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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wheat Belly - A Book That is Going to Revolutionize Our Thinking About Wheat

It is a book that is taking America by Storm and soon no doubt the rest of the world will get wind of it.  Certainly the Grain Foods Foundation feels threatened and up in arms - ready to do battle to discredit Dr. William Davis, the author and a preventive cardiologist and owner of two blogs, one of them being the Heart Scan Blog and the other Wheat Belly

Here is an interesting podcast interview with Jimmy Moore.

Dr. Davis says, "Wheat products are different. In addition to the 90- to 120-minute cycle of sugar and insulin, there’s the gliadin effect. Gliadin is the protein unique to wheat that stimulates appetite. Gliadin induces a subtle euphoria that triggers a need for more, no different than an opiate like morphine, heroine, or oxycontin."

My interjection here:  My husband is losing weight hand over fist and his blood pressure has come down substantially.  He uses half the meds.  He still needs to get off his beloved beer and things would probably be even better; he has a couple of beers maybe once or twice a week. There is gluten-free beer but I think it is expensive - still, he should make the switch.  Incidentally it is not just the weight loss that has affected his blood pressure because when he goes back on gluten, his weight goes up, his belly gets bigger and his blood pressure goes up.  I, on the other hand, have always had low blood pressure, however, I don't doubt I react to too much in the way of grains by gaining weight.  I have seen that time and again - even when I was in my teens and early twenties.  I didn't overdo anything like that until I started writing my Splenda dessert cookbooks and by the end of the second book, I had to seriously diet.  I was only 37 years old.  I know of plenty of people who are not affected by eating grains and stay slim, so I don't think it applies to everyone.

Some people maintain that autoimmune diseases can be caused by gluten.  Maybe that is so but in my case it was definitely a mycoplasma infection that set in when my own immune system defenses were down during a prolonged few years of grieving over the loss of my old family.   If it were not so, I would not get better on a small daily dose of antibiotic.  I am substantially better and only take a tiny amount of thyroid hormone each day; any more and I become seriously hyper and overstimulated.  Here is the article for the skeptics. 

Rather than focusing on “refined grains” widely maligned in the nutrition community, Dr. Davis is highly critical of whole wheat products.
Excerpts from promotional material issued in connection with the book follow:
“Think America’s obesity epidemic is the result of too much fat and sugar and too little exercise? What if the real culprit were the ‘healthy whole grain’ products aggressively marketed to us by food companies and endorsed as “heart healthy” by government agencies? In his explosive new book Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Rodale Books, September 2011; ISBN: 978-1-60961-155-2; $25.99 Hardcover; 304 pages) renowned cardiologist Dr. William Davis makes the case that wheat, the world’s most popular grain, is also the world’s most destructive and dangerous dietary ingredient.
“In Wheat Belly Dr. Davis exposes the shocking truth about modern-day wheat and its effects on brain and body —exaggerated blood sugar surges (two slices of whole wheat bread — yes, whole wheat bread — have a greater impact on your blood sugar than a candy bar), bone cartilage damage, acne and rashes, heart disease, diabetes, and even neurological disorders (including delusions of schizophrenia). Informed by decades of clinical research and backed by case studies of men and woman who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat (Dr. Davis has put over 2,000 of his at-risk patients on a wheat free regimen and seen extraordinary results), ‘Wheat Belly’ is an illuminating look at a familiar food as well as an affirmative life plan for regaining health and losing unwanted pounds.
“The notion that a foodstuff so fundamentally ingrained in the human experience can be bad for us is unsettling. But this is not the same grain our forbearers [sic] ground into their daily bread. Wheat has changed dramatically in the past 50 years under the influence of agricultural scientists who have genetically altered it beyond recognition with little or no questioning of whether these agricultural “evolutions” are compatible with human health. In “Wheat Belly,” Dr. Davis reveals modern wheat’s connection to everything from weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease, to neurological disorders like dementia.
“Dr. Davis examines the fact that despite all our best efforts (eating ‘better,’ exercising more), we’re heavier than ever. Once upon a time someone weighing over 250 pounds was a rarity, today it’s a common sight. Wheat bellies — the result of years and years of consuming foods that trigger insulin (the hormone of fat storage) — are everywhere. Ironically, the national trend to reduce fat and cholesterol by eating ‘more healthy whole grains’ is what has made us fatter and sicker, all the while making the food industry richer and richer. Wheat has become the national icon of health thanks to the actions of Big Food and government agencies such as the U.S.D.A. and other ‘official’ opinion-makers like the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association, and the American Dietetic Association. Under their directive, most Americans now consume foods made with wheat flour at every single meal and snack — to dangerous results.

“‘Wheat Belly’ is a truly groundbreaking and eye-opening book that is sure to have people talking.”


RVcook said...

Dr. Davis says, "Wheat products are different. In addition to the 90- to 120-minute cycle of sugar and insulin, there’s the gliadin effect. Gliadin is the protein unique to wheat that stimulates appetite. Gliadin induces a subtle euphoria that triggers a need for more, no different than an opiate like morphine, heroine, or oxycontin."

This is SO true!!! I really think that Dr. Davis is on to something key here...the Gliadin connection which would explain why so many in our society are addicted to junk food. I really wish people would just stop long enough to think about every bite of food they put into their mouths. Most do not realize the "engineering" that agri-business has been doing to improve their profits while simultaneously ignoring the long-term health effects of consuming the 'engineered' food.

Dr. Davis will be forced to face his staunchest critics, but those that choose to listen carefully will certainly have their lives transformed...and that is a good thing!

Thank you for posting this.


Jennifer said...

It sure is a big eye opener and maybe the piece of the puzzle to figure out why people are getting so much bigger than in generations past. It sure is a cruel thing.

Patricia said...

Holy Cow! I had heard about this book and need to read it...gotta thank you AGAIN for that GF sandwich bread recipe...have been feeding it to my kids (who eat an all too typical high carb diet) with few complaints (amazing that!). :D

Jennifer said...

I know, I know - I was surprised by this news as well to be honest. Still, I think many people are able to have whole grains for whatever reason without problems, but then again, many can't.

That is amazing that the kids will eat it. You are blessed to be able to do that. I found the original recipe a little on the savory side, so I'm experimenting with leaving out the salt and maybe most of the Parmesan cheese - just a personal preference.

Ann said...

Very interesting. I still have whole grains in moderation...but it gives you something to think about.

Jennifer said...

I think he was specifically down on wheat. I don't think, for instance, oat flour has the same problems. But, you're right - everything in moderation!