Hey, kid, wanna ride?

Beware of stockbrokers hawking the next big winner, strangers offering car rides, and beware of “gluten sensitivity.” Let me explain.

The Wheat Lobby has acquiesced to the notion that there is indeed a disease called celiac disease. How else can you explain extreme intestinal reactions to wheat consumption, cured with wheat removal? Just as the tobacco industry had to eventually give in to the idea that, yes, smoking does indeed cause lung disease, lung cancer, and heart disease, the Wheat Lobby has allowed that, yes, wheat causes celiac disease.

So they have openly embraced this idea, saying such things as “There are indeed 1 in 100 Americans who are gluten sensitive who, we agree, should not consume gluten.” But then the smokescreen begins.

On SixServings.org, for instance, the blog for the aggressive Grain Foods Foundation, they make this statement: “Aside from the very small percentage of the population that is intolerant to gluten, research proves that the rest of us will enjoy better health by consuming wheat products.”

By conceding to the idea that some people are indeed gluten-sensitive, they are trying to show that they are reasonable and scientific. But that’s where the concessions end.

Remember the tobacco ads of the 1980s where they appealed to your individual right to smoke? In other words, if you can’t take the issues head-on, focus on some other contentious issue and draw attention away from the genuine problem.

So, oddly but predictably, “gluten sensitivity” has become the adopted mantra of the Wheat Lobby. But don’t be fooled, this is not about gluten sensitivity; it’s about the huge problems in this thing they’ve created called “wheat” from gliadin to lectins, amylopectin A to alpha amylases, issues that affect everybody, not just the gluten sensitive.

Remember Christopher Buckley’s satirical movie, Thank You For Smoking, in which three lobbyists for the firearm, tobacco, and alcohol industry share war stories of their BS campaigns? Wouldn’t it be fun to have a movie for the wheat industry, lobbyists huddled around their drinks, calculating their next move? Let’s call it “Thank You For Baking.”

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Christopher Buckley should take that one on in his next book. He’s great. I also loved his “Boomsday.”

    Doc, there’s an interesting debate going on over on the Fat Head facebook page. A new doc has appeared, who is promoting statin use for everyone. A couple of us are disputing this vehemently, but it would be great to see you chime in over there, as a doc and professional.

  2. CW

    I have lost 20 pounds since giving up wheat 8/30/11. I have also had health improvements!! Where is my fall s.a.d.? Where is my massive appetite that I have always had? Where is my belly gradually disappearing too? To whom will I give my clothes that are now a size too large? To whom will I give my current clothing to in the near future as these items are closer to being too large? I will continue to remain wheat free. I personally am very thankful to have learned the knowledge in “Wheat Belly”.

    • Stine

      Congrats CW! We’ve been wheat-free for 7 weeks and are on our second big pile of clothes for the local charity thrift shop (supports a childrens’ home). Consider Goodwill or the Salvation Army near you.

  3. I am annoyed with the thinking that now going wheat free is jumping on the latest bandwagon. Does anybody stop to think that jumping on this latest bandwagon has some benefits? Isn’t the fact that people are feeling better physically and mentally after eliminating grains an indication that something is wrong the SAD? Has it occurred to anybody that the reason going wheat free is now hitting mainstream media is because it has been successful helping so many people with their health issues?

    • PJ

      Autumnrose, you’re so right! I’m accused of “just following the latest thing” and “it’s all in your head”. Well, some of it was in my head, and some of it was in my belly, and some of it in my swollen ankles . . .

      One of the reviewers on Amazon called Wheat Belly a “cult”. I found that idiot’s review actually quite funny. Picturing secret hand shakes, dancing under a full moon and sacrificing sheaves of wheat. Maybe we can have speakeasies with secret passwords where wheat-free lo-carb food and drinks are served. Of course they’d have to be open 24/7 cuz our energy levels are so high, we’ll never want to stop!

      I think there will come a time when the majority of people just accept the fact that wheat is not good for you. Like tobacco it’ll be known that once you start, it’s hard to quit.

    • Amanda

      If you’re non-confrontational and prefer to avoid the “dinner table debates” then perhaps you could say that your doctor suggested that you may have a gluten sensitivity or that you are celiac. I followed Atkins with great success maybe about 7 years ago and had wonderful success. Unfortunately cutting out ALL STARCHES was pretty difficult and I gained back all of the weight when I resumed eating bread and wheat products. So, I’m sympathetic to the accusations of “fad diets”

      Best of luck!

  4. Pattye

    Excellent posting Dr. Davis. Yep, they are DEFINITELY getting very nervous and now are scrambling for their next tactics. You mention a comparison to the deadly tactics of the tobacco industry and it brought to mind a very chilling TRUE story about an informant that testified against the tobacco industry to prove that they were adding chemicals to make the cigarettes more addictive, but also causing more illnesses and cancers as a side effect; in other words the cigarettes were being altered to make them more poisonous than the original ALL TOBACCO cigarettes of 100 years ago. How similar to what has been done to wheat, even if they did it to promote more out-cropping and what not, the effects are the same – wheat is now deadly due to those alterations.

    If anyone is interested in watching this movie, I highly recommend it, as it is a true story that will curl your toes. Just goes to show the lengths big business will go to protect it’s income.


  5. Jill

    All I know is my family is more healthy since we cut out the grains! Our blood glucose readings are almost back to normal range, my husband has lost 12 lbs. since the last week of July when we started this. I have lost 22 lbs. in the same amount of time, (I dropped milk and cheese and soy too). Our daughter, who is resistant to this and only follows at home because I don’t fix food with grains, has lost at least 4 lbs. My acne has disappeared and my daughter’s is better. My husband is a little bit less forgetful and antsy. My mood is improved and my food cravings, joint pains and fatigue are gone too! We have been having a great time experimenting with the Paleo cookbooks I bought and found some new interesting meals to share! Thanks Dr. Davis for sharing this knowledge with us! Our lives are improving every day because of this!!!

  6. Helen

    I don’t think they “get” it. I have the DNA for celiac disease. If I were to continue to eat wheat, I would likely develop more symptoms than those I already had (when the DNA and scope tests were done to figure out what was wrong). So I’m probably one of the 1 in 100.

    The OTHER 99, though, aren’t “immune” to the effects of modern wheat just because their genes are different than mine. It might take a little longer, it might manifest itself differently, but the human organism is what it is, and if you feed it poison, it gets sick.

    I wonder how long it will take for this awareness to really go mainstream.

    • Well said, Helen!

      And 30-40% are positive for the HLA immune markers. That alone means a substantial proportion, certainly more than 1%, are potentially at risk for celiac disease and its related immunological variants like ataxia.

    • Shelley

      “Ditching grains with gluten could make you miss out on key nutrients such as fiber, iron, zinc and vitamin B.”
      This is something to watch out for. I found a B complex was helpful for me. But ultimately what I need to do is pay attention and eat a more comprehensive diet now that I have removed fortified foods. Much like if you ate Almond Joys every day to get your Vit E that could be an issue as well if you gave up sugar.

      • Hi, Shelley–

        This is the fiction they are propagating.

        Sure, if I replaced my whole grains with snack foods and Coca Cola, I will indeed miss out on key nutrients. But this does NOT happen if you choose real, whole foods, instead, like avocados, cheese, eggs, vegetables, nuts, etc.

  7. Carol

    I saw you interviewed on Fox and Friends and immediately skipped my daily piece of toast with my breakfast egg. Then I skipped my usual sandwich for lunch and had something wheatless. Since buying your book, I’ve lost 8 lbs in 4 weeks, sleep better, have more energy, and have fewer sinus problems. I have no doubt that I will be able to normalize my weight because this is the easiest “lifestyle change” I have ever done. I agree with others on this site who say that food taste better now but they are not as hungry. Thank you Dr Davis! My only complaint is that you didn’t write the book earlier.

    My daughter who is an economist, thinks the government will always support the wheat industry because of its importance to our economy. So we should probably get use to the “cult” label.

    • I agree, Carol. We will likely never live to see the day when the USDA, Health and Human Service, etc. embrace a wheat-free concept. The best we can hope for is that they stop the incessant destructive message they’ve been repeating.

      It is therefore up to us to hear the arguments, then make our own decisions. And I believe you made the right one!

  8. Sadie

    I have been on a gluten-free diet for over 30 years, i am 59 now and have gained a lot of wieght. I have had some heath issues, mild lupus, and now fibromyalgia, I am wondering is all the rice flour corn flours, be what is causing me to gain all this weight. I do carve sweets, I do drink coke too. I have been not very active as i have degenerative arthritis too. but i am basically seditary, i just googled wheat belly, as i read someone asking about it. I will have to get your book and read it. I know my triglycerides are high and so is my cholestrol. I have gone from 125 to 180 and I am not happy about myself. I need help.

  9. Theresa

    Interestingly enough, after an attempt to lose weight, I cut out anything processed- thus making my diet gluten free. I only comsumed healthy fruits and veggies all day, fruit at breakfast, salad at lunch, steemed veggies for dinner ect. After being on accutane and other acne medications for years, I see cutting gluten out of my diet is the only thing that has worked. My skin is now finally clear. After doing research, I have seen there is a very stong link with gluten and acne, dont know why I did not try this before. I did not believe whole wheats were bad for you until I experienced it first hand. If you’re experiencing acne, you should give this a try. Although I did not have stomach pains associated with Celiac Disease (from gluten) I did have the acne symptom, apparently this is recognized as a ‘gluten sensitivity”.