Book Review: Wheat Belly

      368 Comments on Book Review: Wheat Belly

I receive occasional emails and comments from people who can’t believe wheat isn’t health food. Some have quoted Bible passages about our daily bread, the staff of life, breaking bread with family, etc. Others have pointed out that Americans ate plenty of bread and other wheat products 100 years ago, but weren’t as likely to be fat and diabetic as people today.

I usually reply that the wheat products we consume today aren’t the same as those consumed by people in Biblical times, or even in more recent times. But I didn’t realize just how different today’s wheat is until I read Wheat Belly, a terrific new book by Dr. William Davis, the cardiologist you may already know from his Heart Scan Blog.

The title, of course, refers to the big gut that so many people today are carrying around in front of them these days.  While he’s no fan of sugar or other refined carbohydrates, Dr. Davis believes wheat is a primary (if not the primary) driver of the rise in obesity we’ve witnessed in the past quarter century, and he makes a strong case for that belief.   But getting fat is hardly the only price we pay for our love of bagels, breads, cereals and muffins. As Dr. Davis explains in the book’s introduction:

While much of the Wheat Belly story is about overweight, it is also about the complex and not fully understood range of diseases that have resulted from it – from celiac disease, the devastating intestinal disease that develops from exposure to wheat gluten, to an assortment of neurological disorders, curious rashes, and the paralyzing effects of schizophrenia. Documented peculiar effects of wheat on humans include appetite stimulation, exposure to brain-active exorphins (the counterpart of internally derived endorphins), exaggerated blood-sugar surges that trigger cycles of satiety alternating with increased appetite, the process of glycation that underlies diseases and aging, inflammatory and pH effects that erode cartilage and damage bone, and activation of disordered immune responses.

And later, in Part One:

There’s hardly a single organ system that is not in some way affected by wheat products. The health impact of Triticum aestivum, common bread wheat and its genetic brethren, ranges far and wide, with curious effects from mouth to anus, brain to pancreas, Appalachian housewife to Wall Street arbitrageur. If it sounds crazy, bear with me. I make these claims with a clear, wheat-free conscience.

In the rest of the book, Dr. Davis back up those claims. He delves into quite a bit of nutrition science and some biochemistry, but writes in a clear (and often humorous) style that makes for easy reading. As a doctor who’s treated thousands of patients, he has the added advantage of being able to cite case histories from his own practice – patients who came to him unknowingly damaged by wheat, but were cured by wheat-free diets.

One patient, a thirty-eight-year-old woman, was told by her doctor that she’d have to have part of her colon removed and replaced with an external bag. After Dr. Davis talked her into going wheat free, her colon healed itself. Another patient, a twenty-six-year-old man, was experiencing so much pain in his joints, he could barely walk. Three different rheumatologists failed to identify a cause. When he visited Dr. Davis for a heart condition, Dr. Davis suggested he try a wheat-free diet for the joint pain. Three months later, the young man strode into the office pain-free and reported he’d been jogging short distances and playing basketball. His heart condition had cleared up as well.

Before the chapters detailing the many ways wheat can damage our bodies and brains, Dr. Davis begins by recounting the history of wheat itself. It’s a fascinating story — in a Stephen King sort of way, that is. Here are a few quotes from that chapter, which is titled Not Your Grandma’s Muffins: The Creation of Modern Wheat.

Bread and other foods made from wheat have sustained humans for centuries, but the wheat of our ancestors is not the same as modern commercial wheat that reaches your breakfast, lunch and dinner table. From the original strains of wild grass harvested by early humans, wheat has exploded to more than 25,000 varieties, virtually all of them the result of human intervention.

The first wild, then cultivated, wheat was einkorn, the great-granddaddy of all subsequent wheat. Einkorn has the simplest genetic code of all wheat, containing only 14 chromosomes.

Shortly after the cultivation of the first einkorn plant, the emmer variety of wheat, the natural offspring of parents einkorn and an unrelated wild grass, Aegilops speltvoides or goatgrass, made its appearance in the Middle East. Goatgrass added its genetic code to that of einkorn, resulting in the more complex twenty-eight-chromosome emmer wheat.

Emmer wheat, Dr. Davis explains, was probably the wheat of biblical times. Later the emmer wheat mated naturally with another grass and produced Triticum aestivum, the forty-two-chromosome wheat that humans consumed for centuries – right up until the past 50 years or so. That’s when the story of wheat becomes a bit of a modern Frankenstein tale.

Like Dr. Frankenstein, the scientists who created today’s wheat had good intentions: the goal was to produce more wheat per acre in a shorter span of time, thus vastly increasing yields and preventing worldwide starvation as the planet’s population swelled. To that extent, they succeeded. Geneticist Dr. Norman Borlaug, who created the short, stocky, fast-growing “dwarf” wheat most of us consume today, is credited with saving perhaps a billion people from starvation.

The problem is that dwarf wheat varieties were developed through a combination of cross-breeding and gene splicing. The result is a mutant plant with a genetic code that never existed in nature before. In fact, today’s wheat literally can’t survive in a natural setting. Take away the modern pesticides and fertilizers and it’s (pardon the pun) toast.

Perhaps overjoyed at the prospect of the feeding the world, the developers of modern wheat varieties weren’t interested in conducting tests to see if these genetically-modified strains were actually fit for human consumption. Dr. Davis believes they’re not. At the very least, we’re now consuming wheat that’s genetically different from what our ancestors consumed:

Analyses of proteins expressed by a wheat hybrid compared to its two parent strains have demonstrated that while approximately 95 percent of the proteins expressed in the offspring are the same, five percent are unique, found in neither parent. Wheat gluten proteins, in particular, undergo considerable structural change with hybridization. In one hybridization experiment, fourteen new gluten proteins were identified in the offspring that were not present in either parent plant. Moreover, when compared to century-old stains of wheat, modern strains of Triticum aestivum express a higher quantity of genes for gluten proteins that are associated with celiac disease.

Hybridization efforts of the past fifty years have generated numerous additional changes in the gluten-coding genes in Triticum aestivum, most of them purposeful modifications of the “D” genome that confer baking and aesthetic characteristics on flour. It is therefore the the “D” genome of modern Triticum aestivum that, having been the focus of all manner of shenanigans by plant geneticists, has accumulated substantial changes in genetically determined characteristics of gluten proteins.

In other word’s, this ain’t your grandma’s wheat.  Little wonder that when researchers compared blood samples taken from thousand of soldiers 50 years ago to blood samples from today’s soldiers, they found that celiac antibodies are five times more common today among today’s soliders.

Dr. Davis recounts an experiment he conducted on himself to compare the different impacts of ancient wheat and modern wheat on his blood sugar. He managed to find some einkorn wheat and made bread from it. Two slices of that bread raised his blood sugar from 86 mg/dl to 110. Not bad. Then he made bread from modern whole wheat – you know, the stuff the USDA says is the key to great health. Two slices raised his blood sugar from 84 mg/dl to 167. That’s diabetes territory. As Dr. Davis writes in another chapter after explaining the specific types of carbohydrates found in wheat:

Wheat products elevate blood sugar levels more than virtually any other carbohydrate, from beans to candy bars.

As the graph I displayed in a previous post showed, the typical American consumes somewhere around 1,000 calories per day in the form of sugars and grains.  Our dominant grain by far is wheat — wheat that was never part of the human diet until 50 years ago.

The rest of the book details the damage modern wheat can do to our bodies and brains, with plenty of references to both academic studies and case histories from Dr. Davis’ medical practice. He covers the addictive properties of wheat, the effects wheat can produce in our brains (including actual brain damage), and of course the many ways wheat can wreak havoc on our digestive systems. Compared to those chapters, the chapters on skin conditions, accelerated aging, and heart disease seem almost tame. Sure, it’s not good to produce mostly small, dense LDL … but heart disease will kill you later. Untreated celiac disease will make you miserable for life – and most celiac sufferers are never diagnosed.

This is an excellent book, and also an important book. A story a co-worker told me last week illustrates why: his wife suffered from debilitating headaches for years. She went from doctor to doctor, but none could offer an explanation or solution, other than pain medications that basically knocked her out. Then a few months ago, she mentioned the headaches to some acquaintances over dinner. One of them – not a doctor – told her the headaches could be caused by a reaction to wheat gluten and suggested she try a gluten-free diet. She did … and headaches went away.

As my co-worker told me, “I’m glad someone finally gave her the answer, but why did she have to hear this from some Joe Schmoe after years of suffering? Why didn’t any of the doctors we consulted think of that?”

The doctors didn’t think of that because they weren’t trained to think of that. Ask the vast majority of doctors for dietary advice, and they’ll tell you to limit your fats and eat your “healthy whole grains.” They can’t teach what they don’t know.

I hope you all read this book. But more than that, I hope you buy a copy and stick it in your doctor’s hands. The next time a patient shows up suffering from splitting headaches (or irritable bowel, or stomach cramps, or acne, or psoriasis, or depression, or emotional problems, or high triglycerides, or high blood sugar, or arthritis, or asthma), perhaps the doctor will take a careful dietary history and suggest trying a wheat-free diet before reaching for the prescription pad.

Next week I’ll be posting a Q & A with Dr. Davis.  I have a list of questions I want to ask, but if you have questions of your own, post them in a comment.  I’ll pick some to add to my list.

 


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368 thoughts on “Book Review: Wheat Belly

  1. Lori

    Were your coworker’s wife’s headaches sinus related? My lifelong sinus pain disappeared after I dropped wheat. I have a sinus infection, and yet my face, teeth, eyes and head all feel fine. Mostly, I’m tired.

    He said the headaches were similar to migraines, but not migraines.

    Reply
  2. Jennie (the gf-gf)

    Very interesting – I’m glad you were able to review this book for us!

    I hadn’t ever paused to consider the different effects of wheat v. sugar, but that’s because I have celiac disease and can’t eat wheat, but still eat sugar, and know that it negatively affects me. Now that I think about it, wheats some Really nasty stuff! What’s tough about celiac is that the symptoms are many and varied so it’s hard to nail down, but what you’ve talked about from the book helps explain how wheat affects, well, everyone!

    I don’t believe you have to reach the level of being diagnosed with celiac disease to suffer negative effects from wheat.

    Reply
  3. Jo

    Great review – thank you.

    I have known for some time that I had a problem with wheat. Some types of bread make me feel ‘funny’ about 20 minutes after eating it, so in a way I’m lucky because the symptoms are more obvious. I still eat some wheat products, but limit them quite severely. I have been particularly good lately and really notice I’m more clear headed. I’m not entirely sure how much gluten is an issue. I seem to be fine with oats, which of course would tie in with Dr Davis’s theory on the newer strains of wheat being more of a problem.

    Reply
  4. Peggy Cinocki

    I haven’t read the book yet–am about to order it for my Kindle so I can start tonight. But I’m wondering–does it make any difference if the wheat is organic or not? I rarely use flour or bake with wheat, but if I do, can I improve it a bit by using organic? I’d also like to advise my kids, who do use wheat products some–I haven’t been able to convince them to go wheat free yet. if the question is answered in the book, you don’t need to ask Dr. Davis. Thanks

    I don’t think it matters, but I’ll ask. My guess is that organic wheat is still a mutant variety these days.

    Reply
  5. JaimeW

    Where did he manage to find some einkorn wheat and/or where could the average person find it?

    I’ll ask him, but in the meantime I’d try googling “heirloom wheat” or “heirloom seeds.”

    Reply
  6. Beowulf

    Fascinating! I’m already on my library’s waiting list for the book (they have five copies on order).

    Reply
  7. The Older Brother

    Got the book on my Nook reader today and I’m about 1/3 through. Very good read. Turns out wheat really IS murder!

    Cheers

    I sent Dr. Davis a Wheat Is Murder t-shirt. If anyone should wear it, he should.

    Reply
  8. Bex

    Excellent – another book for my library, I think – any idea where to get these ancient grains? Does this include spelt?

    I’d try googling “heirloom grains.”

    Reply
  9. Princess Dieter

    I am reading this right now. I took a break to check email and my blog and saw your blog update in my feed. I just finished reading the part with WENDY’s story (the gal who almost lost her colon but tested negative for celiac)….amazing!

    The book is great. I want to finish it fast and review it on amazon. 😀

    Thanks for this. Hope many pick it up, especially folks with autoimmune (I have), asthma, allergies (both of which I’ve had since infancy), arthritis, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome (like I had), and “big fat wheat belly”.

    I hope it sells a million copies, partly as a reward to Dr. Davis for writing such a thorough and enjoyable book, and partly because that could translate into millions of healthier people.

    Reply
  10. Princess Dieter

    Oh, and didn’t you wish you could have tasted/smelled some of that “ancient wheat” Dr. Davis did his little experiment with (glucose, symptoms). Oh, man, I’m so curious to what REAL bread was like. Nitey.

    I’m thinking of repeating that experiment someday myself.

    Reply
  11. Lori

    Were your coworker’s wife’s headaches sinus related? My lifelong sinus pain disappeared after I dropped wheat. I have a sinus infection, and yet my face, teeth, eyes and head all feel fine. Mostly, I’m tired.

    He said the headaches were similar to migraines, but not migraines.

    Reply
  12. Daniel

    Looking forward to reading this one and finally convincing my family to drop the bread (at the very least !!!)

    17th Oct 2011 release date in the UK !!! A month and a half wait 🙁

    I guess they need the extra time to translate the book into British … ?

    Reply
  13. Jennie (the gf-gf)

    Very interesting – I’m glad you were able to review this book for us!

    I hadn’t ever paused to consider the different effects of wheat v. sugar, but that’s because I have celiac disease and can’t eat wheat, but still eat sugar, and know that it negatively affects me. Now that I think about it, wheats some Really nasty stuff! What’s tough about celiac is that the symptoms are many and varied so it’s hard to nail down, but what you’ve talked about from the book helps explain how wheat affects, well, everyone!

    I don’t believe you have to reach the level of being diagnosed with celiac disease to suffer negative effects from wheat.

    Reply
  14. Jo

    Great review – thank you.

    I have known for some time that I had a problem with wheat. Some types of bread make me feel ‘funny’ about 20 minutes after eating it, so in a way I’m lucky because the symptoms are more obvious. I still eat some wheat products, but limit them quite severely. I have been particularly good lately and really notice I’m more clear headed. I’m not entirely sure how much gluten is an issue. I seem to be fine with oats, which of course would tie in with Dr Davis’s theory on the newer strains of wheat being more of a problem.

    Reply
  15. Peggy Cinocki

    I haven’t read the book yet–am about to order it for my Kindle so I can start tonight. But I’m wondering–does it make any difference if the wheat is organic or not? I rarely use flour or bake with wheat, but if I do, can I improve it a bit by using organic? I’d also like to advise my kids, who do use wheat products some–I haven’t been able to convince them to go wheat free yet. if the question is answered in the book, you don’t need to ask Dr. Davis. Thanks

    I don’t think it matters, but I’ll ask. My guess is that organic wheat is still a mutant variety these days.

    Reply
  16. JaimeW

    Where did he manage to find some einkorn wheat and/or where could the average person find it?

    I’ll ask him, but in the meantime I’d try googling “heirloom wheat” or “heirloom seeds.”

    Reply
  17. The Older Brother

    Got the book on my Nook reader today and I’m about 1/3 through. Very good read. Turns out wheat really IS murder!

    Cheers

    I sent Dr. Davis a Wheat Is Murder t-shirt. If anyone should wear it, he should.

    Reply
  18. Ron_Mocci

    I look up Emmer and found this :Hard red wheat grown especially in Russia and Germany; in United States as stock feed. So we use the good wheat as feed and the USAD tell us to eat the Sh*t ! Thanks Tom (:

    Reply
  19. Bex

    Excellent – another book for my library, I think – any idea where to get these ancient grains? Does this include spelt?

    I’d try googling “heirloom grains.”

    Reply
  20. Tammy

    Tom – I ordered the book from Amazon two days ago, sounds like a fascinating read. The weird thing I found with myself is that for almost 10 years (since 2002 when I discovered Atkins) I’ve been seriously trying to give up sugar, but I never could completely. I’d always go a few days or weeks then have a binge. It wasn’t until about a year ago when I read Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson that I decided to go grain free for a month and see what happened. I gave up all grain back in January and all of a sudden I could care less about sugar. I mean like a light switch went off. Since then I’ve tried different gluten free products and same result – no sugar cravings. I’ve come to a happy place now, gluten free bread maybe twice a week, no more gut issues, no more dry skin, no more runny nose, etc.. A lot of weird stuff just cleared up. So all along it really was the wheat for me – for 23 years of gut issues, etc.. my whole adult life. It would have been nice if someone (like a Dr.) would have suggested it to me a long time ago. I could have saved taking a bunch of prescriptions for different gut distresses for all those years.

    My health issues back in the day were definitely wheat-related. I didn’t eat sugar — I knew better.

    Reply
  21. Steve Parker, M.D.

    Great review, Tom.

    I just finished a brief blog post on prevalence of celiac disease (1 of every 133 Americans) in which I mentioned that I see much more celiac disease now than I did at the start of my medical career 30 years ago. Dr. Davis may have told us why that is. (Modern antibody testing makes it easier to diagnose, too.)

    BTW, the constellation of celiac symptoms has been known for centuries, but it wasn’t until 70 years ago that a Dutch pediatrician identified wheat as a primary cause.

    -Steve

    And as you know, to be diagnosed with celiac disease, the damage must already be extensive. Lots of people are experiencing damage that doesn’t rise the level of being officially diagnosed.

    Reply
  22. Princess Dieter

    I am reading this right now. I took a break to check email and my blog and saw your blog update in my feed. I just finished reading the part with WENDY’s story (the gal who almost lost her colon but tested negative for celiac)….amazing!

    The book is great. I want to finish it fast and review it on amazon. 😀

    Thanks for this. Hope many pick it up, especially folks with autoimmune (I have), asthma, allergies (both of which I’ve had since infancy), arthritis, IBS, Metabolic Syndrome (like I had), and “big fat wheat belly”.

    I hope it sells a million copies, partly as a reward to Dr. Davis for writing such a thorough and enjoyable book, and partly because that could translate into millions of healthier people.

    Reply
  23. Princess Dieter

    Oh, and didn’t you wish you could have tasted/smelled some of that “ancient wheat” Dr. Davis did his little experiment with (glucose, symptoms). Oh, man, I’m so curious to what REAL bread was like. Nitey.

    I’m thinking of repeating that experiment someday myself.

    Reply
  24. deMuralist

    I was chatting with someone the other day and after I told her that I had stopped eating wheat and grains she said basically that “celiac disease” is the new “in thing” to have so she didn’t believe it was real! I said well maybe, but I was having joint pains and had figured it was worth a shot, stopping grain worked for me and it was easier/cheaper to stop grains than to take pain pills. She said she would rather take the pills. So it is more than the doctors.

    p.s. dh and I were wondering last night…what percentage of commercials do you think are now about drugs/prescriptions. Cannot imagine my grandmother worrying about “inadequate eyelashes”.

    Some people assumed celiac diagnoses were on the rise simply because more doctors are aware of the disease. Comparing blood samples from soldiers 50 years ago to soldiers today showed that celiac is indeed on the rise, not just being diagnosed more often.

    Reply
  25. Daniel

    Looking forward to reading this one and finally convincing my family to drop the bread (at the very least !!!)

    17th Oct 2011 release date in the UK !!! A month and a half wait 🙁

    I guess they need the extra time to translate the book into British … ?

    Reply
  26. LCNana

    Morning, Tom. Thanks for the review of Wheat Belly – every time I weaken and think I simply must start eating ‘like everyone else’ because I miss all the bread, pasta, etc. you come along and kick me in the pants – er, sorry, I mean the skirt…

    As I age my digestive system becomes more and more sensitive to any fibre, and gassy foods, and all sugars. But how weak I am! So thanks again. I’ll consider myself kicked.

    Reading this book definitely firmed up my resolve not to eat wheat products. Maybe twice per year when I’m Chicago and want that stuffed pizza, but it’s not worth the potential health issues just to enjoy a hamburger bun or bit of pasta.

    Reply
  27. Be

    WOW! That was quick! My advance order copy was sent to my Kindle just yesterday. My first thought was excitement to start it once I finish the book I am reading and my next thought was, “I can’t wait to read Tom’s review!”

    I was in the grossery store yesterday wearing your “Wheat is Murder” tee shirt and the only thing I bought was a loaf of Bimbo bread (no HFCS, but it isn’t for me) and boy, did I get stared down! A checker then asked why wheat was murder and I ran off a long list of side effects and he seems stunned. Later the same day my vet chided me for not feeding our dog grains (who by the way is feeling much better since he went Paleo with us).

    Bottom line – since following your advice over a year ago I’ve lost 40 pounds, feel better and my HDLs (at 90) suggest I’ll live a long life (of course my Doctor wants to put me on statins because my total cholesterol is high at 245 (duh!).

    BTW, if you haven’t read it, you would love the book I am reading now: “Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry’s Road to Bankruptcy and Bailout-and Beyond” by Paul Ingrassia – excellent example of the effects of collective thought.

    Great review – thanks for staying out here getting the word out.

    Sounds like a good book. I’ll give it a look.

    Reply
  28. Judith Miller

    2 or 3 sample meals would be appreciated before buying the book.

    I don’t want to type out entire recipes, but there is a recipe section in the back of the book. Sample meals: no-grain granola, bakes salmon with wasabi, three-cheese eggplant bake, almond meal cookies, eggs with pesto and feta, chicken tortilla soup, wheat-free pizza.

    Reply
  29. Nancie

    Thank you for this information…I knew white flour was not good for the body, I just didn’t know exactly how bad modern wheat was. I have been educated, so thanks again!

    Reply
  30. Deliciously Organic

    I’m so glad I read this review. I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic the last few weeks and I’m glad to see there is a book that explains this recent phenomenon. I ordered the book and will tell my readers about it too. Thanks!

    It’s a great read. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

    Reply
  31. bullinachinashop

    Thanks Tom, I’ll check this book out for sure.

    As for those recipes, it seems to me people should focus more on redefining the food we like, instead of re-inventing them so we can eat grain-free grains. What’s the point of a grain-free granola? Granola tastes like barf without massive amounts of sugar, we should just forget granola altogether.

    I spent a couple of years trying low-carb versions of the high-carb foods I missed, but as my tastes changed I realized I no longer wanted pancakes, low-carb or otherwise. I hope people treat some of those substitutes as transition foods.

    Reply
  32. Fred Hahn

    Good review Tom.

    I have a question – why do so many people who eat wheat and a lot of it seem to have no issues whatsoever? I have a vegetarian friend who eats tons of wheat, bread and other glutenous crud and he’s lean, fit, and healthy.

    I’ll shoot that one by Dr. Davis.

    Reply
  33. Linda

    @deMuralist

    dh and I were wondering last night…what percentage of commercials do you think are now about drugs/prescriptions. Cannot imagine my grandmother worrying about “inadequate eyelashes”.

    I don’t watch as much tv as I once did, but, during those periods where good stuff is on, I am also noticing how often we are subjected to another crappy ad regarding yet another drug that we just absolutely NEED to take, especially since we are looking into the eyes of some “tv doctor in a white coat” who is so sincere and helpful! Then, in the background, we listen to the lengthy list of side effects while the actors are strolling happily through the park or engaging in warm and fuzzy social activities. I want to throw shoes at my tv screen but it is a new one and I’d hate to damage it!

    Reply
  34. Dave Dixon

    I wonder if some day Norm Borlaug will be remembered as the man who destroyed the Earth? Created toxic wheat to fuel a population explosion to further deplete resources and ultimately cause the collapse of civilization…you weren’t kidding about it sounding like a Stephen King plot. All we need now is for Borlaug to rise from the grave and take his rightful place as the Dark Lord of All Bagels…

    I believe he meant well … but then again, so did Karl Marx.

    Reply
  35. Deborah M

    that is fascinating. i’ll order a copy. it’s amazing what we don’t know about our food. the fact that the wheat available all over the world now is so different from what it was just 55 years ago is frankly terrifying.

    unfortunately, although i come to your site frequently to be strengthened in my low-carb resolve, i find it personally frustrating to read about all the health issues that go away when people stop eating x,y,z because it hasn’t happened for me. i’m glad for them, i just wish it worked for me too! i’ve been a low carber for a decade now. i lost a lot of weight the first few years, and my skin problems also went away – and i maintained my weight loss for a further 4 years – but then when i got pregnant the psoriasis and seborrhitic dermatitis came back, as did 30lbs of weight, and once i gave birth no matter how well i ate more weight went on. so now i have an almost 3 year old, am still a low-carber, but am 50lbs heavier than i was 4 years ago and the skin problems won’t go away. i don’t feel like a very good poster child for low-carbing anymore, which is also frustrating. telling people i eat low carb,and high fat isn’t going to make any of them jump to eat like me, unlike 4 years ago when they could see i was maintaining a 100lb weight loss. and i can’t keep my blood test results at hand to show people – if they looked at those, they’d assume they belonged to a 120lb 25 year old woman they’re so good! that’s what keeps me going when i’m tempted by carby foods – but it is a harder struggle these past 3 years when nothing i do seems to result in any weight loss.

    anyway – that wasn’t really on topic. just getting my whining off my chest. sorry!

    You may allergies to specific foods that don’t bother the rest of us. Some low-carbers, for instance, find they have to give up dairy too.

    Reply
  36. Paul

    Amazon have emailed me to say that my copy has been shipped. Just have to wait for it to cross the Atlantic and get to Blighty.

    Reply
  37. The Masked Tulip

    I had terrible asthma for several years which has greatly improved since I stopped eating wheat. I used to love breads and, looking back, I was ODing on bread products daily.

    In the past 18 months I had gone back and ate bread rolls on 3 occasions – just to test things – and within 48 to 72 hours my chest is tightening and my breathing noticeably declines. I then have to go 4 to 6 weeks without wheat again before I improve.

    There is a long comments thread on a forum online where there are hundreds of long-term asthma suffers pointing out that their asthma either improved or disappeared when they gave up eating wheat.

    When I eat wheat, I start to wheeze an hour or so later.

    Reply
  38. lwhod

    I know people who make their own bread from sprouting their own seeds from some types of wheat berries. I’ve just started reading up on it but the person who told me about it has had the health of her whole family turn around by making that change. I’m curious if he has any advice on what to buy, grinding the “wheat” yourself, and sprouting your own seeds for bread.

    Reply
  39. Erica

    I went to amazon.com and they say the book isn’t in the Kindle store. How is everyone getting it? I can download it from Barnes and Noble for the Nook for $9.99.

    Reply
  40. Ron_Mocci

    I look up Emmer and found this :Hard red wheat grown especially in Russia and Germany; in United States as stock feed. So we use the good wheat as feed and the USAD tell us to eat the Sh*t ! Thanks Tom (:

    Reply
  41. Tammy

    Tom – I ordered the book from Amazon two days ago, sounds like a fascinating read. The weird thing I found with myself is that for almost 10 years (since 2002 when I discovered Atkins) I’ve been seriously trying to give up sugar, but I never could completely. I’d always go a few days or weeks then have a binge. It wasn’t until about a year ago when I read Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson that I decided to go grain free for a month and see what happened. I gave up all grain back in January and all of a sudden I could care less about sugar. I mean like a light switch went off. Since then I’ve tried different gluten free products and same result – no sugar cravings. I’ve come to a happy place now, gluten free bread maybe twice a week, no more gut issues, no more dry skin, no more runny nose, etc.. A lot of weird stuff just cleared up. So all along it really was the wheat for me – for 23 years of gut issues, etc.. my whole adult life. It would have been nice if someone (like a Dr.) would have suggested it to me a long time ago. I could have saved taking a bunch of prescriptions for different gut distresses for all those years.

    My health issues back in the day were definitely wheat-related. I didn’t eat sugar — I knew better.

    Reply
  42. Steve Parker, M.D.

    Great review, Tom.

    I just finished a brief blog post on prevalence of celiac disease (1 of every 133 Americans) in which I mentioned that I see much more celiac disease now than I did at the start of my medical career 30 years ago. Dr. Davis may have told us why that is. (Modern antibody testing makes it easier to diagnose, too.)

    BTW, the constellation of celiac symptoms has been known for centuries, but it wasn’t until 70 years ago that a Dutch pediatrician identified wheat as a primary cause.

    -Steve

    And as you know, to be diagnosed with celiac disease, the damage must already be extensive. Lots of people are experiencing damage that doesn’t rise the level of being officially diagnosed.

    Reply

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