A provocative look at how eliminating wheat from our diets can help us lose weight, shrink unsightly bulges, and reverse a broad spectrum of health problems—from acne to diabetes to serious digestive disorders.
Since the introduction of dietary guidelines calling for reduced fat intake in the 1970s, a strange phenomenon has occurred: Americans have steadily, inexorably become heavier, less healthy, and more prone to diabetes than ever before. After putting more than 2,000 of his at-risk patients on a wheat-free regimen and seeing extraordinary results, cardiologist William Davis has come to the disturbing conclusion that it is not fat, not sugar, not our sedentary lifestyle that is causing America’s obesity epidemic—it is wheat. How this once-benign grain—now genetically modified almost beyond recognition and found in virtually every course of every meal—has come to have such a profound and deleterious effect on our collective well-being is one of the great untold health stories of our generation.
In Wheat Belly, Dr. Davis exposes the truth about modern-day wheat, deconstructing its historical role in the human diet and the agricultural evolutions that have created a hybrid grain that has a greater impact on blood sugar levels than pure cane sugar and many of the addictive characteristics of a narcotic. He sheds light on wheat’s connection to weight gain as well as to a host of other adverse effects from diabetes to heart disease to immunologic and neurologic disorders like celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and dementia. Finally, to help listeners dependent on wheat products make the move to a wheat-free diet, he presents a clear-cut action plan packed with food and lifestyle tips, meal plans, and recipes.
Informed by decades of clinical research and backed by case studies of men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving good-bye to wheat, Wheat Belly is an illuminating look at a familiar food as well as an affirmative life plan for regaining health and losing unwanted pounds.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2011 William Davis, MD (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I am a physician who reads and critiques the scientific literature and I have a personal interest in diet. I've lost 40 pounds over a 3 month period (weight down from 198 to 158 lbs, I am 5'9) partially following low-carbohydrate principles along with high protein and fiber. If what William Davis was saying was true, then all of society would be suffering from the problems associated with wheat. The reality is that most people do fine with some wheat in their diet.
The scientific literature supports low-carb dieting, and thus by eliminating wheat you are achieving a low-carb diet. If wheat were the specific cause of obesity, rather than all carbs as a group leading to obesity, then substituting non-gluten containing starches for wheat should have wheat loss benefits. Not even Davis claims this to be the case. He states that you cannot eliminate wheat and substitute other carbs because all carbs raise blood sugar. If all carbs raise blood sugar, than why is he choosing to write a book only about wheat?
The study that would need to be done (randomized controlled trial) would need to be comparing a wheat-free diet (allowing all non-gluten containing starches) to a diet allowing wheat with both diets having equal calories and carbs. By having the only differing variable between two comparison groups being the presence or absence of wheat in a diet, a study could establish cause and effect.
He makes a good argument for why low-carb dieting is a good idea, but scientifically Gary Taubes makes MUCH better arguements in "why we get fat" and "good calories/bad caloreis." Taubes cites very strong sources such as JAMA, while Davis even uses a blogger as his citation. The specific blog he cites is written by someone with a degree in English rather than any dietary, nutritional, science, or medical training.The performance was funny and entertaining though.
Sorry, Stephen King. This is the scariest book I've read all year. If half of the stuff the author discusses in this book is true, the ramifications are global in scope. If dwarf wheat truly is unfit for human consumption, then what do we do? Do we stop feeding the world's populations of undernourished? If people start eating right, what will happen to our grain-based economy? Can we afford to make this change? Will we save enough in medical bills to afford to eat better? And is there enough "good" food to go around? I've started my wheat-free trial. But I shudder to think what will happen if the FDA takes this book's findings seriously.
This is a book that you should read. I've been on a wheat/gluten free diet for 8 months. I was happy to read more about the subject from someone that knows what he's talking/writing about.
It is one of the best health books I have read.
Easy to listen to.
The most popular food source on the planet is slowly making every one sick, but its convenience, low price, and addictive propertys make its popularity grow even more.
Can we break our addiction to Wheat.
Half way through listening to this audio book I started cleaning my cupboards and throwing out all the Wheat products. I am now 30 days wheat and gluten free. My goal is 3 months off the stuff compleatly, and after that eating only 2 of fewer servings a week.
I believe this book has helped me to correct my formerly unhealthy over use of wheat and will add years to my life.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (health/science) - This was an eye-opening book, at least for me. Gluten-free diets are all the rage, but mainstream medicine seems to say it's okay to consume wheat/gluten if you don't have celiac disease or a known gluten sensitivity. I have neither condition but I enjoy hearing health and science books, so I gave this one a shot. The presentation is convincing and predominantly easy to understand, although some parts are a bit technical and other parts are repeated ad infinitum. The second half of the book was far more interesting and beneficial, IMHO.
So here's the science (part of it anyway). Wheat has become so genetically modified that it contains proteins and other substances which have not been tested for safety of consumption. Even if you're not particularly sensitive to wheat, consuming it can raise blood sugar and cholesterol. It can adversely affect your eyes, brain, skin, bones, digestion, and the list goes on. It can cause weight gain predominantly around the belly and cause cravings to consume more wheat, creating a vicious cycle. I'm not going to start scrutinizing labels or eating only broccoli at parties, but If I can minimize my chances of the above-mentioned conditions, why not at least curtail wheat consumption as much as possible? And if my butt happens to get smaller, that's a bonus!
PERFORMANCE - It's hard to "shine" when reading scientific material, but this guy has a low, pleasant voice and does a good job.
OVERALL - Recommended for anyone who is health conscious, whether you're overweight or not. You will probably not look at bread or bagels the same again, so you must be open-minded and willing to make the change.
I picked up this book to help understand my wheat sensitivity. He did do a good job of explaining why wheat makes me stomach hurt, what other damage it may be doing, and how to rearrange my food planning to eliminate the discomfort. It was good support for my decision to eliminate wheat, though I'm not yet convinced I need to go completely gluten-free as I have not had problems with spelt, oats, barley or rye.
The science was a bit too technical for me. If I decide to go back through the material again, I will probably buy the book so I can review it more carefully.
My disappoint came as Davis turned from "wheat" to "gluten" to "all foods that raise blood sugar" to "soy is suspect because it might be genetically modified." I have simply read too many books that pick a single ingredient and blame all the troubles of the world on it: sugar, red meat, all animal products, cow's milk, saturated fat, processed food, out-of-season food, cooked food, uncooked food, etc. Each of them presents scientific studies to support their claims, stories of their own patients who showed dramatic improvement by following their advice, and dramatic warnings of the imminent demise of the civilized world. They all have some truth to them, they are all over-blown, and by overstating their case, they all undermine their own credibility.
People are not all exactly alike. Our differing chemistry shows in our allergies and sensitivities, our susceptibility to different conditions, our tastes and our physical appearance. What one person could eat for every meal makes a different person deathly ill, and what causes chronic inflammation in one can be the mainstay of another's daily consumption. Why is it so hard for dietary professionals to understand that a one-size diet does not fit all? The "Wheat Belly Diet" is a modification of Atkins, which was very successful for some people and caused gall bladder, liver and kidney problems for others.
I think that Davis has made an important contribution. I just wish he had been content with that instead of trying to reform the whole world.
I interesting and informative book about a subject I did not know exited.
When he described what eating wheat did to us and we did not even know it was doing it.
Everyone should read this book.
An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.
Dr. William Davis is a passionate scientist and healer, who is convinced that wheat is the root of almost all that can go wrong with the body. He proceeds through maladies including but not limited to GERD, coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes, Celiac disease, ED, and acne. Oh, I forgot arthritis. Davis supports each of these with whatever is available from anecdotal, correlational, or experimental research. His writing style is engaging and his anecdotes are inspiring. However, his leaps of faith based on correlational data make one realize that he must have missed the classes on correlational versus causal variance in the research course which he took. Still, the book caused me to do my own experiment and try his recommendations for ninety days. Here is to the new me.
Dr. Davis' contention is that wheat has been genetically engineered to the point where it bears only a distant relationship to the ancestral plant. As a result wheat has many complex proteins that the human gut has not yet evolved to handle, resulting in a wide range of diseases and complaints ranging from sore joints to schizophrenia. Davis maintains that two slices of whole wheat toast raises blood sugar levels significantly higher than a Snickers bar, and blames America's current obesity epidemic on wheat. he offers many studies, facts and figures to support his argument, and even experimented on himself, eating bread made from ancestral wheat, einkorn, and bread made from modern whole wheat. (He is highly sensitive to wheat himself.) Einkorn: no problem. Whole wheat: 36 hours of nausea and inability to focus. (He also performed a blood test on himself after eating both versions, and his blood glucose rose alarmingly with the whole wheat consumption--but not the einkorn.)
The book is well-written, well-read and even entertaining, but some of the technical explanations are hard to follow via the spoken word, so I also bought the print version so that I could refer back to certain points.
Though I am not sensitive to wheat myself, I have decided to give it up for a while. It won't hurt me, and who knows? Maybe I will even begin to lose all that weight he promises to the the wheat abstainer.
That being said, I doubt that the current obesity epidemic is solely due to wheat. There are many other contributing factors, including the prevalence of computer use in the workplace and the ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup in processed foods since the 1970s. Wheat probably played a role, but it is probably not the only villain here.
Say something about yourself!
This book is a must listen for anyone...not just those of us that struggle with excess pounds and dont know why. It can be a bit boring at times but the information is good to hear regardless.
I have struggled with crazy weight fluctuations of up to 40 lbs regularly in the past decade, I travel out of North America frequently and always lose weight when I do. I could not figure out why, I actually exercise more at home when I have a set schedule, and I do not over eat. And yet, within weeks of coming back I pack on 10 lbs, and it doesn't stop there.
The only thing I eat at home that is different is the wheat. Cereal, sandwiches (always high on the "healthy" grains) oat bars and the like. Nothing over the top and yet my appetite gains control of my life. I can eat a full meal and before putting the last spoon into my mouth be thinking about the next. This Never happens when I am in a situation where I don't eat wheat. Now I know why, and this book gave me the knowledge to understand how this product is poisonous to my body and my mind. Which of course bring depression and lethargy.....god if I only knew this 15 years back, how different my life would have been.
I am officially off wheat for good, and this book helped in pushing me to make that major commitment. Its been a week and already I feel clearer, more energetic and slightly thinner.
I recommend it for anyone...regardless of weight the info here could potentially save, or at least change, your life.
"This is a brilliant book, but..."
... don't buy it if what you're looking for is unbiased information. The author tells you, clearly, from the onset that he doesn't think wheat does anyone any good at all.
Personally, I find this book absolutely fascinating. I've enjoyed listening to it, and it's interesting to hear about so many studies that have been largely ignored by the medical community. He speaks a lot of Celiac disease, weight loss and diabetes, among other things. I've found information here that I've never heard of before, which in and out of itself is quite astounding (I belong to that nerdy group of people that read and listen to this for fun).
Sometimes I do find that I can only listen to the audio book for a short while, before wanting to shout "Yes, I get it, wheat is bad!" at the author, which is the only downside I've found so far. Well, I'd also like that he'd name what studies he's referencing when and from what year they are, so that I can look those up for myself, but that's a minor detail.
All that said though, this is a good book, well researched, well thought out, well read and fascinating - that's why it gets four stars from me.
Fascinating stuff. I found this book to be well narrated and the content to be highly interesting. I agree with other reviewers that the point does get laboured. However I did not find that this detracted from the subject. After listening to this I have moderated my consumption of wheat and have found that in doing so it has certainly stabilised my eating patterns. For me the key element was how wheat affects your blood sugar. Some of the suggestions are speculative, but if you’ve tried everything else then why not give it ago. A great book.
"Wheat Belly review"
This is a book that provides lots of answers for anyone that's questioned why they can't lose weight. It's not the calories that's the problem, it's the wheat and gluten. Since reading the book Ive stopped wheat and feel so much better in a week. It's a must read if you're seriously looking to change your look and your life forever
"Far too long"
This book should be cut down to about 1 to maybe 2 hours in length - This guy can really talk and goes into far more detail than he needs to
Only an abridged version.
Don't get me wrong the book is great, just far to long. So the performance could be far better if he went into less detail.
Yes - It's made me cut down on my wheat consumption, I no longer see bread as being healthy.
"It's already improved my life."
Yes, everything you need to know about today's wheat properties and it's affects on today's society.
How quickly people's health improves just by omitting wheat from their diet.
Clear, concise and easy to understand.
It changed the way I eat and so improved my life completely for the better.
I'm now wheat free and no longer have a 'Wheat Belly'.
"we all needed to know"
This is the scientifc based, best book ever about the truth about wheat, and the most simple solution to 90% most common health problems of our moder society.
As soon as i listened to this I bought the actual paper book. It require to be read carefully.
Got off wheat and lost the belly and have no arthritis any longer, nor i feel tired...
"It changed my life"
I came to this book more by accident than any concerns around wheat as I'd heard excluding wheat could help with fibromyalgia. To cut a long story short the book has transformed my eating habits, returned my digestion to normal, stopped those awful unpleasant accidents and has reinvigorated my energy levels. Thank god for books.
"No more 'healthy whole grains'"
Some parts of the book are very technical and the author might be exaggerating the consequences of wheat, however, it is informative and you will definitely cut down on your wheat intake after listening to it.
The author talks about how wheat is the cornerstone of diabetes, so diabetics should give this one a try.
"Take from it what you will but you will be amazed"
informative bias health
The pronunciation of food types and medical conditions that one might otherwise say wrong in their mind.
The emotional reaction to I had to this book was shock. From a scientific point of view I completely understand and can see how wheat has had these effects. The evidence presented in terms of patients he has cured is astounding (I do hope the claims are true and not absent of disclosing other implemented treatments).
I myself suffer from IBS and are well aware of the symptoms he has described. After reading this book I endeavoured to follow his program and see how the results panned out. The most difficult part I found was eliminating the wheat! It is so abundant and an additive to almost everything we eat. To remove it and live a normal live is near impossible. The effort, planning and organisation is like rearing a baby. Everything you do and everywhere you go needs to have forethought and you must take you sling bag fill of 'alternatives' as you would nappies for an infant. Then there is the problem of being a guest and turning down al the foods that have been graciously prepared for you.
I tried a wheat minimisation diet and that help things quiet a bit. My rule was - where I can control it - I will. It was enlighten and yes - I felt better.
Read this book to learn. Make your decisions based on your situation and lifestyle and try to adapt. You will most likely feel healthier and more lively as a result.
"This book changed my life and my waist line"
I had a suspicion that something wasn't right. I had an underlying stomach condition (hiatus hernia) that seemed to be getting worse, facing the possibility of an operation to solve the problem. Cutting out wheat has drastically changed how I feel, given me more energy and helped me lose weight.
This book is thorough in the 'why's' of wheat issues, full of testimonials and has some great practical advise.
Well worth reading the whole book!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.