Wheat: Up close and personal








Come on! Wheat can’t be that bad! “If it’s so bad, how come my Mom lived until she was 85 in perfect health and my grandparents likewise?”

Okay, Wheat Belly Busters–those of you who have read the book and know what I’m talking about: IT AIN’T WHEAT. What we are being sold today is so far removed from the wheat of even 50 years ago that I challenge that it should even be called “wheat” any longer.

To illustrate just how far this thing has come, let’s pretend you and I are evil scientists. (Sorry, but this is kind of gross; read on at your own risk.) We want to see what happens when we mate a human subject with an orangutan. What offspring results? I’m not sure, since an infinite variety of variations are possible, but let’s call our experimental creature Homo orangatanus. Next, we cross this creature with other similar creatures over several generations. We then expose the embryos while in utero to gamma irradiation, high-dose x-ray, and mutation-inducing chemicals (“chemical mutagenesis”) to generate various mutations, such as short stature, less body hair, more aggressive behavior, more rapid growth, etc.

After several decades of such activities, what do we have? I’m not sure, but it certainly is no longer human, it’s no longer orangutan, even far removed from Homo orangatanus. It is something entirely different, unlike anything that occurs naturally. It may not even be able to survive without all manner of artificial methods to sustain its life.

This is what happened with wheat: Repeated selective hybridizations, backcrosses, and induced mutations. The result: What I call a Frankengrain, the result of extensive genetic changes, unable to survive without artificial chemical support, genetically stitched together with parts from various sources, like the hideous creature created using the pieces from cadavers and charnel houses by Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

Except this Frankengrain isn’t terrifying the countryside–we willingly invite it onto our dinner tables, package it in clever eye-catching ways, and feed it to our children.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Pattye

    Awesome analogy, I will bet that No One (very few) people out there know about this stuff. This is what has to be broadcasted to as many people as possible. My fear though, are most people still conditioned to rely on and believe in “authorities” to even conceive that they are being lied to? I luckily have always bucked authority until I could prove something to myself, but I feel like an alien as none of my friends or family is like that. Until I found blogs like this and a few others, and wow, I feel so much more connected. There are others out there using their own heads.

    Thank you again for putting all of this current research in one place for us all. I think this book is going to be BIG in how it rocks the world.

    • Linda

      “I luckily have always bucked authority until I could prove something to myself, but I feel like an alien as none of my friends or family is like that.”

      I can definitely relate to this feeling. Everytime I mention to either friends, family, neighbors or just someone standing in line at the grocery store, that I do not eat either sugar or wheat products of any kind because of the negative health aspects, I get this eye-rolling type look or the, “There she goes again with her crazy health nut ideas” expression.
      People, for the most part, just can’t imagine life without either one. I do not watch Dr. Oz and have no plans to do so. Have you seen his list of 100 foods to put into your grocery cart! Sugar and flour, and plenty of it! This is what we are up against!

      • Jerry

        Dr. Davis, I have been searching for a definitive grocery shopping list, would you happen to be able to put a list on here to make it easy for me to find everything I need to get started? I bought your e-book and can’t wait to get started on my new journey to feeling better and losing weight in a much healthier way!

      • Marcus

        I’m glad someone else has doubts about Dr Oz.
        He keeps contradicting himself from show to show.
        Eat whole grains, eat brown rice but then next show: don’t eat it because it has arsenic.
        then he says to eat it again.
        Then he asks guest: can I have that with Vodka?
        He has lost his credibility with me.

    • PJ

      Yup, me too! The neighbors are starting to duck back into their homes when they see me coming. (And they’re the ones who are seriously morbidly obese!) My son rolls his eyes and says “Here we go again.” My co-workers think I’m off my nut and will die from eating fat. (They understand “wheat sensitivity” and not eating sugar, but think fat is dangerous.) The gentleman I rent a room to just laughs and shrugs when I call him “dead man walking”. Though I’ve tried to talk to him about Wheat Belly, and he did enjoy watching Fat Head, he is just not interested in getting rid of his belly and health problems. I guess it’s just easier to take his prescription meds, sleep with a c-pap and visit his doctor frequently than to give up all the fast food, bread, pasta and soda he consumes. How and why he classifies himself as a healthy person is beyond me. I’ve given up and don’t say anything anymore. It is what it is.

      I think this may be the problem so many people have. They think if they are able to get up and get to work every day, they must be healthy. If they’re not in a wheelchair yet, they must be healthy. If they haven’t been told they only have a short time to live, they must be healthy. It’s just easier to take the drugs from their doctor and eat what conventional wisdom dictates than to take responsibility for their own health. Sheeple.

      My sister is the only person in my life who “gets it” and we can talk about LCHF and how we’re feeling for hours. We share all the information we’ve come across and what we can incorporate into our lives. I don’t know what I’d do if I was completely alone on this. I admire you Pattye and how you’re making your stand. Doing the right thing can be lonely until others finally catch up. And you can’t help anyone that doesn’t want to be helped, no matter how much you love them. I know.

      • PJ, Linda and Pattye, I am in the same boat with all of you. But like PJ, I do have close family members (husband and 15-year old daughter) that get it and even follow my dietary advice. My daughter has no choice as she has bouts of hypoglycemia when she eats grains, sugar and any other high GI/GL foods. My husband is still struggling with his wheat addiction, but tries his best to keep it out of his diet as much as possible. My 20-year old son is the only one that won’t adhere to my advice, and he has some symptoms that tells me it is affecting his health in a negative way. He has had a red scaly rash all over his scalp for several years now, and from reading the testimonials of people with skin conditions healing after they had dumped grains, especially wheat, from their diets, I know it’s the wheat causing his. He believes he is invincible. I can’t make him change, but I will continue to share with him what I learn about eating healthfully.
        I have read in Dr. Davis’ new book about all the skin conditions that can be caused by wheat/grain consumption. It makes total sense.
        It’s comforting to know there are a lot more people out there who are in the same boat with us.
        Eat to live and live to feed our minds with the truth in all things!

        • Patty

          I am thrilled to see these responses. Yes, I am alone, not only in my life but in my ways of thinking now regarding healthy eating and the bucking of conventionally pushed dogma. My sister is vaguely interested in eating low carb to lose weight but picks and chooses what parts she follows. She even recently dropped her health insurance because she couldn’t afford it, but started back smoking cigarettes and has a few rum and cokes a day because her life is so stressful (??) So, I stay to myself but I truly want to shout this stuff from the roof tops. Changing the status quo is a very lonely place most times. But I am determined to get healthy for myself for how ever long I have left.

          • Hi, Patty–

            You are anything but alone!

            Witness the incredible EXPLOSION of this wheat-denying community within, literally, days! Going wheat-free is to reclaim control over appetite, weight, and multiple facets of health. Your voice will be heard. Make no mistake about it.

        • PJ

          My son, too. I tell him that his invincibility will be the death of him. My husband thought he was invincible . . . until he died of heart disease last year at the age of 56. Since then I have become absolutely militant about carbs and appropriate diet. I’ll shout it from the rooftops if I have to. Nobody should have to experience what our families have had to live through because of the stupid dietary advice that has been shoved down our throats in recent years.

          • Hi, PJ–

            I’m sorry that it took the loss of someone close to you to spark this crusade.

            However, the issues are very BIG. We have a status quo that is, quite literally, killing people . . . and there are groups and organizations with enough foresight to have positioned themselves to receive the profits . . . such as the diabetes drug industry.

            You and I do not have the resources of Big Pharma or of Big Food or Big Agribusiness. We have the voice of reason and loud voices on our side. We educate and inform, so that people don’t have children becoming diabetic at age 14, losing limbs at age 36, dying of heart attacks at age 56.

        • Ah, yes, Eva: Truth, a rare commodity, indeed!

          You will prevail. You and I can only inform and set the example. Others will follow as they see the example we set, wondering why we are thinner and healthier, all the while rejecting the conventional notion of eating more “healthy whole grains.”

      • Sad, but true, PJ.

        Stay the course. Your example can’t help but be noticed by others. While you are slender and healthy, others overweight with multiple health struggles, they will eventually start to ask, “So what is it that PJ has been saying?”

        Patience. It will come.

  2. anthony

    and what pisses me off is that my freakin’ health insurance rates are off the cotton picking’ wall because the morbidly obese, and even the obese and the just plain fat, with theif multiple diseases, continue to make such inordinate demands on the medical system!! Frosts my ass!! I’m considered a cold-hearted person because, when asked should these “unfortunates,” i.e., the “wheat bellied”, should be denied medical care if they reach a certain disease threshold and I said “They won’t have to be denied it; that will happen quite naturally, w/o the need for external intervention: it’s called “early death.” God said, it’s reputed, that one makes one’s choices and one takes one’s consequences.

    • Those problems stem from government regulation, not from “fat people”. But, yes, it’s not fair that healthy people should have to pay for a health insurance scam any more than hardworking people should have to pay for other people not to work, or people who save for retirement should have to fund people who don’t.

    • PJ

      I feel your anger and totally understand where it’s coming from. We need to educate the public and wait for the authorities to catch up with us. I think so many people have just given up and do what “feels good” and then get caught in that vicious cycle of carbage in/carbage out.

      Personally, I think if it is truly important to someone to improve their health and weight, they’ll find the way. After all, isn’t that how WE got here? I tried to teach my sons that there in only one thing in life that you truly have control of . . . your behavior . . . and you will have to accept the consequences of your behavior.

    • Hi, Anthony–

      I hear you.

      All the more reason to shout this message, since legions will lose countless tons of weight, require less diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol drugs, and feel happier and healthier. Then . . . your insurance premiums plummet.

  3. Im floatin in the same boat with all of you. Trying to get family and friends to see the light is not small task. Ive been doing this alone now for 2weeks, which I know is not at all long, but doing this alone makes it harder. And Im not losing as fast as most of you. Very depressing!

    • anthony

      Have heart, J. Be on the lookout for hidden forms of wheat and grain-based additives in each of the foods you eat. It’ll take some time perhaps for you; but you’ll get there. FWIW, if it’s possible given your lifestyle to take a walk 20-30′ after you’ve eaten, that may help. But, if not, just keep on, keeping’ on :)

      • Thanks Anthony for your encourgament. I check everything I eat now, and I dont eat out. My problem I believe is Im very carb sensitive. Even though I have eliminated the wheat, Im still getting carbs in yogurt and such. Im still getting cravings for the chocolate, but Im trying to stand my ground. Im about 20lbs overweight and I am determined Im NOT going up anymore!!! I am an active person though, and Im not one to sit. Patience I guess is needed here.

        • J, if you’re craving chocolate, I have a suggestion for you.

          1. Get some unsweetened coconut milk drink. The brand I buy is called SO Delicious, is 50 calories a serving, 50 of which are from saturated fat. (It’s also vitamin-fortified.)

          2. Get some Dagoba unsweetened drinking chocolate.

          3. Get some Truvia or other benevolent non-nutritive sweetener.

          Heat the coconut milk in a pan until vapors begin to rise. (Unlike regular milk, the coconut milk won’t go all nasty if you accidentally boil it, but it might boil over and make a huge mess.)

          Whisk in the drinking chocolate powder and Truvia.


          It really helps take off that chocolate/sweets craving, and it’s actually pretty good for you.

          • Also, full-fat yogurts are *really* low in carbs (as long as you don’t get the sweetened type). The culture bacteria eats almost all of the carbs and sugars out of this type of yogurt, which it doesn’t do with lowfat/nonfat from what I’ve read because it isn’t made the same way. If you can’t stand to eat it plain–and a lot of people don’t have a taste for plain yogurt–you can mix in some truvia and some almonds or other nuts or berries.

            The brand of yogurt I buy (available at Kroger here) is called Greek Gods. They have two flavors–plain, and Honey. The Honey has 15 grams of carbs per serving, so sometimes I’ll get both and mix them half and half. It’s not super-low-carb, but it tastes good.

            But don’t get yogurt that says lowfat or nonfat, that stuff is junk not worth eating.

          • Patty

            I love greek full fat yogurt for breakfast with a handful of walnuts and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Yum. I am one of the rare people who I know who loves unsweetened full fat yogurt, I used to make my own.

        • PJ

          I had to eliminate everything that listed any carbs/sugar on the label. Yeah, really carb sensitive. Things like salads and green beans will send my BS over 100. Don’t miss them, tho.

      • PJ

        Agreed. I started losing weight very rapidly when I upped my intake of fats after giving up grains. Coconut oil, butter, animal fat on everything.

  4. Lucy Whaley

    I have read Wheat Belly and it makes sense to me. I am on the 8th day of no wheat. I am a healthy female 57 years old. My blood work is always perfect. I am not overweight but would like to lose 5 pounds. I have a little belly like most women my age and it has become bigger over the last few years along with menopause. Since giving up the wheat I have lost no weight, and still have the little belly. What would someone say to me to show me the benefit of sticking with this? . I am not giving up but if another week goes by with no noticeable change- would someone convince me that I should keep with the program.

    • I wouldn’t try to convince you to stick with it if you’re truly noticing no health benefits–you may be one of the few people who are highly tolerant of sugar and wheat. However, if you DO start to experience problems, you’d probably be better off cutting out the wheat and sugar THEN, instead of going on insulin or taking statins or other things. Heart disease and sclerosis can sneak up on you even if your bloodwork is “perfect” though, so it may be a good idea to just keep in mind that wheat is no health food.

        • Lucy Whaley

          I just ate rice pasta noodles and spaghetti sause for dinner. Did that spike my blood sugar just as bad as wheat noodles?

          • PJ

            The only way you’d know is if you actually tested your blood sugar before and after. My bet would be that it did spike your BS. How much? Only you would be able to find out.

          • Patty

            I think Dr. Davis points out in the book that rice flour spikes insulin almost as badly as wheat flour, even though it is gluten free.

          • Yes, it likely did, Lucy. But it likely did not trigger increased appetite, immune system activation, or allow unwanted foreign proteins access across intestinal barriers.

            Have you tried shirataki noodles? Every bit as good in taste, but with none of the carbohydrate aftermath of rice noodles.

        • Ah, thank you, Jennifer. This is a crucial, but miserably underappreciated, facet of cancer causation.

          Going wheat-free is NOT just about getting skinny and losing the belly. It is about reclaiming health, including a winding-down of cancer risk.

  5. @Lucy Whaley: EIGHT days? 8 whole days? You are who and what you are as a result of ****57 YEARS!!!***** of existence on this planet and you’re ready to bag the whole wheat thing cause you haven’t seen any results after EIGHT!!! whole days?? How long were you married, eight minutes?? How did you manage to sit still long enough to read this entire article, comments and then post your own comment without losing interest and quitting?

    Sorry to be so sarcastic but let’s get real here. At a nominal and average weight loss of a pound or a pound and a half a week it’ll take 3 to 5 WEEKS to lose that 5 pounds of belly fat you have your eye on. And you might never see the fat loss, it may come off of the visceral fat stores around your internal organs. Even the Wikipedia page on the human starvation response says that even in an extreme case of starvation your body will NOT burn or digest every ounce of stored body fat, humans can die with some stored body fat remaining, here’s the direct quote: “Thus, after periods of starvation, the loss of body protein affects the function of important organs, and death results, even if there are still fat reserves left unused. (In a leaner person, the fat reserves are depleted earlier, the protein depletion occurs sooner, and therefore death occurs sooner.)”

    The point is that below a certain body fat percentage the body is highlly resisttant to continued fat loss and will always hold a certain amount of fat in reserve, WHERE on the body it holds it will vary in each person. There are MANY health benefits to cutting wheat from your diet that go WAY above and beyond mere fat loss, WHETHER YOU SEE THEM OR NOT!! Prevention of cataracts as a result of the glycation effects of a high wheat diet is just one, not to mention normalization of blood pressure, blood sugar levels, reduced pancreatic stress, and on and on as Dr. Davis details in his book AND in his 2 blogs.

    I AM specifically trying to encourage you to stick with the wheat elimination diet well beyond the 8 days you’ve been on it, and not just for the fat loss, but ALL the other benefits as well. If you’re not sure there even are any other benefits beyond just fat loss, if you don’t think there are then you just haven’t read enough of the articles here on this blog or on Dr. Davis’ s other Track Your Plaque blog to be convinced yet.

    I strongly encourage you to get and read the WHEATBELLY book, for your long term health’s sake, you can thank Dr. Davis later.

    • Lucy Whaley

      Camcerclasses-I appreciate the point you are making and will try to not take your remarks too personally about the “8 whole days” . You see my diet has always been so based on wheat-pizza,bagels,muffins,cereal, pasta……..and on and on. Now I usually have a salad for lunch and I do eat lots of fruits and vegies. But this week has been hard- giving up all the foods I love. So I have more potatoes and rice to make up for the loss of wheat. I know those are not the wisest choices either but I just can’t give up all those carbs right now. I know the goal is to be healthy on the inside and not so much about weight for someone like me.

      • PJ

        Try replacing your carbs with some protein and plenty of natural fats. When I increased the fats the carb cravings just disappeared. The more you restrict the carbage in your diet, the less you will crave them. You don’t/shouldn’t try to make up for the loss of wheat. I would hazard a guess that this is the reason you aren’t losing the tummy. Wheat isn’t the only carb that causes “sugar belly”.

          • PJ

            Yup, before “Wheat Belly” came along, we used to call it “Sugar Belly”, “Sugar Roll” or “Twinkie Top”. It’s all the same thing. I think Wheat Belly is more specific and more critical because it covers many more effects on health. My husband did not like sweets, would not eat cakes, cookies or candy, but could not pass up bread, pasta, pizza, McDonald’s, or Subway. Unfortunately, I did not learn of this until his funeral when the people he worked with were talking about what reminded them of him.

        • I agree with PJ, except that sometimes and in some people it can take 2 or 3 weeks or more to become adapted to a reduced carb diet and train your body to run on good fats instead of glucose from carbs. You most likely have eaten a high carb diet most of your life and your body is fully conditioned to expecting carbs for energy, so don’t expect instant results, especially if you’re still eating some carbs or replacing your normal carb intake with other starches.

          But generally, as PJ says, I find that if you eat enough bacon (3 or 4 slices along with an egg or two a day) eventually you’ll forget about the carbs, and don’t forget to also have some cream and butter too.

          By the way, Dr. Michael Eads just posted on his blog a great review of Dr. Davis’s Wheatbelly book that’s worth reading. you can find it at proteinpower dot com/drmike/

      • jay

        Lucy, try adding coconut oil and maybe olive oil to your foods. Leave out canola oils and other veggie oils. The good coconut oil will help fill you up and help reduce the carb cravings. And coconut oil is metabolized easily so don’t be afraid of it.

        A generous amount to scramble eggs in, or gently melted with vinegar and lemon juice for salad dressing. (It’s a solid at some room temps but liquefies at a very low temp, not hot, just warm water on the jar will do it.)

        Fresh and Easy has the Spectrum brand that doesn’t taste coconutty and is a great way to ease into it. I look for any excuse to add it to food and notice a big difference in my cravings on days I don’t get it.

  6. Patty Amidon

    My husband just called me into the livingroom to see you on Fox and Friends. I was excited to see your book get such national exposure and that my husband, who definately has a wheat belly and lives on carbs , hear you speak. You have a very kind demeaner which will go a long way to make this message accepted. Now if I could get my daughter, son-in-law and 4 grandchildren to read your book I would be thrilled. Will be sending my copy to them and hope for the best.

    • Hi, Patty–

      I’m impressed your husband called you into the room and didn’t just turn the TV off!

      Yes, the word will spread and with it you and your family will regain control over appetite, weight, and health. Imagine that!

  7. Lucy Whaley

    Thanks for all of the support out there including Dr. Davis himself! I will tell you that the one thing I have noticed this past week was that my appetite was not as “ravenous” as usual. I am going to keep trying to do this. I am a science teacher and I have been saying this is my “science experiment on myself”.

    • A science experiment, Lucy, that predictably yields metabolic transformation and better health across a spectrum of phenomena, not to mention a smaller waist size!

  8. Soul

    It was exciting seeing you on Fox and Friends this morning! Nice presentation. Think I have a new favorite show!

  9. Barbara

    I began low carb eating several years ago. I believe the science behind it, and it just felt right, but I never could figure out why sometimes I felt great and lost weight, and sometimes I had achy joints, indigestion, lethargy, and gained weight. I knew, really knew, that this was the right way for me to eat. Guess what? I would eat really “clean” for a little while, then add in high fiber Wasa crackers, low carb pasta, and low carb breads and wraps. I was never able to stick to the recommended “serving size” on those products, but what did it matter? It was low carb, right? More often than not, eating those products would send me off plan, and on a carb binge, and my binge products of choice ALL contained wheat. I didn’t know what was wrong with me… I felt totally powerless against the foods I craved so much. After reading “Wheat Belly” this weekend, I know exactly what happened. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! It’s like a huge, very bright light bulb was turned on. Saturday, for the first time ever, I sat down and wrote out a week’s worth of menus. Yesterday, I shopped for what I didn’t already have in the house. Today, I cleaned out my pantry and fridge of anything that contained wheat, cornstarch, potato starch, etc., and my husband and I began a wheat-free life. I’m excited about the prospect of losing weight and feeling better and preventing future health problems, but I’m scared, too. I know I am addicted to wheat, and part of me is very afraid of failing. I can’t let that deter me, though. I feel very determined. Thank you again, Dr. Davis, for writing such an amazing, eye-opening book.

    • Patty

      Hi Barbara,

      congratulations to you and your husband on your healthy decision, I think you will be super glad with your choice. Don’t be afraid, just be determined to give it one month, and I think that after two weeks you be so thrilled with your results and your cravings will definitely be going bye bye by then, you won’t have any fear left.

      I’m so happy to see all of these great comments.

    • Make it uncured bacon for even more health benefits. Applegate Farms makes a lovely uncured bacon (it’s slightly more expensive than regular cured bacon), but it tastes so wonderful and won’t inundate you with preservatives. They also have a great line of deli slices.

      I know I sound like an advertisement sometimes, but finding the brands is often the hardest first step in making the changes, and not everybody has hours to spend in the grocery store reading the ingredients on every single item. If you know in advance what brands are good, you can usually find ways to get them, but if you have no idea who makes what, it can seem like an insurmountable challenge just to find food you can eat.

  10. Brandon

    I see some handwaving about evil geneticists and an invocation of the naturalistic fallacy, but no actual evidence to indicate that modern wheat is somehow worse for people than what existed 50 years ago. Inciting horror in people that don’t know much at all about biology with phrases like “genetically stitched together” is pretty over the top.

    • Patty

      So what are you saying, that the photos of what wheat looks like now and what it looked like 50 or 25 years ago, does not hint at it being “changed” in some manor. Or the fact that the original wheats had under 10 chromosomes and this new stuff has over 40 chromosomes (none of which has ever been researched to see what it does to human eating it) does indicate a change? I know next to nothing about biology but I truly think this book very clearly explains the progression of the change and destruction of the wheat plant from something that “may” have been healthy to what is now in our foods. I also think that for any geneticist to engineer changes merely to increase crop production cycles per year for increased profit , WITHOUT any testing to see what this new creation does over the long haul to human bodies – well that is pretty damn evil.

      • Brandon

        I’m not suggesting that wheat hasn’t been significantly altered to improve yields; I’m saying that I’ve not seen any evidence that would suggest that changes to wheat have resulted in a product that’s fundamentally unfit for human consumption, particularly if one thinks that it was 50 years ago. What I see in this blog post is some vague handwaving about how horrible genetic modification is, without even a shred of supporting evidence for the idea that this is indeed the case. It’s pretty simple biochemistry to determine what carbs, fats, and proteins are present in any given strain of wheat; if there’s something insidious present in modern wheat that wasn’t 50 years ago, it should be pretty easy to point out what it is. Instead, we get bald assertions, framed in a fashion intended to frighten people that aren’t highly informed about genetics or biochemistry.

        • Hi, Brandon–

          Actually, the biochemical and genetic changes introduced into the modern semi-dwarf variant of wheat are discussed in the book.

          Note that this blog is not trying to sell the book; it is meant to supplement the discussions in the book. I therefore didn’t feel it necessary to reproduce the 300+ pages of the book here.

    • PJ

      Brandon, you REALLY need to read the book! The answers you seek are clearly outlined and documented in the book. To criticize the message without knowing what the message actually says is empty and meaningless.

      • Brandon

        I’m commenting on a blog post, which presumably should be able to stand on its own, or at least be supported by references. I’m likely to download the book sometime soon ($10 for Kindle… nice!), but it’s a bit off mark to insist that someone read an entire book for a specific bit of information that should be contained in a blog post. The second to last paragraph of the post, in particular, is heavily laden with the naturalistic fallacy, telling us to be oh-so-scared of “Frankengrain”, but not actually commenting on any particular protein that’s harmful or dangerous.

        If the intention of the blog is not to be self supporting, but be useful or interesting only to people who’ve read the book… well, that is what it is and would be my mistake, since people are free to set up blogs with any intent they like.

        • PJ

          I’m sorry, I wasn’t aware that there were blog laws. This blog is obviously based on the book with the presumption that one has, or will have read the book. If reading an entire book to get the whole picture, not just one piece of information, doesn’t suit you, no one here is going to spoonfeed you.

          • Brandon

            I’m sorry, I thought I made it clear that if the intention was for the blog to not be freestanding, that’s my bad. I didn’t realize this was a sycophants only situation. It seems like a valid question that has a pretty straightforward answer though – if modern wheat is worse than wheat from 50 years ago, what specific proteins make it worse? If you didn’t glean that from the book and have no idea where to gather the information from, I guess the book’s not terribly useful after all.

        • anthony

          Check out the last 16 pages of citations in Davis’ book, Brandon. You may perhaps be edified. BTW, what’s your waist measurement :D?

        • Hi, Brandon–

          The blog post was not meant to replace the extensive arguments made in the book. It was simply meant to supplement some of the ideas. Period.

          • Brandon

            Do you honestly think the best way to supplement substantive info (assuming that exists somewhere) is with fact-free fear mongering regarding genetic modifications?

            Of course, you’re free to limit blog posts to whatever content you feel is appropriate, but given that a lot of the public is already ill informed regarding science, and misinformed regarding public health issues like GMO food, it doesn’t seem like a prudent action to foster people’s base fears.

          • Patty

            Brandon, Look at the name of this blog, it is “Wheat Belly” , same name as the book. I just don’t get why you are so intent on bashing a blog based on a book without even having the decency of reading the book first.

            If people read some of these postings and they haven’t read the book either, and they get scared, WOW that’s great. Because they should get scared. Not lulled into a food coma from being bullied and sheep led for decades by the FDAs Food Pyramid. How ancient and NOT based on recent scientific proof is THAT thing.

            Just read the book, and then come back.

          • Brandon

            Patty, that doesn’t seem to address my comments in any way. Taking some sort of “end justifies the means” position in which people should be afraid (very afraid) justifies saying things that are completely unsupported by evidence seems bizarre and unethical to me. It’s a pretty straightforward question to ask what harmful proteins are found in 2011 wheat that weren’t found in 1961 wheat, and it’s one that follows logically from the post here. There should be a two or three sentence answer to that, with a supporting journal article or two; I don’t follow why people’s response is instead to insist that someone must read a book, rather than just answering a pretty simply question. I guess if the blog’s intended to be sycophants only, no questions allowed, that is what it is.

  11. Douglas

    Saw the interview on Fox News this morning, haven’t read the book yet but was wondering if this apllies to all grains? Have been adamant about eating WHOLE grain everthing when it comes to carbs with the understanding that grains that are processed to a point of becoming SIMPLE carbohydrates drastically raise blood sugars and contribute to wieght gain, not to mention all the other disadvantages. I am 59 years old and in reasonbly good health i.e. blood sugar levels, height to weight ratio, blood pressure, blood work etc. but I have for years indulged myself in whole grain carbs thinking I was eating healthy. My only complaint health wise is my desire for more energy. I’m wondering if my intake of wheat could be at fault here?? Any suggestions ?

    • Patty

      Douglas, you need to read the book. I have a wheat (gluten) sensitivity that I discovered over the past 5 years that is getting increasing worse. Because gluten is in almost all grains (with the exception of oats and few others) I decided to remove them from my plan. I also have insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) so do not use any gluten free foods made from rice or potato or tapioca starch, as they also trigger insulin rise which in the end is the culprit for all kinds of wacked blood chemistry, low energy being one of them. I noticed after about one week the increase in energy and now go to bed later but sleep much deeper. Be your own guinea pig.

    • Brandon

      If what you’re doing is working well for you, I don’t see any particular reason to make massive lifestyle changes. The benefits of whole grains are well documented and numerous. Here’s an example – http://www.ajcn.org/content/70/3/412.short.

      While glycemic index spikes can contribute to “crashing” and feeling a lack of energy, it’s probably not your problem, from what you’re saying.

        • Brandon

          Funding is listed immediately under the authors names –

          “2 Supported by research grants HL24074, HL34594, and CA40356 and by nutrition training grant T32DK07703 from the National Institutes of Health. ”

          Clearly it’s a big mystery and they were trying to hide their sources though.

      • Douglas

        Thanks Brandon, just checked that site out and it is consistant with what I have been lead to believe about “whole grains” …..but this desire for more energy is prompting me to try anything that can produce results …..within limitations of course and seems health conscious. I just had a checkup today and was told I’ll live forever lol but I desperately want to find the answer to increasing my energy levels…….I know its out there and this is the first idea I’ve even considered undertaking…..it seems credible and worth the try. I do love my carbs and that is why I was inquiring about other grains such as oat, rye, rice etc. If wheat is the only culprit I don’t believe it would be that much of a lifestyle change to eliminate just wheat, if its all grains then yes it would be a major lifestyle change…..but I think I’d be willing to try it, I have a very physical lifestyle and I would really appreciate the benefits if they materialize.

        • I just watched Robert Lustig’s talk at AHS, and one of the things he talks about is that high insulin levels tell your brain that it’s time to slow down, and thus in the end make you feel tired and low-energy. Blood glucose spikes don’t have to make you get fat in order to make you feel more tired.

          From what I understand, this is the primary benefit of going low-carb: it helps lower your insulin levels and by doing so makes you feel more energetic AND increases your leptin sensitivity, which helps you even more because your brain doesn’t think you’re starving any more. Too much insulin seems to be the chronic health problem of modern times and modern food. It throws our bodies out of whack, makes us store fat, feel tired, and feel hungry even when we have tons of stored fat to draw on. Dr. Lustig cites several controlled studies that he and others have conducted where changing parts of the insulin/leptin/vagal system caused people to either dramatically lose or gain weight or feel more/less energetic.

          I suppose the trick is to really figure out where your body is having the trouble on that cycle and deal with it. I personally think that my insulin levels have been sky-high, because I’m ALWAYS tired. Left to my own devices, I’ll sleep 10-14 hours a day and still feel slow and drained. The past few days I’ve had a recurrence of this, even though I’ve been sticking with the low-carb diet, but what I figured was that I’ve been eating a lot of meat and not much fat (or fiber) the past few days. So today I’m going to avoid meat and eat more fat and fiber and see if that makes a difference.

          If I were to give a suggestion, I’d say try cutting yourself to really low carbs (40 grams or less a day), and replace the carb calories with fat. Not protein, FAT. You may be pleasantly surprised.

          • Douglas

            Jenifer, that is an interesting observation……in my twenties I read a book written by Dr. Atkins called “The High Energy Diet” it opened my eyes to the whole high blood sugar dilemma. I have been very conscious of my intake of sugars and other simple carbs and presently test my blood levels and they are consistently below 90. I don’t think that is considered high and on the contrary I think it would be considered ideal…..if I were to switch my diet to one of consuming more fat and less carbs that brings another concern to the table, tryglycerite levels which opens another whole can of worms:(…cardiovascular disease. In addition I have spent the last 30+ years avoiding animal fats and transfats to avoid the complications brought on by that diet……and my blood work consistently reflects that. Perhaps my lack of energy has no corelation to diet but is more a natural state for my genetic makeup? We all know someone who seems to have an endless supply of energy and I’d be willing to bet if we were to observe their eating habits we would find nothing out of the ordinary that facilitates their high energy lifestyle. Your suggestion that I try eliminating carbs and increase fat intake is very tempting just to see if it changes anything. Funny thing, I wouldn’t even know where to start when it comes to selecting fatty foods. What would constitute healthy fatty foods and is there such a thing? In addition, whose to say what is “normal” for the human species when it comes to energy levels? Perhaps high energy levels is an aberation and just a lucky consequence of your parents gene pool. Its obvious to me that we can’t all be the same when it comes to these things and perhaps we should just do the best we can at educating ourselves as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to diet and learn to accept and adapt to whatever it brings us ……..and so the quest goes on, I will still read everthing I can and explore every new theory in search of the perfect diet for me …..”hope springs eternal”. and btw can anyone answer my question about wheat being the ONLY grain whose genetic makeup poses this problem?

          • Patty

            Douglas, I am sure that Dr. Davis can correct me if i am wrong, but when you eat good levels of healthy fats, you HDL goes up. When you eliminate starchy carbohydrates such as grains, your triglyceride levels goes down, as well as your small package LDL particles. When you remove starchy carbs such as grains (and sugar products) it unlocks something in the fat cells and the triglycerides are released and broken down for energy. When you eat starchy carbs it locks the triglycerides inside the fat cells, hence a higher triglyceride reading. But eating healthful fats (coconut oil, virgin olive oil, butter, palm oil, nut oils) AND drop most of the starchy carbohydrate sources, your lipids not only correct but your hormones become balanced. High insulin shuts down almost every other hormone in the body including the growth hormone, it is so powerful. It is not uncommon when you get insulin levels under control that people sometimes start re-growing lost hair and bone due to their growth hormone re-activating. So eating high fat, low carb (particularly grain) really rebalances your entire endocrine system.

      • damaged justice

        Well, you could read for yourself:



        Of course you can’t just read, but you have to be able to tell good research from bad:


        Short version: Grains have never been good for us, and they’ve gotten worse as we tweak them for maximum yield and refine them for maximum fungibility:



        For bonus fun, analyze Denise Minger’s dissection of the China Study which correlates wheat with weight gain (all while remembering that correlation is not causation):


        • Wow, Damaged: This is like an “Everything you need to know about low-carb” encyclopedia!

          By the way, Denise says her new book will becoming out sometime. This will definitely be worth a read!

      • jay

        Without spending more time on it than I want to invest, is this study comparing whole grain consumption to that of more refined grains? Or no grains at all. Because the take away would be very different depending on which is the case. I would absolutely buy into the idea that whole grain consumption is healthier than refined grain consumption but I’m seeing evidence in my own life (after time invested in using the whole grain strategy unsuccessfully to lose weight and gain health) that no grains equals weight loss and increased health gains.

        • Hi, Jay–

          You’ve now grasped what most health authorities have failed to see: If something bad (white flour) is replaced by something less bad (whole grains) and there are apparent health benefits, then what happens when . . . we remove them all entirely?

          That’s when you see large and unexpected health benefits.

        • Douglas

          Patty could you suggest some healthy “high fat” foods? I work a physical job and burn a lot of calories ……….my usual meals consist of whole grains, lean protein (mainly fish), friuts and some veggies. My tryglycerides are consistently below 80 and my hdl is consistently above 75, ldl is usually 100 +- but like I said I usually avoid fatty foods due to the stigma associated with that diet. I also use only coconut oil and olive oil for any recipe or salad that requires oil……I’m going to try eliminating grains from my diet but thats going to leave a big hole in my meals that I’ll have to fill up with something to make up for lost calories. i don’t have a weight problem and don’t wish to lose any body weight, I’m happy where I’m at, just wish I could increase energy and stamina leves. Thank you

          • LXV

            Not Patty, but I can tell you what healthy fats I eat: the saturated kind. Fat that comes from whole foods is usually saturated (butter, avacado, lard, olive oil, coconut oil, beef tallow, etc) and provides a high level of saitey. Avoid the man-made fats (vegetable oils, corn oil, canola oil, margerine). So instead of lean fish, have a steak or some sardines packed in olive oil. Butter your veggies and make an olive-oil based dressing for your salad. Start your morning off with eggs. Develop a taste for liver (or at least liverwurst).

            As far as the stigma of fat goes, check out Gary Taubes, Dr. Mike Eades, Tom Naughton, and Mark Sisson. They can do a much better job allieviating it than I can.

      • marilynb

        Seems like this study just demonstrates correlation, not causation. Whole grains are a vehicle for other foods that should be taken into account. If you eat more cereals, are you also eating more berries or other fruits, nuts and dairy? If you eat more bread, are you also eating more peanut butter and jelly, chicken or tuna salad? Hamburgers? Hotdogs? If you eat more pasta, are you eating more marinara sauce? You don’t just stuff more whole grains in your mouth, you eat something else with it. What effect do those other things have on CHD? How can you possibly say it’s the whole grains alone that are causing the effect?

      • Boundless

        Brandon: The benefits of whole grains are well documented and numerous.

        Compared to what?
        I read the full PDF of that study, and it’s a comparison of whole grains vs. refined grains. It fails to compare vs. NO grains. It also has potential data for outcomes vs. total carb intake, but neglects to analyze that.

        Few here dispute that whole grains are less unhealthy than refined, just as filtered cigarettes are likely less deadly than unfiltered.

        Some revealing quotes from the study:
        “These recommendations are mainly derived from the belief that replacing fats with carbohydrates may reduce risk of CHD by improving plasma lipids (2).”
        It’s little wonder that the study wanders away from real learning.

        “We excluded respondents to the 1984 questionnaires who did not satisfy the a priori criteria of reported daily energy intake between 2514 kJ (600 kcal) and 14665 kJ (3500 kcal) …”
        Were some low carb participants thus excluded?
        Hardly matters, since they neglected to glance in that direction.

      • anthony

        Yeah, you gotta love those questionnaire based studies. We of course have no way of knowing whether or not any of the folks responding told the truth, but, hey, what does that matter. LOL

        • PJ

          LOL, too. I know that I have probably never answered any questionnaire with absolute, unbiased honesty. Everyone here knows that there is probably something wrong with any study that shows a health benefit solely based on grain consumption, so I have a tendency to disregard them as proof of anything. (Except maybe confusion caused by “wheat brain.) ; )

          • Brandon

            Hey, if you can’t come up with methodological or statistical criticisms of a study, just pretend it doesn’t exist. The folks at Harvard are basically pig ignorant anyway, right?
            By your logic that self-reporting is irrelevant, all testimonials regarding removal of wheat from a diet should be ignored as well. Of course, that’d be a pretty stupid thing to do.

  12. Remnant

    Dr. Davis,

    I am already very much on board with a no wheat approach and have been following a “paleo” regime that eliminates gluten grains, sugar and seed oils for about half a year now, with great results. Dr. Kurt Harris and Paul Jaminet have provided my roadmap thus far.

    That said, I remain curious why it is that certain cultures that do consume wheat, seem to be able to use it without the extreme health consequences we see in America. I am thinking of France (baguettes), Italy (bread and pasta), much of the Middle East (various breads) and China (noodles, dumplings, buns). Even if we allow that these cultures have worse health outcomes than they would without any wheat at all, there is still a sense that they have avoided many of the pitfalls that the US has fallen into regarding obesity and bad health. Presumably all of the modern wheat varietals have made it to these other countries as well.

    So, it seems to me that in the context of the US, wheat is an important but not the only element of the health epidemic that has taken place in the US over the past 30 years. Wheat, yes, but also sugar, HFCS, seed oils, trans fats. Again, I personally have no intention to begin eating wheat again, but I cannot avoid thinking about the many French centenarians enjoying their baguettes and croissants every day…

    • Hi, Remnant–

      Yes, wheat is a big problem in the American diet and the diets of other nations, but it is not the only problem. Obviously, for instance, we shouldn’t eliminate wheat then drink sugar soft drinks, pour high-fructose corn syrup salad dressings made with sunflower oil, and add cornstarch to our foods.

      Obesity and diabetes are making their way rapidly into the rest of the world. China, Italy, and even France are experiencing their own obesity/diabetes epidemics, though the U.S. is more “advanced.” The French remain somewhat protected, I believe, for a number of reasons: Some preservation of older wheat varieties, including einkorn; higher fat content in their flour; higher fat content in the diet; and perhaps other factors in the so-called French Paradox.

      • jay

        In the US we not only have the bread but as pointed out in the book, such a high percentage of processed foods contain wheat or grains and we tend to consume a high percentage of those. It’s a wheat addict’s paradise of plenty.

        The French love their bread but it’s part of a diet that is mostly filled with real whole foods otherwise, much lower percentage of processed junk.

  13. Chris

    Dr. Davis:
    I am jumping on the wheat free train and appreciate your efforts to help us improve our health. I wanted to comment about the mention of Dr. Norman Borlaug in your book. The references were brief and there was no hint that any blame be placed on Dr. Borlaug for the state of today’s wheat. As a graduate of an agricultural college, I may be one of the few people in the US today who has even heard of Dr. Borlaug much less who knows of his efforts. In my opinion, he was and is a hero, a Nobel Laureate as you pointed out. His goal was to feed the world. No good deed goes unpunished. The modification of wheat continued. I just wanted to ensure Dr. Borlaug is remembered for his great efforts and not as the inventor of “frankengrain.”

  14. Mara

    What about non-GMO wheat? Is all of today’s wheat so far removed from the original thing that it’s detrimental to us?
    I am currently reading your book and am horrified at how difficult it was for us all to miss the common denominator for so long… I am not sure how I will create a wheat-free diet for my kids – their lunch format (for school) is sandwich-centric. If some wheats are less harmful than others then I won’t mind baking bread for them – the gluten-free bread has all extras (tapioca, potato starch etc). I don’t mind going without, but my kids will claim I’m ruining their image!

    • PJ

      Mara, I wouldn’t worry about ruining your kids’ image . . . I would worry about ruining their health. In my opinion (and that of many others) wheat is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure that there is any such thing as non-GMO wheat (even tho it may be marked as such). They’re probably all Frankengrains. Regardless of the source, carbs raise insulin levels and have a whole cascade of negative health effects. I sympathize with the lunch puzzle. I am fond of lettuce wraps of all kinds. I can’t think of any sandwich filling that you couldn’t wrap in lettuce.

  15. Sally

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    I am so grateful for the wisdom you have shared. I have been grain free for about 9 days. I have lost
    about 1 and 1/2 inches in my stomach and about 4 lbs. I love to cook and after doing some recipe
    research I have found many delightful recipes using coconut flour and almond flour. I am wanting to verify
    that you think these are good products to use. I find them very filling and am not using high sugars at
    all. What’s really great is how filling things are. I had for lunch today a bowl of chicken broth and veggies
    and a couple almond/ seasame seed crackers (homemade from almond flour) with avocado and smoked salmon on top. I was completely full and not hungry for at least 7 hours. Then for dinner just had a small piece of fish and a salad. What a triumph to feel like I have so many options in eating, really great tasting foods and lose weight! This is a way of life! I can’t wait to see really visible progress to inspire my family.
    I have about 20 more lbs to lose. Thanks!

    • Hi, Sally–

      These are, in fact, wonderful ingredients to use in your wheat-free baking. See the recipes I’ve already posted here, for instance, and you will see just those ingredients.

      AT the rate you are going, it shouldn’t be long before you achieve the weight you desire.

  16. Patty

    Hi Douglas, well you have another stigma to get over, eating dietary fat. It has truly been well proven now that eating dietary fat does not cause body fat or heart disease. It is pretty well established that high insulin levels in the blood cause body fat to be deposited and the #1 food item that causes high insulin is carbohydrates. I, and a lot of other people, who do not eat grains or eat low carb, replaced those lost carbs mainly with fats. My diet is pretty much protein, fat and non-starchy carbohydrates and NO grains. I do indulge in 85% dark chocolate (2 squares) a few times a week, they are 2 gms of carbs each. Fats I use are coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. But I also eat eggs everyday, cheeses, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream in my coffee, mayonaisse and I do not eat lean meats. I do buy grass fed beef and their fat is very healthy for you. I take 2000 mg of fish oil daily for EFA and eat 1/2 cup of flaxseed meal daily (high in ALA) so those are my fats. I think my fat level is around 55-60% of my diet and I try to stay under 60 grams of carbohydrates a day. Oh, and just so you know, fats and cholesterol and hugely vital for making and processing all hormones, sex hormones included.

    • Douglas

      Thanks Patty, thats what i’m trying to find out, it all boils down to: what can I eat and what can’t I eat? Do you have any particular guidance you use such as the Atkins diet or any of the other low carb published diets? They could be big time savers when you consider the alternative, experimentation. Ideally, I wish there was a list of do”s and don”t s regarding what we can eat, but I know that’s a bit of a pipe dream lol, but I have plenty of discipline and the desire to adhere to any regimen that is a proven diet……and therein lies the dilemma, what passes for the optimal diet today may be the unacceptable diet of tomorrow :( an example would be the whole grain diets of yesterday……but I have not given up…I know the answer to good health lies in the food we eat and not the pharmaceutical dispensary down the street. I just need the truth and I’ll take it from there.

      • LXV

        From what she describes I would guess that Patty’s a Paleo/ Primal eater. Do a google search for that and you’ll find scads and scads of diet help that makes a lot of sense. (I’m a paleo eater too.)

      • Patty

        Douglas, I read this forum religiously and it has so much information. It covers just about any kind of low carb eating plan and has support sections for each one. I am not strict Atkins as I don’t do the different levels of adding back carbs as it dictates and I don’t know if I am a Paleo eater either, as I use a lot of fat. But what I do is stay under 60 grams of starchy carbs a day and I eat no grains and nothing white (sugar/flour/potatoes/rice, etc) But there is a huge section in this forum for Atkins and Paleo as well as many others.

        Check it out: http://forum.lowcarber.org/index.php?

  17. Wow, I am writing a blog about my journey into cooking gluten free for my daughter who’s suffering from Celiac’s, but I’ve been considering following the diet more closely myself to see if I can lose weight and reduce inflammation in my arthritic knees. Interesting what’s happen to wheat and bread “the staff of life” in modern times.

    Thanks, I’ll be mentioning this blog on mine!

  18. Lucy

    This is my day 14 of giving up wheat. I have lost 1 pound and my stomach is going down. The first week I just gave up wheat. I still ate rice and potatoes and did not suffer in the least. The next week I have made more changes by giving up some of the carbs l love so much- eating more nuts, cheese, eggs, and bacon. I feel good and don’t go hungry. I cheat every night with 1/2 cup of ice cream. About 15 years ago I went on the Adkins diet and boy did I feel bad for about a week. But this time it was different. I just sort of eased in to it and suffered not for a moment.

  19. Lawrence

    Hi Dr. Davis,
    My wife and I recently bought and read your Wheat Belly iBook (last week). We’ve cut out all wheat and are looking for alternatives. My question is about the Einkorn wheat. Would using products made with einkorn wheat be bad since it hasn’t been modified through hybridization or genetics? Are the perils of wheat limited to the modern strains and not einkorn or is einkorn just a lesser evil?

  20. rbrink

    What’s your take on heirloom varieties of wheat? Sonora wheat, which is one of the oldest wheat varieties in North America, is beginning to make a comeback. It’s the type of wheat our grandparents did eat.

  21. I am really inspired with your writing abilities and also with the format for your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it your self? Anyway stay up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to look a great weblog like this one nowadays..

  22. Karnac

    Dr Davis…I think you”ll find this interesting

    Major Breakthrough in Deciphering Bread Wheat’s Genetic Code


    BTW Dr Davis…..I went wheat free Aug 1, 2012 and I’m averaging a weight loss of 10 pounds a month for a total of 40 lbs in 4 months……never ever have I had results like this…..and I’ve tried HCG shots, drops, GI Diet, all of them …and failed every time I went on their respective maintainence plans….the reason: Wheat was reintroduced …… FTW now means F%#$ The Wheat in our household. Have a great day and thank you for your work.

    • Dr. Davis

      Excellent, Karnac!

      Yes, I stumbled on this report, also. Let them decipher all they want! They will eventually come to the realization that there are no genetic manipulations that will save this thing, as it is bad down to every gene and nucleotide!

  23. suzie zimmerli

    Genetically modified wheat and food only came into existence since 1996. Hybridization has been for a much longer time. GM foods take the genes from a different species and inject it into the wheat. IE: cold water fish genes injected into the genes of wheat to make it more cold resistant. BAD, BAD, BAD.

    • Boundless

      > Genetically modified wheat …
      No wheat presently on the US market is GM, as the industry misleadingly defines GM (explicit gene insertion). The genetic monster that is on the market had its chromosome count explosively amplified by several other semi-random methods, for which no food safety testing results have been published (if such tests were ever competently run). See:

      If RoundUp Ready wheat hits the market, it will be GM. Wheat, however, all the way back to einkorn, has always been worth excluding from the human diet. The current super stealth toxin varieties raise the stakes health-wise, and must never be consumed. A GM wheat merely adds unknown new hazards and a message of “what part of `never’ were you having trouble understanding?”