Whether it comes in the form of organic, sprouted multigrain bread, a squishy white loaf or a strand of spaghetti, all wheat is bad for you, says cardiologist William Davis, MD, author of the bestselling book Wheat Belly. Davis claims that today’s wheat is both addictive and toxic. By eliminating what he calls “Frankenwheat” from your diet, you’ll dramatically shrink your belly and also ward off or reverse myriad health problems.
How could wheat be so poisonous? According to Dr. Davis, the vast majority of wheat grown and harvested today is only a distant ancestor of the real wheat that your forebears ate. Over the years, wheat has been genetically modified in order for American farmers to produce a high-yield crop of dwarf-size plants that was never tested to see if it was healthy for human consumption. While mass production of wheat has allowed us to feed more people, it has also resulted in producing a “supercarbohydrate” wheat plant that is far less healthy than its predecessor.
Today’s wheat may be dangerous because it greatly elevates blood sugar levels, leading to insulin spikes that cause chronic inflammation and excess belly fat (visceral fat). By eating some form of wheat morning noon and night – which many of us do – you’re not only gaining weight, but are also becoming more susceptible to a whole range of inflammatory diseases and ailments including heart disease, diabetes, fatigue, acne, arthritis, IBS and even dementia.
According to Dr. Davis, modern wheat is also a highly addictive complex carbohydrate since it contains a special protein called gliatin, which has the same effect on brain receptors as opium. Gliatin stimulates the appetite, creating incessant hunger and cravings for more wheat products and refined carbs.
Dr. Davis also argues that replacing white flour products with whole wheat flour products is no better than replacing unfiltered cigarettes with filtered cigarettes –you’re just eating food that is “less bad” for you, rather than making healthy food choices. Dr. Davis states that even whole wheat bread – despite having a bit extra fiber – can increase blood sugar to an even higher level than a candy bar can because of its high glycemic index.
Today a huge amount of gluten-free products exist on the market. Gluten is problematic for people with Celiac disease, a gluten intolerance disorder that affects about 1 in 133 Americans, or 1% of the population. But Dr. Davis believes the problems with wheat extend way beyond gluten to impact everyone. Plus, processed gluten-free foods are not exactly healthful since many of them contain what he calls “junk carbohydrates” – cornstarch, rice starch and potato starch, all of which are terrible for maintaining proper blood sugar levels.
Dr. Davis promises that by eliminating wheat from you diet, you’ll eliminate its appetite-stimulating properties, thus experiencing a dramatic reduction in hunger levels. His Wheat Belly Diet is for anyone who wants to reverse disease, lose weight and feel better overall. What’s more, according to Dr. Davis, most people on the diet start to see a reduction in pounds within just a few days.
The Wheat Belly Diet
Step 1: Go Cold Turkey
Eliminate wheat entirely from your diet. This extreme method is the only way of breaking the dependency since wheat is so addictive. Research shows that by removing wheat, you’ll reduce your calorie intake by about 400 calories per day. Eliminate breads, pastas, cakes, cookies – everything you know of that contains wheat. Also, eliminate all hidden wheat by reading food labels. Items that’d you’d never suspect to have wheat include canned tomato soup, licorice, taco seasoning mix and even chewing gym. And avoid processed gluten-free foods that contain unhealthy additives such as cornstarch.
Step 2: Add Real Foods
You may eat unlimited amounts of:
- Raw nuts and seeds
Eat limited amounts (1/2 cup per day) of:
Step 3: Add Wheat Replacements
- Instead of wheat bread, make your own loaves using ground almonds and coconut flour. Try Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly Bread.
- Swap wheat pasta for shirotaki or konjac noodles and spaghetti squash.
- Add non-wheat grains, including quinoa, millet, sorghum, brown rice and oats.
By giving up wheat, you don’t have to sacrifice taste. The Wheat Belly Diet provides you with plenty of tasty recipes: