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Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by [William Davis]

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Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8,663 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Detailed and ultimately therapeutic, [Davis'] Wheat Belly might be our best bet yet for real belt-tightening."

-- "Barnes & Noble, editorial review"

Fascinating, compelling, and more than a little entertaining, Wheat Belly may be the most important health book of the year.

-- "Dana Carpender, author of 500 Low-Carb Recipes" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

PART ONE

WHEAT: THE UNHEALTHY WHOLE GRAIN

CHAPTER 1

WHAT BELLY?

The scientific physician welcomes the establishment of a standard loaf of bread made according to the best scientific evidence. . . . Such a product can be included in diets both for the sick and for the well with a clear understanding of the effect that it may have on digestion and growth.

Morris Fishbein, MD, editor,
Journal of the American Medical Association, 1932

IN CENTURIES PAST, a prominent belly was the domain of the privileged, a mark of wealth and success, a symbol of not having to clean your own stables or plow your own field. In this century, you don't have to plow your own field. Today, obesity has been democratized: Everybody can have a big belly. Your dad called his rudimentary mid-twentieth-century equivalent a beer belly. But what are soccer moms, kids, and half of your friends and neighbors who don't drink beer doing with a beer belly?

I call it wheat belly, though I could have just as easily called this condition pretzel brain or bagel bowel or biscuit face since there's not an organ system unaffected by wheat. But wheat's impact on the waistline is its most visible and defining characteristic, an outward expression of the grotesque distortions humans experience with consumption of this grain.

A wheat belly represents the accumulation of fat that results from years of consuming foods that trigger insulin, the hormone of fat storage. While some people store fat in their buttocks and thighs, most people collect ungainly fat around the middle. This "central" or "visceral" fat is unique: Unlike fat in other body areas, it provokes inflammatory phenomena, distorts insulin responses, and issues abnormal metabolic signals to the rest of the body. In the unwitting wheat-bellied male, visceral fat also produces estrogen, creating "man breasts."

The consequences of wheat consumption, however, are not just manifested on the body's surface; wheat can also reach deep down into virtually every organ of the body, from the intestines, liver, heart, and thyroid gland all the way up to the brain. In fact, there's hardly an organ that is not affected by wheat in some potentially damaging way.

PANTING AND SWEATING IN THE HEARTLAND

I practice preventive cardiology in Milwaukee. Like many other midwestern cities, Milwaukee is a good place to live and raise a family. City services work pretty well, the libraries are first-rate, my kids go to quality public schools, and the population is just large enough to enjoy big-city culture, such as an excellent symphony and art museum. The people living here are a fairly friendly bunch. But . . . they're fat.

I don't mean a little bit fat. I mean really, really fat. I mean panting- and-sweating-after-one-flight-of-stairs fat. I mean 240-pound 18-year-old women, SUVs tipped sharply to the driver's side, double-wide wheelchairs, hospital equipment unable to accommodate patients who tip the scales at 350 pounds or more. (Not only can't they fit into the CT scanner or other imaging device, you wouldn't be able to see anything even if they could. It's like trying to determine whether the image in the murky ocean water is a flounder or a shark.)

Once upon a time, an individual weighing 250 pounds or more was a rarity; today it's a common sight among the men and women walking the mall, as humdrum as selling jeans at the Gap. Retired people are overweight or obese, as are middle-aged adults, young adults, teenagers, even children. White-collar workers are fat, blue-collar workers are fat. The sedentary are fat and so are athletes. White people are fat, black people are fat, Hispanics are fat, Asians are fat. Carnivores are fat, vegetarians are fat. Americans are plagued by obesity on a scale never before seen in the human experience. No demographic has escaped the weight gain crisis.

Ask the USDA or the Surgeon General's office and they will tell you that Americans are fat because they drink too many soft drinks, eat too many potato chips, drink too much beer, and don't exercise enough. And those things may indeed be true. But that's hardly the whole story.

Many overweight people, in fact, are quite health conscious. Ask anyone tipping the scales over 250 pounds: What do you think happened to allow such incredible weight gain? You may be surprised at how many do not say "I drink Big Gulps, eat Pop Tarts, and watch TV all day." Most will say something like "I don't get it. I exercise five days a week. I've cut my fat and increased my healthy whole grains. Yet I can't seem to stop gaining weight!"

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

The national trend to reduce fat and cholesterol intake and increase carbohydrate calories has created a peculiar situation in which products made from wheat have not just increased their presence in our diets; they have come to dominate our diets. For most Americans, every single meal and snack contains foods made with wheat flour. It might be the main course, it might be the side dish, it might be the dessert--and it's probably all of them.

Wheat has become the national icon of health: "Eat more healthy whole grains," we're told, and the food industry happily jumped on board, creating "heart healthy" versions of all our favorite wheat products chock- full of whole grains.

The sad truth is that the proliferation of wheat products in the American diet parallels the expansion of our waists. Advice to cut fat and cholesterol intake and replace the calories with whole grains that was issued by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through its National Cholesterol Education Program in 1985 coincides precisely with the start of a sharp upward climb in body weight for men and women. Ironically, 1985 also marks the year when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began tracking body weight statistics, tidily documenting the explosion in obesity and diabetes that began that very year.

Of all the grains in the human diet, why only pick on wheat? Because wheat, by a considerable margin, is the dominant source of gluten protein in the human diet. Unless they're Euell Gibbons, most people don't eat much rye, barley, spelt, triticale, bulgur, kamut, or other less common gluten sources; wheat consumption overshadows consumption of other gluten- containing grains by more than a hundred to one. Wheat also has unique attributes those other grains do not, attributes that make it especially destructive to our health, which I will cover in later chapters. But I focus on wheat because, in the vast majority of American diets, gluten exposure can be used interchangeably with wheat exposure. For that reason, I often use wheat to signify all gluten-containing grains.

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.

NUTRI-GROAN

Like most children of my generation, born in the middle of the twentieth century and reared on Wonder Bread and Devil Dogs, I have a long and close personal relationship with wheat. My sisters and I were veritable connoisseurs of breakfast cereal, making our own individual blends of Trix, Lucky Charms, and Froot Loops and eagerly drinking the sweet, pastel-hued milk that remained at the bottom of the bowl. The Great American Processed Food Experience didn't end at breakfast, of course. For school lunch my mom usually packed peanut butter or bologna sandwiches, the prelude to cellophane-wrapped Ho Hos and Scooter Pies. Sometimes she would throw in a few Oreos or Vienna Fingers, too. For supper, we loved the TV dinners that came packaged in their own foil plates, allowing us to consume our battered chicken, corn muffin, and apple brown betty while watching Get Smart.

My first year of college, armed with an all-you-can-eat dining room ticket, I gorged on waffles and pancakes for breakfast, fettuccine Alfredo for lunch, pasta with Italian bread for dinner. Poppy seed muffin or angel food cake for dessert? You bet! Not only did I gain a hefty spare tire around the middle at age nineteen, I felt exhausted all the time. For the next twenty years, I battled this effect, drinking gallons of coffee, struggling to shake off the pervasive stupor that persisted no matter how many hours I slept each night.

Yet none of this really registered until I caught sight of a photo my wife snapped of me while on vacation with our kids, then ages ten, eight, and four, on Marco Island, Florida. It was 1999.

In the picture, I was fast asleep on the sand, my flabby abdomen splayed to either side, my second chin resting on my crossed flabby arms.

That's when it really hit me: I didn't just have a few extra pounds to lose, I had a good thirty pounds of accumulated weight around my middle. What must my patients be thinking when I counseled them on diet? I was no better than the doctors of the sixties puffing on Marlboros while advising their patients to live healthier lives.

Why did I have those extra pounds under my belt? After all, I jogged three to five miles every day, ate a sensible, balanced diet that didn't include excessive quantities of meats or fats, avoided junk foods and snacks, and instead concentrated on getting plenty of healthy whole grains. What was going on here?
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00571F26Y
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rodale Books; 1st edition (June 3, 2014)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ June 3, 2014
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4822 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 8,663 ratings

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Dr. Davis provides solutions to health problems by addressing the microbiome, massively disrupted in modern people. He shows readers in his Super Gut book, for instance, how to restore important lost microbes lost such as Lactobacillus reuteri, restored by using a unique method of yogurt fermentation that smooths skin and reduces wrinkles, restores youthful muscle and strength, deepens sleep, reduces appetite and provides many other youth-preserving and anti-aging effects. In Super Gut and in his website, www.DrDavisInfiniteHealth.com, he provides additional do-it-yourself-at-home strategies for benefits such as improved mood, improved athletic performance, better sleep, heightened immunity, and improved body composition.

Dr. William Davis is also responsible for exposing the incredible nutritional blunder made by "official" health agencies: Eat more "healthy whole grains." The wheat of today is different from the wheat of 1960, thanks to extensive genetics manipulations introduced to increase yield-per-acre. Eliminating wheat yields results beyond everyone's expectations: substantial weight loss, correction of cholesterol abnormalities, relief from inflammatory diseases like arthritis, better mood, reduced blood sugar with many type 2 diabetics being freed of insulin and other drugs, all articulated through his Wheat Belly series of books. He is also a champion of individual self-directed health, as discussed in his Undoctored book.

Dr. Davis lives what he preaches, not having indulged in a wheat-containing bagel, ciabatta, or pretzel in many years, while consuming various fermentation products that yield unexpected health benefits. Dr. Davis lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
8,663 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 2, 2011
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 5, 2015
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Top reviews from other countries

Maud E Mouse
1.0 out of 5 stars Cut out ALL carbs, not just wheat...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 30, 2019
49 people found this helpful
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B. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative and life changing book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 9, 2016
33 people found this helpful
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JessH
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book, absolutely brilliant.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on May 10, 2020
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Jack
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 3, 2018
20 people found this helpful
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Allbeter
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent explanation to the gluten topic
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 20, 2021
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