A musician strikes a chord

Tyrannocaster left this fascinating tale of guitar-playing ability lost, then regained, with elimination of . . . yup, you guessed it: wheat. (He apparently wrote this for another venue, but reposted it in the comments for this blog, thus the comments that sound like he was writing an article or book review.)

I just spent nine of the worst months of my life because I lost the ability to play my guitars. We’re still not sure what the exact originating cause was (I suffered a fall on some icy stairs last February and stopped it with my hands, of course, and I may have injured the left one doing it, only I didn’t notice anything at the time or even afterwards. So maybe that had something to do with it, maybe not…)

However, three days before Halloween I found out what was wrong and cured it; I know this sounds like a late night infomercial, but it’s true.


Here’s the deal: I stopped eating WHEAT.

I asked every doctor I have seen for the last decade “Why am I so tired all the time?” and got answers like “You’re depressed, you should try anti-depressants,” or “You may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but we’re not even sure what that is and anyway, there’s no cure for it.” This last year alone, I saw my family doctor, two pro physical therapists, two hand surgeons, a chiropractor, a rolfer, an acupuncturist and a naturopath. The naturopath would have found the answer (she was on the trail but I beat her to it myself!). I saw this article on BoingBoing ( http://boingboing.net/2011/10/26/triticum-fever-by-dr-william-davis-author-of-wheat-belly.html#more-126282 ) and suddenly everything clicked. It was three days before Halloween and I thought “Hey, let’s give it a try and just drop all the wheat and see what happens.” This is where the informercial stuff starts; on Halloween I did more stuff in one day than I have in any three days in ten years and I do not exaggerate. It had gotten so bad that I was in bed most of the time and suddenly here I was cleaning out closets and going on a three mile walk – I know this sounds dramatic and hard to believe, but it’s true.

And it turns out there are all sorts of things that wheat (and gluten, which is found in other things like rye and barley, too) can do to you: my dandruff disappeared, the weird itchy, scaly skin by my nose and eyebrows disappeared…but most of all, the wrist pain (I couldn’t bend it a full 90 degrees anymore) went away and the thumb (which had problems with all three friggin’ joints started to get better right away. I’ve lost 19 pounds now (I was 164 at the beginning), all of it fat and I have a 31 inch waist. For a guy that’s 5′ 10? it’s not too bad.

Here’s the thing: for gluten intolerant people, the symptoms manifest themselves in so many different ways that doctors usually don’t connect the dots. One patient shows up with fatigue; another has joint pains; another has dermatitis, and the list goes on and on – nobody get all the symptoms (well, I HOPE nobody does, because the list is really long).

However, during the nine months that this happened, I re-injured the thumb so many times (the wheat problem gave me a system wide case of inflammation which kept my own body from being able to heal) that it’s going to take a while for it to heal completely. It’s two months later now and the hand is, happily, a LOT better, but I have re-re-injured it once already (because I actually forgot it was injured and just yarded on something – my bad!), and it’s still messed up…but now I can play again without effing it up just by playing a bar chord.

I would suggest that everybody at least read the BoingBoing article I referenced above, because the problems with modern wheat go well beyond what people like me experience. It turns out that the wheat we are eating today has been so messed with that 5 per cent of its genetic material is new and there has been ZERO research done (at least published – I would imagine that the wheat producers are quite aware of all this, since the changes have improved their bottom line immensely) on their effects on human health. And if the article piques your interest you can read the book “Wheatbelly”. Still, I have found out what kind of resistance I encounter from some people when I even mention this so I don’t want to come off like some sort of evangelistic crusader.

I can only speak for myself. And I’m quite happy to have my left hand back again.

So he experienced actual physical impairment of the ability to generate muscle control over his left hand, as well as a facial rash, dandruff, fatigue, and weight gain. Imagine spending years to master an instrument, only to lose the ability from some food (or something trying to pass itself off as food)?

I’ve seen some pretty incredible stuff in my wheat-free experiences, but some of the stories coming my way here are pretty darn amazing.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Tim

    Hey Dr Davis,

    It looks like even the Mayo Clinic is backing you up. In an article from 1/10/12 http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14468:health-lower-your-cholesterol-without-medication&catid=48:nurturing&Itemid=141

    “High-carbohydrate foods (bread, pasta, potatoes, sugary foods) get converted in the body into a form of fat called triglycerides. Triglycerides have a seesaw relationship with HDL cholesterol. As triglycerides goes up, HDL goes down, so you need to limit these foods in order to maintain higher levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.”

    Not full elimination yet, but getting there!

      • Natasha

        I really need an answer to my question. I was recently found prediabetic and my BMI is 31 and all the extra fat is around the belly – exactly your patient”s time. It is no big deal for me to get rid of wheat and I will toss the remainder of the whole wheat bread as soon as I finish writing. But given my heritage, it is really hard for me to give up rye. I eat whole rye German bread and I love it, toasted and very dark. My understanding is that rye, being a marginal grain, has not gone through the same genetic modification that wheat has. Is that true? What do you think of rye? What do you think of other grains: is an occasional cereal OK provided it does not contain wheat? Is a pearl barley soup with mushrooms a good idea?


        • I invite you to read all the commentary in this blog, Natasha, and you will find that rye = wheat (for all practical purposes) and barley is a gluten-containing grain that poses a carbohydrate load.

      • Laurie

        Perhaps that link to the Mayo County in Ireland should be removed to avoid confusing people. Honest mistake, but Tim’s post makes it sound like there is an endorsement of sorts from Mayo Clinic. And thanks to Quality Hodges for setting the record straight — I was confused myself for a few seconds — even though I read Mayo Clinic’s web pages often.

  2. Uncle Roscoe

    Prior to your book there was a lot of “wheat fragmentation”. There still is, but your book is changing that. Wheat damage is broad and deep. It reaches into many aspects of life …..employment, health, fitness, sport, recreation and medicine.

    There’s the celiac disease community. If someone starts talking about another aspect of wheat, say, non-celiac autoimmunity, they demand that the person have an endoscopy before eliminating wheat from the diet. There’s the diet community. They regard wheat as a “carb”. According to the low carb community you “count” carbs and cut back on them. You don’t stop eating them. If a person starts talking about wheat causing autoimmune-related insulin problems, they demand that the person leave.

    The medical community is the worst. Professionals carved out their niches long ago ……allergy, gastrointerology, autoimmunity, rheumatology, oncology, geriantology…… Physicians get trained in how to look at diseases in these fields, and nothing can interdict. The last thing most specializing physicians are willing to accept is that a single food item is causing the majority of diseases in ALL of their realms. They simply do not consider eliminating a food item as a valid medical treatment. If that’s the only treatment needed to cure a patient then why would the patient need a physician?

    Take oncology. We’ve spent $billions on cancer research. It’s changed the course of treatment. Instead of cutting and poisoning with old methods, now we’re cutting and poisoning with new methods. And what’s the outcome? A slight increase in survival after diagnosis, but absolutely no lengthening of life. On the contrary, we have people being diagnosed at younger and younger ages. Is there any question why young cancer patients would survive longer than old cancer patients?

    Get it together people. The answer is staring you in the face.

    • Neicee

      Uncle Roscoe
      I was very lucky to find a doctor with common sense. After she’d given me a bag full of little blue pills to help with her hunch my problems were IBS, when they didn’t help but made things worse, she asked how long it had been since I’d fasted or cut off food groups I might be allergic to, when tests didn’t show celiacs? I cut out breads, cereals, etc.. which made living a little easier. Thus, gluten intolerance was suspected. Told me I could spend a whole bunch of bucks finding out for sure but that was probably it. Test it at home for nothing. It was not going to hurt me. According to the gluten intolerance guidelines I could still have oatmeal, potatoes, rice, and corn. Consequently, you start sliding and pretty soon you’re back on full time with grains – with all it’s problems.

      Every single woman I’ve known with breast cancer have been non-smokers, daily joggers, tea drinkers, healthy lifestyles – low fat and healthy grain consumers, some vegetarian. It does stare you in the face. We’re on the wrong track here folks.

      • Janknitz

        “Every single woman I’ve known with breast cancer have been non-smokers, daily joggers, tea drinkers, healthy lifestyles – low fat and healthy grain consumers, some vegetarian. It does stare you in the face. We’re on the wrong track here folks”

        There’s a very high incidence of breast cancer here in Northern California in Marin County–it’s the highest rate in the country. Epidemiologists have been scratching their heads at why the breast cancer rate is so high.

        Marin County is a very affluent, mostly Caucasian. The “healthy” lifestyle abounds. Everyone I know who lives there is vegan, very big on eating whole grains, fat phobic, anti-oxidant teas, and heavily into cardio type exercise. Nobody smokes, but there is a moderate amount of alcohol consumption (they are next to wine country, after all). Theories abound, from the fact that affluent women are more likely to have their clothes dry cleaned, to the fact that they get more mammograms. Epidemiologists have not succeeded in determining why. http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=128558&page=1

        My theory is that those epidemiologists have completely missed the boat! It’s all those healthy whole grains and lack of healthy fats in the diet.

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Dr. Allesio Fasano started the modern wheat argument in 2000 with his discovery of zonulin. Zonulin causes the intestinal lining to become permeable, and causes partially digested intestinal contents to flow into the bloodstream.


        Fasano was researching the pathways which lead to reactive intestinal diseases like celiac disease. Zonulin permeability is an innate immune reaction to a certain protein sequence in the intestinal lumen, a sequence contained in hyphal wall protein 1 (HWP1). Wheat contains the HWP1 sequence, and the resulting zonulin reaction is integral to celiac disease. So Fasano’s discovery was accepted by the medical community, but ONLY as a pathway to celiac disease.

        As it turns out, nothing can be further from the truth. The zonulin reaction is integral to virtually every form of autoimmune and metabolic disease known. Cancer is a metabolic disease.

        Since his discovery Dr. Fasano has given many interviews. In some of these interviews Fasano has connected the dots linking wheat ingestion with these seemingly unrelated “diseases of modern society”. Dr. Fasano is a smart guy. He seems quite aware that his results threaten some extremely powerful vested medical interests. Fasano has followed each of these interviews with interviews linking zonulin to celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

        But the writing is on the wall. These facts stick out like a sore thumb. Nobody can put this genie back in the bottle.

        • Thanks, Uncle.

          Yes, Dr. Fasano has been a shining star in this discussion. I believe that he is presenting some data at an upcoming meeting where I will be speaking, also. I’m going to track him down and pick his brain!

    • Eloquent, Uncle!

      Yes, I suspect that, after all is said and done, several simple factors will emerge as the underlying cause for many cancers. In this case, I am going to predict that a huge chunk of gastrointestinal cancers are caused by wheat consumption. Yeah, we’ve all heard the Wheat Lobby remind us that, compared to white flour, whole grains have less cancer incidence associated. But what about NO wheat–i.e., no wheat germ agglutinin, no disruption of bowel flora, no chronic and unremitting intestinal irritation, no gliadin? I predict far, far less gastrointestinal cancer.

    • Linda

      “If a person starts talking about wheat causing autoimmune-related insulin problems, they demand that the person leave.”

      So true. I used to visit a site created by a person who cooked/baked/created lots of low carb recipes, but too many of them contained flour and/or starchy type ingredients. When I began posting about “Wheat Belly” on that site, it was not appreciated and I was pretty much told to keep my opinions to myself and that this blog site was NOT going to “champion” Dr. Davis’ ideas, etc.

  3. Jane

    I went to the boingboing link in the original posting. Someone in the comments area suggested using spelt flour as a substitue for wheat. Is that a good alternative? Thanks.

    • I don’t think so, Jane.

      The ancient wheats are indeed less harmful, but not necessarily benign or healthy. This is going to be a frequent topic of debate in the coming months and years as more and more people join this widespread rejection of wheat.

  4. I had rolfing done. I started the series two years ago exactly, and over the next six or seven months it worked astoundingly well to loosen tissue and tightness that had bound up my hips and back for my entire life (I was never able to sit cross-legged as a kid, ever). Afterwards, I thought that I had pretty much reached by best level of flexibility that I would get, or that it would take many many years to gradually work on improving, but since going wheat-free I have had considerable further improvement just through stretching and yoga and other things Ive done on my own.

    • Very nice, cTo!

      Makes you wonder about the power of wheat to muck up joints if actual physical intervention is required to break up the stiffness.

  5. Jeanne

    if you are anywhere on the gluten intolerance—–> celiac spectrum spelt is considered a gluten grain and to be avoided. It is considered a form of wheat.

    Playing devils advocate for a moment- no need to rain heaps of fire on my head… Ok? Lol …Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Dr. Davis and have been a fan on the Track Your Plaque website for a few years! (Reikime).

    ..I have a concern about people giving up only wheat specifically, when just maybe they really should be giving up ALL the grains off limit to the gluten intolerant/ celiacs ? BUT- Wheatbelly, with all it’s valid concerns and evidence of wheat causing damage , may cause the gluten intolerant to just give up wheat, thus continuing to cause silent intestinal damage. Are the GLUTEN intolerant or celiacs among us here going unrecognized ? ..even to themselves?

    Just a thought I have been having lately. No, Uncle Roscoe, I am not some militant part of one of your named communities! Haha. But I am an RN who has been diagnosed gluten intolerant .


    • Uncle Roscoe

      An ancient proverb says the answer lies in the question. The reason why a person would look for a wheat substitute is the reason for the damage which wheat causes. Glycoproteins cause addiction. Some far more than others. The addictive properties of the glycoproteins in wheat cause the damage associated with wheat …….the damage we are all trying to escape. Satisfy your wheat craving, and I promise, you will cause the same damage which wheat causes, regardless of the name pasted on the new product.

      Being gluten intolerant, this concept comes home to me whenever I consume non-wheat glycoproteins ……identical autoimmune reactions. But what about someone who merely reacts to wheat with increased appetite and weight gain? They would have no noticeable cause-effect reaction to spelt. They would just gain weight over the next few months.

      What’s needed is a change in paradigm. Cakes and breads are formed by stretching glycoproteins. If you can make cakes and breads with a plant product, it will cause some of the same damage wheat causes.

      I could point out a few websites which show that spelt proteins are about 98.5% identical to wheat proteins. Like Jane, I’ve read forum posts from people touting spelt as an alternative to wheat. The grain industry wants the wheat free movement to fail with every fiber of their beings. If they can retain market share by growing spelt instead of modern wheat, that’s worth inserting a few lying trolls into internet forums ……isn’t it?

      • Creepy thought, Uncle. But I’m sure you’re correct: Some of the discussions we encounter online have been commissioned by various industries, including the Wheat Lobby.

        The agenda laid out by the Whole Grains Council makes it clear that they will do almost anything to preserve their franchise.

    • Rebecca

      I don’t feel left out or unheard with wheat belly. My doctor told me to pick up the book even though I am celiac because it’s more then just remove the wheat, which I have been gluten free for ten years and some. I really think this book is a god sent, I have for years tried to figure out how to eat to be healthy and not crave food, or have extreme sugar lows that make me so shaky I have to eat. Three weeks in and I realize it’s not to little healthy carbs but way to many carbs, process foods filled with sugar and eating gluten free foods. I as a celiac, I think this book is amazing and has saved me health wise. I wish I had known ten years ago about how foods work in your body and what to avoid because well not having gluten reactions was a relief the way I feel now is ten times better. I have suggested this book for my celiac ridden family, and have told them its really not all about wheat but how to feel better by eating the right stuff. Plus if you read the book and only take from it give up wheat you really are selling yourself short, trust me, to get healthy you must consider more then wieght loss or elevating specific pains think about going all in to feel ten or twenty years younger.

  6. Joan

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I am currently on an anti-depressant “Effexor” 115mg per day. While so many health problems that I have experienced for YEARS have literally disappeared after I eliminated wheat from my diet just two months ago, the actual weight loss that others describe has not been happening for me. I weigh 200 lbs, (5’6″) having lost 10 lbs, but of course, would love to lose much more! My husband and son support me and we are all happily wheat-free and watch carefully what we eat. We don’t eat empty carbs but if and when we feel like a ‘bread’ we make your flaxseed wrap for a sandwich and we have enjoyed occasionally your “Muffin in a Minute”. We follow your guidelines and feel incredibly healthy. Both my husband and my son have lost a bit of weight although they really didn’t need to lose but a few pounds. I just thought that my weight loss would be more noticeable. I have read that some anti-depressant drugs impede weight loss. Would you comment on this please? I am not really sure if I should be on an anti-depressant anyway, since I have feeling that my depression is part and parcel of my other wheat-related problems. My doctor has been easing me off the Effexor but doesn’t want me off it totally–afraid of a ‘relapse’ . How would I know if I don’t try to come off it completely? I should add that my life is a happy one and that there is no external “cause” for the depression and hence, the drugs. This is why I wonder if it is caused by wheat.

    I am just so grateful that I was urged to read your book! Years of IBS, chronic fatigue, unbearable joint swelling and pain, leg ulcers, rashes, bloating (and I could go on and on…)have made life pretty miserable. Today I am literally a new person. I just wish I was a little lighter in weight :) Thank you for taking the time to comment on this.

    • Hi, Joan–

      Yes, Effexor has indeed been associated with weight gain or, in your case, inhibiting weight loss. The only solution that I am aware of for this effect is to work with the prescribing doctor to try and wean over time.

      Also, consider thyroid. This alone is a common impediment to weight loss. See this discussion from this blog for further discussion.

      • catherine

        @Joan: Not to mention that quite a few women are treated for depression when they actually have a hypothyroid problem…(as my first endocrinologist told me)

  7. coffeebrain

    Dr. Davis, I’ve heard you say several times you don’t like meat., the last time in your interview on the livinlavida low carb blog. Are you vegetarian? If so, do you just increase the non gluten grains, as mentioned in your book? I’m not a vegetarian, but to be honest, I’m not a meat lover either, and I could easily become vegetarian! Please share any tips/what you eat instead of meat! Thanks!

    • Hi, Coffee–

      I wouldn’t read too much into this.

      All I meant was that I don’t like the taste of meat, nor am I a fan of the methods used to slaughter livestock. I eat it, but I don’t really care for it.

      This is purely an aesthetic and moral thing, not a health or nutrition issue.

  8. Molly M.

    How do you feel about dairy? Recently I have been cutting back on my dairy intake due to the lethargic feeling that follows. Just the other day, 1 cup of cottage cheese stopped me in my track and I took a 15 minute cat nap, since I was unable to function. Do you think dairy can be overprocessed or that we are not even supposed to have that much dairy, or any at all for that matter? Is it a ploy by the American Dairy foundation to get us Americans to get 3-5 servings of dairy in a day? I would love to know your thoughts….

    • Dairy is a very common source of problems, Molly. If you experience this fatigue effect, I would say goodbye. Cheese may be worth a try, however, as it is different from most other forms of dairy.

      The specific effect you are experiencing may be due to the peculiar insulinotrophic effect of the whey fraction, i.e, spiking insulin that results in low blood sugar.

  9. Jeanne

    Dr. D,
    I hope you know I meant no disrespect in my post! I was merely thinking out loud, and wondered if anyone else had ever had that question.
    I also meant to say I have been a fan of yours since the Heart Scan Blog, though I read everything possible on the Track Your Plaque site as well!

    Thank you for your work and fight to bring the message to the masses!


  10. Christina

    I started browsing on your blog today and am feeling more confused than ever :-) I have been gluten free for almost two years and vegan for a little over a year. I eat what I presume to be a very healthy diet-green smoothies for breakfast, lots of veggies, whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet, fruit, some nuts and some soy products. Most of my food is unpackaged and unprocessed. I spend a fortune on buying all of this fresh, organic food and a lot of time preparing it.

    I started feeling a lot better once I gave up gluten and lost some of the extra weight and eliminated some of my digestion issues. However, I still feel like there is opportunity for me to feel much better and lose about 10 more pounds (right now I am 5’2, 118 pounds); I still have extra fat in my belly.

    As I was transitioning to vegan, so much of what I read was about how bad animal protein is for your health. Lots of experts and blogs on this topic, and the information sounds very rational and compelling when you read it. I have really liked being vegan, as it just feels like it is a good choice for the environment, for the animals, and for me (I think???). I am contemplating trying to watch my carb intake and really lower it, but I am just not sure what I would really eat besides lots of veggies. My doctor has warned me about eating too much soy (too processed) and too many nuts ( phytic acid concerns). Feeling more confused than ever! Do you have any suggestions?

    • Boundless

      > I started browsing on your blog today …

      Haven’t read the book, then?

      > … lots of veggies, whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, millet, fruit, …

      Sounds like it’s way too high in carbs. The WB has two main points:
      1. Stop eating gluten-bearing grains immediately (esp. wheat), and
      2. Transition to low-carb paleo.

      > … been gluten free for almost two years and vegan …

      You can do low carb paleo, and remain vegan, but there are challenges. You can find lots of discussion on this blog by using Google to search it (not the blog’s own weak search engine). Use string:
      vegan site:wheatbellyblog.com

      The Davis Diet is empirical, based on actual outcomes.
      The vegan is philosophical, more of a secular religion.
      Outcomes are not the focus.

      Supposed vegan health arguments are confounded by the fact that they compare themselves to meat eaters who are probably also wheat eaters.

      And yes, unless you are eating organic non-GMO soy, there may be some risks there.

    • Uncle Roscoe

      Tell me, if your vegan ideas are correct and successful, why would it be necessary for you to troll the website of an opposition author who’s ideas really are succeeding?

      You have already decided to implement the advice of vegans on your dietary intake. You are asking for opposing advice, but attempting to limit that advice to advice which fits within the confines of veganism. I’ve read McDougall. I’d like to characterize him, but it would get me kicked off of any decent website. The guy’s logic is mutually inconsistent. He suffers from his diet.

      Consider the fact that your vegan paradigm is the problem, and not how you adjust it. There may be moral concerns. But your body is saying something different from your brain.

      If you were a vegetarian you would not be discussing this issue on the internet. Your eyes would be on the sides of your head, and you could not focus on a computer monitor. Your digestive tract would be twice its current size, and your brain would be a fraction of its current size. Your children would attain maturity within two years of birth, and your life would span only 20 years. You would not have opposing thumbs or downward-pointing nostrils. Your body would be covered with fur, and you would not have the ability to grow long hair.

      Incidentally, soy contains phyto-estrogen, and soy sauce contains copious quantities of wheat flour.

      • Boundless

        > … and soy sauce contains copious quantities of wheat flour.

        It doesn’t have to. The San-J brand includes several wheat-free (and sugar-free) soy sauces (we use them). They do, however, still contain soy. There’s probably not much they can do about that :).

      • Christina

        Wow Uncle Roscoe and Boundless-I sense some hostility in your response, which I really don’t appreciate. As an intellectually curious person, I am merely looking at other options. I think it takes everyone awhile to find the right eating approach for them, and I don’t think there is one right approach for anyone. I’m happy for you if you found the approach that works for you, and I don’t think you should begrudge the fact that I am still looking for the approach that is best for me. Maybe it is vegan, maybe it is not. But there are a lot of people who do amazingly well with a vegan diet for years, so it clearly works well for some people, regardless of what you may think or havve read. Plus, I don’t think being vegan is an opposition diet to what Dr. Davis says. Being vegan is simply about not using animal products-in fact it is not even a diet but rather a lifestyle of compassion (which is clearly lacking from some who visit this blog).
        You know at least the vegans are nice to people who are looking for more information and for what works for them, even if they are not vegan. We’re all here just trying to be as healthy as we can and live the best life we can, so who are you to criticize/attack someone who is different from you? Not someone I want advice from, but thanks.

        • Boundless

          > … I sense some hostility in your response, …

          I can’t speak for U.R., but please identify the supposed hostility in my response.

          > Plus, I don’t think being vegan is an opposition diet to what Dr. Davis says.

          I didn’t say it was. I just said it is more challenging, and told you how to find discussion about that on this blog (given that the blog’s own search engine is weak). A central problem is that your choices of alternative protein and healthy fat choices are more limited if you exclude animal sources.

          > Being vegan is simply about not using animal products-in
          > fact it is not even a diet but rather a lifestyle of compassion …

          Which is just what I said. You are not describing an outcome-focused diet.

          • Christina

            My apologies if I misread a hostile tone in your email. I read U.R.’s response first, and attributed some of that hostility into yours. Upon re-reading yours, I can see where I may have misinterpreted your comments.
            I do think diet and lifestyle choice is very personal choice for everyone, and I think it is difficult to comment on a particular diet choice if you have never tried it. People always have a lot to say about being vegan, but most people have never tried it. I certainly don’t think everyone should go out and try it-I just think people should not be so quick to judge it just because it is different than what they do. Different things work for different people. I use the term vegan in the broader context of not just being a plant based diet but also living a lifestyle that does not contribute to suffering of animals, but the plant based diet is an outcome based diet that has worked well for many.
            That being said, I was diagnosed as having a gluten allergy before I was vegan and know the importance eliminating gluten had in my healing process. My holistic doctors did not mention that other grains may have similar effects to gluten, and I have been reading about that in various locations, including this blog. So, I am merely just trying to learn more about that to make a decision about what might be the best way to eat for me.
            I appreciate you sharing tips for finding more information :-)

    • I have yet to see phytates actually result in any kind of deleterious health condition. So I don’t believe there is really much point in limiting nuts or seeds.

      Vegetarian or vegan diets are, by necessity, higher in carbohydrate exposure, especially if you rely a lot on beans, fruit, rice, and non-wheat grains. It is therefore a compromise.

    • Tyrannocaster

      Christina, you should read “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith. Keith was a vegan for twenty years and her heart is certainly in the right place but the book is devastating. And you’d better read it, because you are going to get hit with arguments from it every time you bring this up.

  11. Uncle Roscoe

    Soy also contains a large load of opioid legume proteins, much like the ones in wheat. They include concavalin A. Con A and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) are lectins. They bind red blood cells together. They also mimic insulin. Con A and WGA clog up cellular insulin receptors. The action starves cells of glucose, and raises blood glucose concentration ……causing more insulin release, weight gain and metabolic disease.

    Get your protein from meat. Get more of your fuel from animal fat, and less from carbs.

    • Boundless

      Uncle R. > Soy also contains …

      I presume this is in reply to my mention of the wheat-free soy sauce (I can’t tell because you posted your reply to the basenote, and not to my reply).

      Thanks for the reminder about Soy. The WB book indeed does counsel against soy, and advises eating fermented soy products, and then only in limited quantities. We have been reducing our soy consumption, probably more by accident than intention.

      > Get your protein from meat.

      Several meals this week were based on a deer recently harvested from our pasture.
      Does that count as paleo :) ?
      It may not count as high animal fat. That meat is pretty lean.

      • Uncle Roscoe

        Sorry, I got tripped up by my monitor’s display of the “CAPTCHA Code”. My comment was meant as a response to Christina.

        I’ve actually seen soy served …..for unscrupulous purposes. I avoid it in amounts any greater than light wheat-free soy sauce flavoring.

        Deer meat! …….mmmmmmm. One can always supplement with straight butter.

  12. Jan

    Dr. Davis
    I have been waiting for an avenue to express my gratitude to you for writing this book. I read it 6 months ago after hearing you on The Current on CBC. ( I am Canadian!) I had been researching blood sugar issues extensively after having been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I have always been a careful eater, but unfortunately I bought into the “low fat” way of eating. I believe this triggered my Type 2 Diabetes. I have a family history of this condition, which didn’t help. My blood sugar readings in the morning have gone down to the mid 4 mmol/L range, a drastic drop from where they were. I love eating again! That has been one of the additional wonderful benefits.
    Although there are times I eat small amounts of sugar, I stay totally away from wheat. My blood sugar level has remained low. Thank you again.

  13. It’s a matter of carbohydrate exposure, David.

    Most people can tolerate up to about 1/2 cup before they start to trigger undesirable carbohydrate phenomena like high blood sugar and small LDL particles.