44 thoughts on “Dr. William “Wheat Belly” Davis on CBS

  1. Lisa

    Thanks to the fat head movie I cut a lot of grain & sugars out of my diet. I eventually moved on to eliminate dairy & follow the anti-inflammatory diet. Not only am I thinner & healthier, I have more energy, my pms is gone, my acne has cleared up without medication, I’m not cranky & my skin is rosy rather than brown & gray. I can’t say enough about getting off of grain AND DAIRY! Thank you!

    Congratulations on the renewed health.

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  2. Pat

    We really should not be surprised that grains are bad for us. They are seeds, and when they are eaten the plant has lost its next generation. Many Ecology textbooks discuss predator/prey relationships in terms of plants, especially seeds, as prey and herbivores as predators. Like any prey, plants will do what they can to not be eaten or have their seeds not be eaten – and plants are very good at making nasty chemicals. Cooking has partially solved that problem for us, but our digestive systems are those of omnivores, and our teeth are not those of grain eaters, so it is natural that we have few defenses against grass seeds.
    Also, I remember reading once that historically the Scots were taller and healthier than the English, because they ate oats which were more nourishing than wheat. I wonder now if part of the reason is that oats are less toxic than wheat, as well as having better protein.

    Yup, it could a case of oats being less bad instead as opposed to good.

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  3. Nick P

    I love it! The real food movement continues to grow….and the mainstream media is finally starting to notice us!

    I wonder what all of the food advertisers thought of this segment…..

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  4. Peggy Cihocki

    First, Bill O’Reilly said he gave up wheat and plugged wheat belly. Then, this wasn’t a huge segment, but I believe Mark Sisson was on NBC(?). And now Dr. Davis was interviewed on CBS. Yes! Word is getting out. 🙂

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  5. Steve

    I just love hearing Dr. Davis speak. He is impressive and charismatic. Did you see how captivated the interviewers were?

    I don’t know if they were captivated or sitting there in a state of disbelief.

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  6. Lori

    A search for “wheat appetite stimulant” was what led me to Dr. Davis’s blog. Even though I was still eating a lot of carbs, I started losing weight when I dropped the wheat. (A post on acid reflux by Dr. Eades led me to low carb.)

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  7. TonyNZ

    This…I don’t even…

    I applaud them for demonstrating to the public that correlation does not equal causation and a few points about the fallability of observational studies…

    If people only realised that this is no more slap-shot that most “serious” studies.

    Will watch that clip when I get a chance, just saw the study article and thought you’d appreciate.

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  8. Lobstah

    Pat…not sure I believe that a plant cares what happens to its seeds. Whether they fall on the ground, get blown around by the wind, I’m pretty certain the plant is “unaware”.

    Lob

    Evolutionary adaptation is all about ensuring the survival of your offspring, so yes, it would make sense for plants to care (in the genetic sense) what happens to their seeds.

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  9. Lobstah

    Tom,
    While reading up on “wheat belly”, I came across this statement on Natural News in their article titled “Wheat Belly 101”
    “Cardiologist William Davis, MD, warns against the gluten free diet for losing a wheat belly.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036845_wheat_belly_weight_gain_gluten.html#ixzz28yfDjq1i

    Doesn’t Wheat Belly basically advocate a gluten-free diet?

    Lob

    He warns against replacing gluten-containing foods with high-carb gluten-free foods. Some gluten-free breads, for example, are made from rice or potato starch and send blood sugar through the roof.

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  10. Justin McCullough

    The hosts seem dumbfounded. Like, “What! what is this you are telling me!? YOU are a DOCTOR?! This can’t be right!” So, so, so, sad…

    As long as he got through to some viewers, I don’t care if the hosts believed him.

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  11. Melissa Huray

    WOW! This is awesome. It just blows my mind to think about how we have been programmed to believe that whole grains are good for us – we NEED them for energy. Such hogwash! I think it is particularly amazing how this doctor had the ability to squeeze so much information so succinctly into a 5 minute interview. I need to memorize this to share with my co-workers when they are eating their breakfasts of bran muffins and Nutra-Grain bars.

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  12. neal matheson

    Hey Pat,
    Scots especially Highland Scots have never been particularly noted for their size though highlanders were noted for being healthy by contemporary writers. Large areas of Scotland are quite unsuitable for arable farming and thoguh grains were eaten in quantity (very little wheat was) there was a greater reliance on marine resources than was perhaps the case in England.

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  13. Orp

    You guys are probably going to bite my head off for blasphemy, but I’m not totally convinced of the universal dangers of wheat. I have been avoiding the stuff for about a year and a half now, and I *think* I’m better off. Is it a coincidence? Maybe I would have been even better off if I were still eating it, along with some of the other dietary changes I’ve made.

    I just can’t help but notice that the fattest person in that interview was Davis. Of course, I don’t know how much wheat those anchors eat. Also, I don’t know what else goes into Davis’ diet. Also, I’ll bet if either of those anchors got as chubby as Davis, they’d be fired pretty fast! So clearly, there are so many factors at play that I probably should not have mentioned Davis’s fat face (but I did).

    Still, I can imagine a world in which to a very large percentage of the population, wheat is a deadly poison, but to a larger majority, it is a fairly tasty, easily stored foodstuff. I hope all of us here can accept that possibility. If it were true, we’d all be doing ourselves quite a disservice if we were to dogmatically proclaim that it’s poison for everyone, just as we see some low-fat adherents doing today.

    I think you’re labeling Dr. Davis as chubby because he has a round face — that’s bone structure, not fat. We were dinner-table companions on the cruise in May, and he isn’t chubby by any stretch.

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  14. Firebird

    @ Stephen, Dr. Davis got so much in in 4 minutes because the reporter actually shut up and let him make his points. Now, if it were Piers Morgan, it’d devolve into an off topic conversation about gun control and how many times Dr. Davis has truly been in love.

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  15. Waldo

    Wow the Producer must of been on vacation! I love Dr. Davis, he’s so poised, articulate and convincing. I read his book and its factually based and brilliant.

    He’s definitely mastered the art of getting his points across quickly, a necessity for TV.

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  16. Lori

    Re: Dr. Davis’s being chubby, he is half Japanese, which probably accounts for his face looking rather cherubic by American standards. (I hope nobody takes this as an insult, it’s an observation only.) As for the newscasters, let’s see where their weight is when they’re Dr. Davis’s age.

    I was waiting for him to ask rhetorically how people got along for millions of years without grains.

    Unless he’s gained a lot of weight since May, he’s not chubby by any stretch. He looked very fit on the cruise.

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  17. Mike T

    @Orp

    I think you are somewhat correct about wheat. For people who are either sensitive to it or have problems with carbs generally, removing wheat from their diet is one of the easiest paths to improved health. On the other hand, just by removing wheat/grain based products from your diet you will remove most of the high inflammatory foods and vast majority of people will benefit from this. But it does vary greatly and everyone should figure out what is best for themselves. Based on my own experience, I have reduced but not completely eliminated them from my diet.

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  18. Nowhereman

    I’m not terribly surprised that Dr. Davis is so good at getting all that information through in a short span of time. Remember this is a guy who for years now has had to be able to explain all this to his many patients he sees (quite a few of whom will be very skeptical), and so he’s been able hone this in his private practice as well as while making his many hospital rounds.

    One thing, I have to give the female host credit for asking a rather intelligent question: “Is it possible to go back to the older forms of wheat?” which gave Dr. Davis the opportunity to explain in part the economics behind all of this. Though I do wish he’d been able to go into more about the movement to eliminate this semi-dwarf “wheat” plant from the diet, which, among other things includes organic farmers and companies attempting to supply people with far less damaging ancient grains, like einkorn, emmer, spelt, and kamut.

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  19. Pat

    Hi Lobstah
    The long explanation is that plants (or anything) that invest energy and reources into providing protection to their offspring will have more successful offspring, and their genes will become more common in the population relative to those who provided less protection. It is always a trade-off, if they put too many resources into any one thing then they will have less for other areas, so there are various strategies. Bad taste, hard to digest seed coats, physical protection, so many seeds that they will not all get eaten, etc. But any plant whose seeds are tasty, edible and defenseless is not going to have many offspring. And having offspring is “the name of the game”. “Survival of the fittest” covers a lot of ground. Of course wheat treats us the way oaks treat squirrels, feed us a bit and get us to keep the species going.
    Hi Neal
    Re the Scots, coastal Scots certainly relied heavily on the sea, look at how many songs essentially say “I loved you and you drowned” (heard at a Celtic music festival). I have no idea whether or not the highand Scots did. When I look at museums from early Canadian times (i.e. the Chateau de Ramezy in Montreal) the French, English and Scots were all tiny by today’s standards. Running out of food in early spring can’t have heped.

    “I loved you and you drowned.” Sounds like a perfect country-western song. Cue the slide guitar.

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  20. Ulfric

    I watched the vid (I almost never do) and was struck by how rushed it was, as if he absolutely had to get everything in inside a tiny deadline : and by the end that was very much the case!
    Interesting message, although I feel that’s (if true) a small part of the jigsaw of why I have lost 16 kilos of stomach fat (and all hunger and all blood-sugar crashes) since March by mostly not eating starch and grains.

    🙂 So funny how Orp thinks the Doc was chubby! Not at all, he’s … normal. Looks a bit asian if anything.

    Dr. Davis has done enough TV to know that the time is very limited and you have to get your points out quickly.

    He is a bit Asian. His mother was Japanese.

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  21. Liz

    I’d like to see the craft-service on that set. Probably full of bagels and chips and muffins and…

    That would be the typical craft-services fare.

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  22. DebbieC.

    Yeah, Dr. Davis is a very articulate speaker, and at the speed he talks he could probably be an auctioneer as well. 🙂 But yes, he sure did pack a lot of info into a short interview segment. And yes, Dr. Davis is not the least bit chubby. I’ve met him twice on the 2010 and 2012 low carb cruises and he was very fit looking both times. Remember that he is “normal” and the TV adds pounds – so you actually need to be underweight to appear normal on TV. People who are ACTUALLY normal probably do look chubby on TV. But I didn’t even think he looked chubby. As Tom said, he just has a round face.

    TV and film cameras definitely add the illusion of weight. When I saw some actors and actresses in person in Los Angeles, I was surprised at how much thinner they appeared than they do on TV.

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  23. Nathaniel Russell

    I just finished his book. Great read. I was eating low-carb wheat wraps and couldn’t lose any weight. As soon as I dropped the wraps, I lost about 5 lbs. This book ended up leading me to the Primal Blueprint. Now the weight is coming off again!

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  24. Bret

    Great stuff. Just like Wheat Belly, which was fantastic. Allow me to echo the remarks others have made in how fascinatingly articulate Dr. Davis is and how skillfully he compacts the information into a small amount of time, with no sacrifice in either rhetorical mastery or persuasiveness.

    The only pause I take with Dr. D’s remarks is the singular nature by which he implicates wheat as a culprit of diabetes, inflammation, and so on (if not singular, then principal). While I am convinced by the case he’s made in terms of the frankenstein genetic manipulation and the ill effects therefrom, I feel by zooming in solely on wheat, he downplays the disastrous impacts of sucrose and HFCS (i.e. mega-loads of fructose), which other authors have implicated in the same chronic conditions beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I can understand why he wouldn’t devote too much time and space to sugar, since his work is uniquely an exposé of the disruption of wheat’s genetic harmony. I just hope people who see that clip and read his book don’t come away thinking wheat is the only substance that causes those ailments, and they realize they ought to minimize (avoid if possible) sugar as well.

    I agree. Wheat is a big part of the problem, but not the entire problem.

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  25. neal matheson

    Hi Pat,
    Most of Scotland is by the sea, in fact most of Scotland is water being comprised of thousands and thousands of lakes. The average height of Highlanders in the Jacobite and later British army (18th century) was about 5’4″ which was wee bit shorter than mainland Europeans but quite a bit shorter than English people of the time. Europe was quite a bit colder in the 17th-18th centuries which must have made arable farming very difficult and probably accounts for the widespread decline in stature at that time.
    In general highlanders are described as being fairly meaty in their diets but the inuit show us that that doesn’t neccesarily lead to being tall.

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  26. Pat

    Hi Neal
    We seem to have veered off topic. However – lots of cold weather animals have short extremities to reduce cold exposure – look at snowshoe hares versus desert jackrabbits. So “short and chunky” may be an adaptation to conserve heat – hard to know with people, since we move around so much and control our own climate (clothing, fire). But the Masai are tall and thin, in a hot climate -who knows how much is genetic for getting rid of heat? On a related topic, the “Swiss Guard” for the Vatican were supposed to be tall, what were the Swiss eating back then? I would guess a lot of dairy (at least that is what they seemed to eat in “Heidi”) but anyone have any actual information? I don’t suppose Switzerland at the time was growing a lot of wheat either, but they were well situated for trade.

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  27. Lori

    @Pat, Weston A. Price, DDS studied the traditional diet of isolated Swiss (and other people) in the 1920s or 1930s. The wheat they ate was soaked and sprouted, which helps neutralize anti-nutrients that bind to various minerals and prevents you from absorbing them.

    Also OT, but since adopting a LC, low-grain diet, and taking vitamin D, I haven’t had any new cavities and my teeth quickly felt better. My dentist said the other day he’d have never known I had oral surgery (due to an accident) the week before.

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  28. Jon

    I think he blew the anchors minds, but I actually think they believed him.

    I thought his appearance was a tour de force.

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  29. Lobstah

    @Pat
    That some seeds don’t taste as good as others would first depend on who was eating them, and secondly it would be a matter of chance, not by design on the part of the plant. My point was just that the plant itself has no idea what happens to its seeds or how they taste. The seeds with a tougher shell survive better and reproduce. All plants go to seed in some way, but they don’t intelligently make decisions about how that’s done.

    Lob

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  30. Shawn

    Great video! Rarely do I ever see a video where an expert with REAL factual information actually get to SAY everything on his agenda! So many morning “hosts” cut off their guests, and constantly try to ad-lib into the conversation. You could see that these two hosts were either genuinely interested in what he had to say, or at the very least, respected the guest’s level of expertise.
    It would be interesting to see, though, if these hosts read the book, and maybe do something about it.

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  31. Cindy

    I’m on a restricted carb lifestyle and am not eating any breads, no HFCS and have lost 34 pounds in 4 months and still losing, albeit a bit slower. I would like to eat the plant-based way but the beans, corn and whole wheat are too many carbohydrates.

    What confuses me is, how can Dr. Esselstyn (plant-based diet advocate) get away with eating whole grain/wheat, sprouted breads, etc. and not have a wheat belly? All wheat, whether refined or whole grain spikes your blood sugar which causes your pancreas to release insulin and your body to store fat yet Drs. Davis, Esselstyn and T. Colin Campbell (Forks Over Knives) seem immune to this phenomenom.

    Well, there are a couple of issues there. One, those doctors recommend diets that exclude sugar, white flour, white rice, etc. That alone removes a lot of the carbohydrates the average American eats. Two, not everyone who eats a high carb diet becomes fat. In the Protein Power book, Drs. Eades and Eades state that about 25% of the population can eat almost anything without becoming insulin resistant or fat.

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  32. PHK

    my Bulgarian colleague told me that lot’s of farmers near his hometown are still growing einkhorn wheat (the most ancient strand).

    so perhaps this dwarf wheat is less prevalent in Europe.

    regards,

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  33. Bill

    I quit wheat. Why? Because I have coronary artery disease or a buildup of plaque in my arteries. For over 20 years I was told if I didn’t eat low fat/low cholesterol and take a statin drug I would have a heart attack. So I ate low fat-low cholesterol and took statin drugs. With a total cholesterol of less than 100 I, instead of being saved from it, in fact suffered 5 heart attacks over the course of 12 years. Now I have been able to achieve a reduction in the growth of coronary artery plaque and I give credit to removal of wheat from my diet and other remediatory lifestyle changes. I did loose 35 pounds and though that was nice it was not my objective, none-the-less a healthy result.

    I’m sorry to hear about the heart attacks. I hope the better diet keeps your heart healthy for a long time to come.

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