, I live in the affluent suburbs of Washington, DC and wonder why people eat the way they do.

One Comment

  1. I know this is an old post but I just discovered you yesterday. I’ve been following Dr. Davis’ advice for 7 years and feel the need to point out that he DOES NOT suggest eating lots of beans. In fact, he limits all legume consumption to between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup, while limiting carbohydrates to a maximum of 15 per meal total. Since legumes are high in carbs, hitting 15 carbs would make them almost your entire meal.
    In addition, the only forms of acceptable soy are fermented, organic, non-GMO. This might include tofu and tamari (“soy sauce” is normally loaded with grain flour).

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