The comments (112 in total, as of September 23, 2011) posted on SixServings.com, the blog for the Grain Foods Foundation, provide an incredible cross-section of opinions and experiences.
The Grain Foods Foundation is a trade and lobbying group for the wheat industry. These are the people who lobby Congress, the Senate, USDA, FDA, and influence public health policy, school lunch programs, and the like. This is the same organization whose board members, curiously, have deep and longstanding ties to the drug industry, particularly diabetes drug manufacturers.
Anyway, the comments make fascinating reading:
Eliminating wheat is “cutting out one specific food” only if you believe wheat is a food for humans. Evolutionarily speaking, this is not the case. Only birds evolved to eat grass seeds.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is written by a group beholden to industry lobbyists like the dairy and grain councils, so I don’t look to it as any reasonable source of guidance. I trust stringent, peer-reviewed scientific studies.
Meat and even almonds and apricots are better sources of iron. Fruits and vegetables are more nutritious sources of fiber (which isn’t really the necessity it’s made out to be). B vitamins can be had in meat, potatoes, bananas, and beans. Berries are a good source of antioxidants. None of these have phytates that reduce the absorption of said nutrients, nor the lectins and gluten that cause problems even for non-celiacs. Neither do most of these foods spike blood sugar in the same way as wheat, which is extremely easy to convert to sugar in the stomach (even whole wheat).
I hope everyone sees this site for what it is – a piece of propaganda to help grain producers make money.
Look at nutrient density tables. Wheat is only a good/cheap source of energy/calories, especially if your government subsidises its production. Maybe fibre too, depending on how heavily its processed. As to other nutrients, its a pretty poor source compared to vegetables and meat (incl poultry and fish).
This is without getting into more contentious issues such as whether wheat (and other grains) damage the gut of even non-coeliacs, causing leaky guy syndrome and possibly being involved in the pathogenesis of some autoimmune diseases….
Then there is the high glycaemic load wheat provides in the diet, with metabolic consequences.
Remember too that there is not unanimity amongst experts regarding official dietary guidelines: far from it. So, you can’t reasonably appeal to a consensus among experts.
But leave that aside, and also the damage it does to coeliacs (I was VERY ill for 10 years because of wheat), wheat is a pretty poor source of nutrients apart from calories.
After having totally removed all wheat products from my lifestyle, I am no longer a type II diabetic. I no longer rely on insulin boluses. I have lost 80 pounds. I no longer have man boobs. I have not been sick or had anything resembling a cold in over two years. My arthritic knees have gotten so much better that my doc says I probably will not need knee replacements. I no longer have lower back pain. I am back to playing tennis again. I used to be a competitive tennis player in my age bracket…but that all went away 10 years ago. But now I am back. I am 68 years old.
The only thing I have changed in my life is avoidance of wheat and wheat products.
Could you define a “fad” diet? For more than 99.5% of our history, we were eating a diet devoid of grains. By evolutionary standards, wouldn’t a diet rich in grain foods be considered a fad? How is the avoidance of grains a fad and how is it unrealistic? And to call it dangerous because is ridiculous considering a diet rich in animals and plants is more dense in the nutrients cited. Is eating only animals and plants a “fad”? The same logic can be applied to the “danger” in eliminating a multi-vitamin from the diet.
Consuming grain products is known to produce spikes in blood sugar. Eating grains consistently (six servings per day) makes that happen over and over again, which can give rise to insulin resistance, leading to a pre-diabetic condition, weight gain, and bad health.
Dave, RN said:
I eliminated wheat from my diet 5 years ago and replaced it with protein and fats and eliminated vegetable oils and stick with beef tallow, butter and coconut oil. I lost 30 lbs in 4 months and cured my growing blood sugar problem. I gained energy I hadn’t seen since my early 20′s. If wheat is so important, why, 6 years later am I trim, healthy and in the best shape of my life?
And really, referencing the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Because the government does so many other things right?
The good doctor is right. Modern wheat has no place in our diet.
I literally laughed out loud when I read this “article.” When selling an item it is assumed that you will want to squash any ideas that your product is dangerous; however, the fact that it IS dangerous is without question. Trying to hide behind the morons that make public food policy based on biased information, and a need to save face, isn’t exactly sound scientific logic. Wheat replaced with vegetables will INCREASE fiber intake, INCREASE vitamin intake, DECREASE insulin levels, and INCREASE health. I love bread, I really do, but I love my health and my body much more.
Besides, bare in mind that the wheat/grain free diet has been around for eons, wheat/grain diets are very new. To use your claims, the wheat full diet is a fad and must be avoided. I must state, once again, this “fad” you speak of is a straw man argument.
Anecdotal evidence: Grain free 2 years, down 50 pounds. Husband grain free 2 years, down 40 pounds. Grandmother grain free 1 year, down 40 pounds. Grandfather grain free 1 year, down 50 pounds. Kids grain free 2 years, leaner, stronger, less cranky, better learners, easier to calm down, more thoughtful when angry, less likely to be angry, less tired… Shall I go on? I can ALWAYS tell when they’ve had wheat (not just sugar, sugar affects them differently) as it makes monsters. It makes me an angry person. I can get down right mean when I eat wheat, yet when I’m off it I’m so much calmer and my emotions are more stable. I would get heartburn (3 tums a night) that is now gone, lethargy is gone, intestinal pain is HORRIBLE if I slip… I wouldn’t go back to the wheat diet if you paid me in gold.
And don’t get me started on the calories in/out thing. We are hormone based, and hormones are massively affected by wheat. We are not fires or furnaces, for all the alliterations to that affect.
So while we all appreciate that you are in business, we DON’T appreciate you trying to tell us that we are going to kill ourselves because you want us to buy bread. We KNOW the truth, and it is incredibly insulting to have you write that our lives are “unrealistic” and “dangerous”, because there are thousands of us that have seen nothing but benefits from losing the grains. You think differently, fine, but don’t you attack us and think we will all sit idly by.
Fool yourself but don’t expect the American citizens any longer to believe those propaganda. You can find everything from antioxidants, b vitamins, iron and fiber in a lot of other healthy foods.
Even more, anti-nutrients in wheat prevent us from absorbing those nutrients.
When farmers feed their chickens only wheat they suffer and eventually die from a lack of B vitamins. Quite the contrary to your propaganda that we need the b vitamins from wheat/cereals.
Wheat is superfluous. Go eat your wheat but don’t whine when you get ill.
Health isn’t just about weight control, cause there are skinny people who are very unhealthy and there are people who are naturally heavier who are very healthy. The calories in, calories out argument has been disproven because different kinds of foods might have the same amount of calories but have different effects on the body. Carbs such as wheat are much more likely to be stored as fat, whereas protein and dietary fat are more easily burned for fuel, especially the medium chain fatty acids found in foods like coconut oil, which bypass the liver and are burned immediately for fuel.
Furthermore, you can become resistant to insulin and leptin, which means no matter how many calories you eat, your cells aren’t able to process them and you need to eat more and more to get the same calories as a normal person gets from less food. What foods cause insulin and leptin resistance? Foods high in starches and sugars, especially when eaten as a large percentage of your total daily calories.
We all owe it to ourselves to look at the evidence with an open mind and ask, what is the sum of all this evidence telling me? If we do this collectively as a nation, we’ll realize that we’ve been tricked into believing a lot of false ideas and information. But now that the mask is pulled away, we can see the truth for what it is, and it’s not what we’ve been taught by the “experts.”
What objective measure would you like to point to? I’ll stack my blood work (any nutrient/cholesterol/CRP, you name it), resting pulse, blood pressure, EKG, you name it against yours any day of the week and twice on Sundays.
Wheat free, effortlessly, for one year and the only thing I’m missing is 65 pounds. At some point someone is going to lawyer up and wheat will be the new tobacco. In fact, I herewith trademark the phrase “wheat is the new tobacco” and look forward to joining the aggrieved class.
Gotta love those “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” because they’ve been working so well for us! How in the world did we ever get by before these guidelines were developed? Gold standard of what?! Disease, obesity, diabetes, dimentia, childhood behavioral problems, arthritis, fatigue, heart disease, huge bellies, miserable lives, and multi-billions of dollars spent on diets? Yeah, some gold standard you’re promoting there!
But you’re right, we need to let common sense prevail. We need to continue to spread the word and ignore the “authorities” and listen to those that are genuinely experts in the field of nutrition. Common sense will tell to you to eliminate any food that makes you sick and wheat is at the top of my list.
Since the end of June I’ve lost 22 lbs by eliminating most wheat products and increasing consumption of good fats that were demonized for so many years – coconut oil, eggs with the yolks and butter. I hadn’t really increased my exercise level until the past week or so. I had to leave out all wheat for the first few weeks and I’d estimate a weekly cheat serving of wheat after that with some weeks completely wheat free. I noticed that when I cheat I can feel it later that evening and the next day, increased gas (unpleasant) and indigestion.
I’ve never been diagnosed with Celiac’s and have been a wheat eater my whole life. I’d also gained more and more weight over the years and struggled even when very physically active. I’d gotten more joint pain and less stamina. I would try to lose and my addictive hunger would get out of control, I felt horrible that I didn’t have more willpower. Removing wheat also removed that lack of willpower, lessened that addictive cycle.
I am moving with less pain, my advil consumption has also drastically decreased over the summer. My head is clearer, fewer allergy symptoms, etc. I’m motivated to continue living mostly wheatfree and increasing my exercise level to optimize my health.
If you want to promote wheat because it tastes good (like cigarette and alcohol manufacturers do), fine. Stop pretending it’s a necessity or positive factor in good health.
I was diagnosed with clinical MS 3 years ago. I immediately gave up wheat and noticed an almost immediate improvemnet in my brain fog, lack of energy and various other symptoms. The few times I ate wheat (at the beginning) those symptoms immediately came back. I am not celiac according to tests, just gluten intolerant like a huge portion of the population. I do not take any MS drugs and have felt great and have had stable MRI’s since.
I was fooled by the get healthy by eating whole grains BS and have since suffered the consequences by triggering Celiac disease. I suffered for years with SEVERE gas, bloating and almost constant diarrhea from all those “healthy” whole grains. I was also low in vitamin D,B,and iron. I also have some thyroid issues due to wheat. Sure helped me lose weight though! You should start marketing wheat as a laxative! Because that’s pretty much what it’s good for, flushing down the toilet. The road to Hell is paved with gluten!
neeraj vij MD said:
I am a physician and fully support the concept of Wheat Belly, and have personal experience with giving up wheat as have some of my physician colleagues, with dramatic results including lowering blood sugars, general well being, decreased small LDL particle numbers, and losing the belly. I agree with Dr. Davis and others that the wheat/ grain industry and the Dietary Guideline/ food pyramids etc have strong business interests that are counter to the health of Americans.
A grain heavy diet has no place in human nutrition if grain are replaced with vegetables, fruit, meats, eggs, and nuts. Please enlighten yourself reading about Paleolthic diet. I understand that is counter to your business interests and probabely counter to your traditional education in nutriiton as well, but i am confident you will realize the fallacies of your stance. In fact I urge you to follow it yourself, in fact you might already but want to feed everyone else grains!!!
The data is being gathered at the grass roots level, and just as it took years to bring the tobacco industry to its knees, so will happen with the wheat/ grain industry but it will happen in the end.
And I posted another question:
I am curious why your Scientific Advisory Board is populated by experts with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
Specifically, I would like to know how deep the connection between the drug industry and wheat lobby go. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have led to the largest epidemic of diabetes and overweight the world has ever seen. I find it deeply bothersome that the inevitable beneficiary of this blunder is the pharmaceutical industry.