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5.0 out of 5 stars Big Bellied and OverFat? Read THIS--and avoid wheat/gluten! I've benefited greatly--and left Metabolic Syndrome behind..., August 31, 2011
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This review is from: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (Hardcover)
~~Definition of "wheat belly": the accumulation of fat that results from years of consuming foods that trigger insulin, the hormone of fat storage.~~~

After reading Dr. Davis' blog for most of this year, I couldn't wait to get his book. I NOOKed it last night. (I had already bought the Woman's World magazine with an article featuring it.) And I recommend trying WHEAT FREE eating to anyone with weight issues. Especially y'all with insulin-resistance/diabetes/allergies/autoimmune/bathroom issues. I really do.

In WHEAT BELLY, Dr. Davis , a cardiologist, asks you to look at family albums and look at granny and grandpa and see how many were obese. I didn't have to. I already had done this exercise when I was getting serious about losing weight. My immigrant father and siblings didn't suffer from obesity--but I'm way younger...the "change of life" baby who grew up in THIS country with this nation's sugary/wheaty foods. My mom only in later life when she got ill and less active, then she lost it again. I and subsequent generations of my family: rampant obesity. A gathering of family means you better have sturdy chairs and roomy doorways. We're a huge lot. What does your family look like, then and now? Got a "wheat belly"?

I remember being young and going places and rarely seeing morbidly obese or really obese folks. In school, the heavy kid was the rarity--yeah, often picked on because "different". Lots of fat teens now, right? Obesity is common now, right? And I was one of the big folks at 300 lbs. Not obese anymore. Just overweight--and working on it still.

I've lost 117 pounds. I began last year by moderating carbs--which included giving up almost all bread products and decreasing pasta use-- and this year moved into ditching all grains other than rice (after reading some Paleo/Primal works, some low carb authors, and the Jaminets' Perfect Health diet). I don't do any diet perfectly, but this year, eliminating wheat/gluten has been a great,great help. I noticed a difference in energy level.

My asthma and allergies began to improve (and they are so bad, I've had steroid treatments since I was a child and have never been OFF drugs for them, EVER, and I'm middle-aged). My eczema improved and I can wear much lighter makeup (less camouflage needed). My weight came off easier, without wild appetite or undue hunger. I felt..food calm. This was a novel feeling after 2+ decades of overeating/binge-eating obesity. My HDL skyrocketed. My triglycerides fell to the floor. My mood is great (and I have a lifelong history of depression). Reflux is gone. Acne is almost completely clear.

It sounds nuts. Too good to be true.

Whatever. Try before you deny. :D

As someone who grew a huge "wheat belly" and tried all sorts of diet plans without success, success meaning feeling great and getting out of obesity--I tried raw vegan and ovo-lacto-vegetarian and packaged-low-carb and delivery low-fat meals and WW and Nutrisystem, south Beach, etc. It was when I ditched the grains (except rice)that something happened. I felt food zen. When the wheat was gone, gone, that's when I benefited most and felt really reborn. My hubby, who is doing no wheat/gluten too, just can't keep weight on; seriously, since he ditched wheat/gluten he has to eat 6 times a day or gets UNDERWEIGHT, and he had weeks of losing 5 or more pounds while eating a lot of steak, chicken, pork, fruit, vegetables, dark chocolate. I finally had to add potatoes and rice in larger portions and Larabars to get him to NOT turn into a skeleton--I tell you that if you have weight problems and bad cholesterol numbers (especially HDL and triglycerides and the small-density LDL), please try Dr. Davis' plan. It might save your heart/pancreas/liver/joints/intestines..life.

So, what's in the book?

He tells us--in layperson accessible language, from the perspective of someone who grew his own "wheat belly" and ruined his lipid profile and raised his blood sugar to dangerous highs-- about one of the most common foods we (you) eat. In bread, wraps, pasta, processed snacks, breakfast cereals, soups, it's EVERYWHERE. "Modern wheat is no more real wheat than a chimpanzee is an approximation of a human," he says. "I will make the case that the world's most popular grain is also the world's most destructive dietary ingredient." He speaks of its perilous glycemic index and its addictive properties.

He goes into the history of wheat and how in the last 50 years, it's been modified to become a dangerous food. "Small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between devastating immune response to wheat protein versus no immune response at all." You'll learn about original wheats, their natural changes/evolution, then our manipulations. Our aims may have been "admirable" --increase yields, end hunger--but good intentions can end up with some unexpectedly bad results.

Dr. Davis experimented ON HIMSELF with the ancient train of wheat (einkorn) and modern wheat. He noted a big difference in glucose meter results and physical symptoms. Old wheat ain't new wheat. We messed up a "good" grain.

He explains why, whether WHOLE or REFINED, this "supercarbohydrate" is not good for you. Period. And especially if you don't want your appetite stimulated .

He discusses the addictive effect of wheat. Studies on schizophrenics/autistic and wheat. Intestinal permeability trigged by wheat (if you have autoimmune issues, be informed about this).

Read about the night-eater patient whose appetite normalized and weight dropped without wheat. (I found this to be true here in my home. I was a night binge-er. No more.)

He discusses celiac disease and how it affects more people now (int he era of dwarf wheat) than in mid 20th century (sans dwarf wheat). And he covers why gluten-free substitute foods are not a good idea for the overweight/obese. Don't miss the case study of "Wendy"--who almost got her innards cut out. Fascinating stuff in that one. Every part of the body MAY be affected by gluten. It's also in products you may not realize: lipstick, toothpaste, gum, etc.

He has a chapter on insulin resistance/diabetes. We've got an epidemic of that, making this highly pertinent info. He dicusses lowering carbohydrates in the diet, and its quickly-evident benefits for the I.R./Diabetic.

He looks at the pH disruption brought on by wheat; on its effect on joints. "Jason's" story, in particular, stood out for me. He also covers the aging process: yep, wheat ages you faster!

He also covers wheat and heart disease and other diseases (including hair loss).

Dr. Davis offers a "how to eat" section, of course. "There is no rehabilitation, only elimination." As I learned from the Paleo/Primal crowd, you can eliminate wheat/gluten/grains, fill that void with great, real, healthful foods, and not suffer any downside. You don't need grains: period. You don't need wheat. You want it, maybe addicted to it, but don't NEED it. And I will bear out that fasting is easier sans wheat in the diet. I had a hard time in the past doing it--the wild cravings. I routinely intermittently fast these days. :D

Dr. Davis tried his diet on his patients, with remarkable results where conditions of assorted types resolved or improved within 3 months. Reintroduce wheat--symptoms begin to return. (I found out the hard way I'm one of those. My right hand joints are the first to swell after ingesting some wheat flour.)

I'll leave it to the pros-- doctors and researchers and scientist--to look at his case and see if it holds. It makes sense to me.

Read the book and decide yourself. Or just TRY THE DANG wheat-free eating and see how your body responds. It's not an onerous way to eat. To me, that's the best test of all--give it a trial. Then see: Do you lose weight? Do you feel less hungry, with a manageable appetite? Can you eat MORE healthful foods and feel totally satisfied and NOT get fat? Does your energy go up? Do your "wheat belly"-related conditions improve or resolve? Does skin look better and your waist get smaller? Is your mood lighter? How's the mental clarity?

My high blood pressure and prediabetes are resolved. Obesity gone. I can touch my head to my knees again. This year. Sans wheat/gluten. Hubby a desk-sitting software architect, fits into his college clothes--from back when he was an 18 year-old athletic dude. He no longer falls asleep on the couch after coming home from work. He's got his vim and vigor back! For that matter, I don't fall asleep on the couch anymore--and that was a common occurrence. Post-meal sleepies. No more o' dat!

What would an anti-wheat-belly diet be? This: Eliminate wheat--radically and completely-- lower carbohydrates, increase real food(not processed junk foods), meaning eat freely from vegetables, eat some fruit, use healthful oils without fear, eat raw nuts and seeds without guilt, eat eggs and meat without shame, but cook them in lower heats/shorter time, enjoy cheese. Of course, he gives a lot of other and deeper pointers, but that's the gist. (And it reminds me to wean off the date-dried-fruit based energy bars I've let slide into my diet. Tasty, but do I need the glucose-rise/AGEs?)

It works. Try it. Give it a month or two. Assess.

And be well...
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Tracked by 6 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 2, 2011 3:53:02 PM PDT
Phyllis Long says:
Wish you would blog your progress with more info and pictures. You write well, and I think people would be encouraged and enlightened by you.
Let me know if you have a blog or start one!
BTW, also GREAT reading: Sugar Nation and Why We Get Fat and What to do about it.
I haven't read Wheat Belly yet, but will very soon.
This stuff is good solid info, folks!

Posted on Sep 12, 2011 7:43:31 PM PDT
Songbird says:
Do you know of a book that really spells out all the food that is forbidden? I would like to try this and would love to have something that could tell me what brands are ok and which ones to avoid. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:35:55 PM PDT
Mir says:
Thanks for the recommendation (book).
I blog at http://happyweightafter.blogspot.com and one of my tabs (under the blog header) has my progress pics from 299 lbs down to current weight. I still need to lose 23 more...and am working on it. Interestingly, I had my first eating a poor meal in a long time last night--chinese place, and the gluten in the soy musta got to me, maybe MSG, too--and today I'm itchy and congested with a swollen eye and a bit of rashing. My energy dived. Huh. Interesting, yes?

Thanks again...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:39:36 PM PDT
Mir says:
No. But I figure that any book on Gluten Free living should be fine (read reviews). I'd first do a search. There are gluten-free or celiac-disease forums that offer product recommendations/food lists. Just Google it up. Although Dr. Davis would warn about using Frankenfoods that are gluten-free (ie, really weird breads and stuff with other problematic ingredients or that give a big glucose rise post-eating). Because of greater awareness of sensitivity to gluten, you'll find many gluten-free labelled products (always read ingredients list), such as Pamela's here on amazon. (Well, amazon.com has a gluten-free search, too, in it's grocery dept.) It's less about brands and more about being cautious with ingredients. I give my hubby for snacks LaraBars and some Kind bars (which aren't great for my diet, but he has a harder time keeping weight on) as those are easy to find (in supermarkets/on amazon) and gluten-free. FOOD FOR LIFE has a brown rice gluten free tortilla and gluten-free corn tortillas. These wouldn't be good for Paleo folks, but just for gluten-avoiders, would be fine. Hope that helps...

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2011 4:42:53 PM PDT
Mir says:
Oh, and if you like oats and aren't overweight or have sugar issues (oats make blood glucose skyrocket in many/most folks), Bob's Red Mill has gluten-free oats (many oats are cross-contaminated) and gluten-free baking mixes, etc. And for soy sauce, I use raw coconut aminos. I know others use Bragg's aminos. I was careless last night and had soy at a restaurant...and I'm guessing that was mostly to blame for feeling crappy today.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 10:02:58 AM PDT
On soy, you might want to try Shoyu instead of soy sauce. It is fermented and wheat free.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 9:40:48 PM PDT
Mir says:
I use raw coconut aminos when I get that sushi or stir fry craving. :D Tastes fine! But thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 29, 2011 6:16:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 29, 2011 6:18:41 PM PDT
Read-a-Holic says:
Hi Songbird!

I've been researching diet ever since finishing Gary Taubes' "Good Calories, Bad Calories" in March 2010. Here are the before and after results (I'm in my mid-50s, female):

Jan2010 labs (pre-low carb high fat - WEIGHT 168) - IN SHORT, ME AS A SUGAR-BINGING IGNORANT CARBOHOLIC-BINGER SINCE BIRTH:
HDL=52; LDL=156; TRI=105

March2010 READ Taubes' "GCBC" COVER TO COVER, HUBBY & I WENT FROM S.A.D. TO LCHF WITH A VENGEANCE

Sept2010 labs (post-low carb high fat - WEIGHT 152)
HDL=65; LDL=159; TRI=54; (didn't test for VLDL but Apo B was 98 with reference range <109)

July2011 labs (post-low carb high fat - WEIGHT 150)
HDL=67; LDL=158; TRI=48

Look at the HDL! They say it's the most important factor for women over 50 and needs to be 65 or over.

Did no exercise to lose this weight; also hubbie went from 200 to 175 in 4 mos. without exercise (not that we're bragging about the no exercise!). But it confirms what Taubes indicates in his book, a book which is the result of 5 years of researching the diet research and by the way a book that reads like a mystery story, tells all the gov't politics in the 1970s that ended up erroneously condemning FAT instead of SUGAR: exercise BELIEVE IT OR NOT, has nothing to do with losing weight; instead it makes you work up an appetite then homeostasis kicks in - weight loss is all enzymatic and hormonal (hormonal meaning insulin).

There are arguments between members of the Atkins / Paleo (Mark Sisson, Rob Wolfe) / WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) world, but this is what they agree on (WAPF is OK with SPROUTED wheat, but I'd give it up!):

(1) GOOD FOR YOU: Saturated fat is NOT dangerous in any way, it's good for you (GOOD fats include non-hydrogenated lard from pastured pigs (available from prairiepridepork [dot] com, DON'T get the hyrogenated stuff from the store), coconut oil is good for higher heat cooking (expeller-pressed has no coconut flavor), as well as butter, beef fat, palm oil, duck fat, heavy cream - all natural good fats.

(2) REALLY BAD FOR YOU: Salad dressing from the store (hydrogenated oil again); BAD FOR YOU: industrialized seed oils which are unnatural and hydrogenated: corn oil, the "sainted" canola oil, vegetable oil, ALL are bad! Read Mary Enig, Ph.D. who spearheaded getting trans fats banished ("Eat Fat, Lose Fat"); google Michael Eades, M.D.'s blogpost "Saturated Fat and Heart Disease: Studies Old and New"

(2) REALLY BAD FOR YOU: Sugar (incl. HFCS which is the same as sugar but instead of sugar's 50-percent fructose, 50-percent glucose, HFCS is 45 glucose and 55 fructose, but acts in the body exactly like sugar) is OUT

(3) GOOD FOR YOU: Dark chocolate 70% and higher (I never eat less than 85% -- in I would assume moderate doses -- I eat a couple squares of it a day)

(4) BAD FOR YOU: Carbs that raise insulin (wheat, bananas, oranges, potatos - tho paleos consume sweet potatoes == BAD: chips, crackers (wheat again)

(5) GOOD CARBS: Berries, hi-fat nuts esp. almonds and macadamia, green veggies and salads

(6) LOW-CARB HIGH FAT COMMUNITY IS DIVIDED ON DAIRY (you decide).

(7) IF YOU EAT DAIRY: High fat (cream and heavy cream, NOT anything lower in fat 'cause they're high in carbs & sugar). Anything but full-fat Greek yogurt TO BE AVOIDED -- really high in carbs & sugar

(8) VERY GOOD: Eggs, as many as you like (I have 3 a day), sausage and hi-fat meat is GOOD FOR YOU and you'll lose weight and your cholesterol profile will hugely improve. I have sausage & eggs every morning. CHEESE IS GOOD.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2012 12:00:07 PM PST
Thanks, Read-a-Holic, for your informative post, where you do a lot of digging to give us the highlights. Your # 2 caused me to do some searching to ascertain what salad dressing is recommended. Do you make your own?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 12, 2012 7:53:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 12, 2012 7:58:56 PM PST
Read-a-Holic says:
Hi TC! I use balsamic vinegar myself, with some olive oil sometimes, but lately I've been just using b.v. plain on salad, w/o any oil. I'm a vinegar fan big time. I'd like to stress that coconut oil (saturated; it's solid below 76 or some such) is great for you but can't really be used as a salad dressing I don't think! But it's what I cook my scrambled eggs in. Comes in a glass jar and isn't cheap (expeller pressed coconut oil has, as I've mentioned above, no coconut taste; has no taste period, perfect for frying); when it's cold (solid) I pry pieces out with a fork. Problem with hydrogenated oils if I understand this rightly is that the mechanized hydrogenation process (which can only be done due to machines; we could never NATURALLY access liquid oil from rapeseed (i.e. canola oil) or corn), much less hydrogenate it!!!) causes the molecules to be evenly-sized and the body WILL absorb them, but they stack up solidly on each other and help harden arteries; tho it's certainly INSULIN which is at least as bad: read p. 193 of Taubes "Good Calories, Bad Calories" about what high-carb living and the insulin it makes the body chronically produce DOES to collagen! Produces AGEs - advanced glycation end-products which accumulate in the skin; this "causes the loss of elasticity in the skin with age, as well as in joints, arteries, and the heart and lungs"... "you end up with stiff tissue: stiffness of hearts, lungs, lenses (eye), joints... That's all caused by sugars reacting with proteins."

You should also google William E. M. Lands, PhD's paper on Omega 6s vs. Omega 3s "FUNCTIONAL FOODS IN PRIMARY PREVENTION OR NUTRACEUTICALS IN SECONDARY PREVENTION?" He's one of the "plain spoken." I never understood how crucial the O-6 vs. O-3 issue is. We should eat equal amounts of them, but we eat WAAAAY more O-6 than O-3 in our culture. Hint: forget the pnut butter and start eating wild-caught salmon (Walmart sells GREAT salmon frozen!), or other fresh water finned fish.

Another interesting topic is "The Devil in the Milk" - Type 1 v. Type 2 cattle. Type into google "the bovine the devil in the milk" and read Dr. Cowan's article. By the way, Jordan Rubin has an 8000-acre farm on which he raises (pasture fed entirely) the RIGHT kind of cattle, and he sells Amasai and great cheese (and hot dogs!) from these grass-fed cattle. Check out his Beyond Organic - if you order anything reference my enroller code 37844 and you'll be my first! :-) IMHO anything but his plain Amasai has too much sugar (a cup of the plain has just 7 gms). How I prepare my Amasai: spin it in the blender with a Tblsp of straight cinnamon, some Truvia as sweetener, and warm it up in the microwave - mmmm, talk about a comfort drink! What's great about Amasai is the probiotics. 30 of them. Jordan Rubin cured himself of Crohn's and wrote "The Maker's Diet" -- that and a lot of other books made him rich enough to buy these 8,000 acres! And help us all!

I'd like to give you an idea of a LCHF comfort "cereal substitute" I sometimes eat for breakfast, along with my eggs and sausage: I steam a ton of baby spinach leaves (a huge pile shrinks right down) and douse it with butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper, fresh grated nutmeg (crucial!) and vinegar (1 Tbsp). MMMMMMMmmmmmm! It's something my Mom used to make. Perfect for low carb. It's really equally good as hot cereal! Puts a smile on my face!
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Mir
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Location: North Miami Beach, FL USA

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