Kick it, smack it, sprout it . . .

. . . and it’s still wheat. It could be organic, sourdough, low-carb. It could be red, blue, Republican or Democrat . . . it’s still wheat.

Janet describes her experience with sprouted wheat:

People have asked about the “sprouted wheat” breads and I just wanted to relay some personal experience with them, my normal use of them and what happened after I just gave that form of wheat up.

I would periodically go on Dr. Gott”s Diet: No white flour and sugar. It would work and I felt good because it was higher protein and no sugar or white flour will do a pretty good job of moving weight off. Kind of normal slow though. I was eating Sprouted Wheat flourless bread though.

When Wheat Belly came onto my radar and I read the reviews on Amazon while waiting for the book to come to me from my library, I too thought of the sprouted wheat. It is really delicious and I would have at least 4 slices per day on Dr. Gott”s plan.

WELL–in late December after I read the book, I got rid of the sprouted bread and my shape changed faster than it ever has on a diet. My belly fat is disappearing. I had gotten rid of the sugar way before that, but after taking ALL the wheat out, the last in the form of the sprouted bread, I was on the fast track losing fat. THEN, my aches and pains went away. But only after the wheat in any form was gone.

Since that was the only change I made–my experience tells me most definitely the sprouted variety of breads is going to hinder you and put WHEAT into your system. Just thought folks here would like to get a real life experiment result.

Sprouted wheat bread is made by allowing the wheat seeds to sprout, thereby reducing carbohydrate content slightly and making some of the nutrients more bioavailable. The Ezekiel brand, for instance, claims to be adhering to the advice provided in the Bible in Ezekiel 4:9:

“Take also unto thee Wheat, and Barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and Spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it…”

But, as Janet’s experience illustrates, it’s still wheat. And it’s not the wheat of the Bible, i.e., 28-chromosome emmer or 14-chromosome einkorn; it’s the sprouted seeds from 42-chromosome modern wheat. And what a difference 14 chromosomes can make!

It is folly to believe that such a process as simply allowing the seed to germinate somehow disables all the bad potential of modern wheat. It still contains the gliadin protein that clouds your thinking and stimulates appetite. It still contains glutens that disrupt intestinal health. It still contains amylopectin A that sends your blood sugar through the roof. It still contains lectins that disable the normal intestinal barriers to foreign substances. It still contains apha amylase, peroxidases, lipid-transfer proteins, and thioredoxins responsible for a variety of allergic phenomena.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Firebird

    No doubt you are not much of a fan of Jordan Rubin and his “Maker”s Diet” which calls for following Biblical dietary recommendations, of which Ezekial bread is at the top of the list.

    • Well, it”s the problem with virtually all diets: They all failed to recognize that wheat is not wheat.

      So it looks like Jordan Rubin fell in that trap, too, as have many before him.

      • Steven


        Anyone know about wheat bran? It has no gluten or carbs, so is it an exception to the argument that wheat is wheat? I use Norwegian wheat bran crackers.

        • Dr. Davis

          But full of wheat residues, Steven, including gliadin that stimulates inflammation and appetite.

          There are far safer ways to get fiber, such as vegetables, flaxseed, chia, and nuts. Also, most people do not need the fiber they needed before while consuming wheat, which is incredibly disruptive on bowel health.

          • Steven

            Dear Dr. Davis,

            Thanks for your clarification! I am not sure what you mean by “wheat residue.” I will ask about wheatgrass powder now though, just to get it over with. At that stage it would not have significant carbs or proteins, I think. I guess you will say it is bad, but how bad and why? And, how do you see rye crackers, since rye was not subjected to genetic interference? I am in the middle of your book and it seems you are opposed to the genetically-modified wheat, but not so much against the ancient wheat. If so, then wouldn’t rye be the way to go, or are you opposed to all gluten as such? Thanks again.

          • Steven

            Hi, again, Dr. Davis. I have a final question. I want to test my urine pH, to see if it is too acidic, but the ketone strips I see seem totally not up to the task since pH only ranges a tiny bit, as you point out in the book, so the range is far too high, e.g., it goes from 5 to 15, where we would be dead if it even hit 6. So, are there special strips, made for detecting minute differences in human urine pH, about ten times smaller than the ones I see sold? Thanks. I am at around the 4th bagel, in your great book. Steven

  2. Nancy

    So glad you posted this. My daughter was just asking me why does it mention bread in the bible if we aren”t supposed to eat it.
    Personally I ate the Ezekiel bread for years and years and still got fat, sick and arthritic despite an seemingly excellent diet full of organic produce and whole grains.
    I”m done with grains- they have ruined my health and its so not worth giving into the health hype ever again.
    Dr. Davis- I have been really watching for the hidden gluten in my supplements like you advised and have found it in 3 of them! No wonder my progress has been slow.

  3. Birgit

    I would like to add my perspective as a strong believer in a diet full of what God has designed for food (which is not modern wheat).
    My favorite book on this is not Jordan Rubin”s book but Rex Russell”s book “What the Bible says about Healthy Living”, to which Jordan Rubin wrote the foreword. Rex Russell wrote this book in the 1996. He has taken the principles of Biblical eating and explained why the Human machine runs best on the fuel and the replacement parts that it was designed to receive: natural foods. He has backed this up with the results of many scientific studies in his book. For people who are not religious you can replace the word God with Nature and still find this to be useful.
    These principles are:
    1.Eat only substances God created for food.
    2. As much as possible, eat foods as they were created- before they are changed or converted into something humans think might be better.
    3. Avoid food addictions. Don”t let any food or drink become your god.

    Eating modern wheat violates all three of these rules.
    Modern wheat should either be considered as man-made or at least as man-modified and it has been shown to be addictive.
    While traditional wheat varieties like Einkorn and Emmer may be suitable for some people (who don”t have celiac or gluten-intolerance) they may only be safe in any significant quantities for people who did not grow up on the modern Western diet of white flour, corn, soy and sugar. In other words, lowering carbs by cutting out most or all grains and beans and sweeter fruits may be a therapeutic step necessary at least temporarily to improve insulin sensitivity, and, depending on how much damage was already done to the pancreas and other body parts, may be necessary for the rest of someone”s life to be healthy.
    Both Einkorn and Emmer are available for purchase online for people who believe they have a high tolerance for carbohydrates in their diet or who want to consider growing wheat grass from these more natural wheat grains.

    • Mike

      I admire your efforts to reconcile your religion with what you obviously believe to be true about grains, I”m just not sure that they”re applicable. Even if we replace the word ”God” with the word ”Nature” we are still dealing with the highly subjective. There is no food CHAIN, there is a food CYCLE (as Lierre Keith explains in ”The Vegetarian Myth”) and as such, humans have been ”created” as food, as much as any other living organism. Consequently I would suggest “Eat only substances God created for food” may need a rethink…..

  4. Dana

    It”s worth noting that any benefit in Ezekiel bread which might be derived from sprouting the wheat is negated because they also add wheat gluten to the dough. I remember some of the real-foodie blogs having a fit when Food For Life started doing that, but it hasn”t changed FFL”s behavior any.

  5. Just curious if you have any comment about the fact that the Ezekiel bread and all other commercially available sprouted wheat breads that I”ve ever seen, have “wheat gluten” on the ingredients list? This must contribute to these products being problematic. Seems very different to me than sprouting and making your own at home with just a couple of known ingredients.

    • Yes, Dana makes the same point in her comment.

      Yet another reason to avoid, eh? Gluten contains gliadin and gliadin makes you eat more . . . and more and more and . . .

  6. Gunther

    We all lead busy lives. Does any one know any commercial wheat free products for breads and cereals that don”t contain cornstarch, potato, rice or tapioca starch.

    • See the recipes in the Wheat Belly book and here in this blog, Gunther.

      All these recipes are wheat-free, gluten-free (provided you scrutinize ingredienets properly), and limited carbohydrate.

      • Gunther

        Thank you for your prompt reply Dr Davis. I know the recipes are in the book for walnet bread and flax seed wrap but I can”t find commercial products that produce wheat free breads, wraps and cereals. Can someone provide a link or recommend some.

        • Sadly, Gunther, there are presently next to no commercial sources of such products that truly live up to the wheat-free, low-carbohydrate claim.

          That”s why the recipes are so helpful. I believe there will indeed, in future, be commercial products available, as the market starts to recognize that there is a demand.

    • Robert Mincey

      I found 4 varieties of German bread in the foreign food aisle at the meijers grocery store here in Michigan. The brand name is Mestemacher, & the ingredients for one of them, are whole kernal rye, water, wholemeal rye flour, salt, oat fiber & yeast! Hope that helps!

  7. David

    What about wheat grass juice? Is that safe, since the wheat plant is still in its grass, rather than its berry/seed form?

    • While the evil components of wheat are from the seed, to my knowledge nobody has done a formal analysis of the contents of wheatgrass.

      So I don”t know. But, given the horrendous effects of wheat seed consumption, my advice is: When in doubt, avoid.

  8. Terry May

    Greetings Dr. Davis:

    I have certainly read your postulations about modern wheat and amylopectin A sending blood sugars through the roof. I have shared my success with you. Update…my last injection of any type of insulin was bedtime, 10 units of 24 hour insulin on February 22/12. Today, of course, is February 26/12. Four days without insulin. This morning my FBS was 5.4 mmol/L (97.3 mg/dl), my pre-supper reading was
    5.1 mmol/L (91.9 mg/dl), and one and one-half hour post supper was 5.8 mmol/L (104.5 mg/dl). Today I begin week 12 since I first picked up your book in the local bookstore. I”ve also shed 35 pounds. If this reality remains with me, then being grateful is an understatement. Thank you so much.

    • Nancy

      @ Terry- I have been trying desperately to get my type one brittle pump wearing diabetic friend to get off the wheat and artificial sweeteners for years. She has suffered SO much from injuries and broken bones as a direct cause of unstable blood sugars. It breaks my heart. I shared your story with her today and am trying (and nagging) her to PLEASE read Wheat Belly and Dr Bernsteins Diabetes Solution.
      Any thoughts as to anything that may have convinced you to try before? I get so frustrated with her. She is SO addicted to wheat and shoves it in constantly. I have even tried to appeal to her husband. I wish I could tie her up for a month and feed her right! :-/
      I don”t want to watch her die, she is in terrible shape.
      I welcome any ideas from anyone, especially type 1 insulin dependent diabetics.

      • Tyrannocaster

        Nancy, the sad fact is that you may not be able to convince her. I experienced something like this with my own mother, who was a smoker. After getting emphysema she was put into the hospital with congestive heart failure; all the time this went on I was trying to get her to stop smoking but she wouldn”t do it. The fact is, people are their own masters, as much as sometimes we may hate it. She died in that hospital, desperate for a cigarette which they wouldn”t give her. You might tell your friend that that is how my mother ended up; perhaps your friend needs a shock to get her to try going wheat free, but addiction is tough to fight.

        Good luck.

        • Nancy

          You”re right. We can”t control them can we?
          I had no success with my dad- he died an awful death from diabetes. Then my brother from drugs, and now my sister is drinking herself to death. I tried everything to help all of them. Maybe getting off wheat will help me stop trying to rescue everyone!
          Its just so hard to watch when you know you have the answer to lessen or even cease their suffering. Why won”t they trust you enough to just try :-(

          • Nancy, I”ve seen from my own life”s struggles and those of people dear to me that changing destructive behavior has to come from within, cannot be imposed by another if lasting results are to be obtained. Your stories are heart-breaking. I”ve been through similar situations with several friends–smoking, drugs, alcohol addictions. I”m an old lady so I take it upon myself to give a little advice now and then. Love them if you can do so without harming yourself. I don”t believe there is any other way to gain trust or help another person. Love unconditionally and without judgment. Live by example and let them come to the desire for change on their own. Be there for them when they”re ready for your support.

    • Terry, what wonderful news! I”ve sent copies of your post to a couple of friends with diabetes. Haven”t heard anything back yet but I hope they will follow your example and use Dr. Davis” information to regain their health. My husband and I keep cracking each other up because every time we talk to anyone we can”t help bringing the topic around to this subject.

      ~Wheat Belly Zealots.

  9. Betty

    Doesn”t the next part of the Bible reference say to bake it over human excrement? And isn”t it a provision God made for the people in a time of famine, and Ezekiel was horrified at the thought of eating bread instead of ”real food”?

  10. My husband and I were talking about this very thing last night. He has a hard time wrapping his brain around no wheat, ever again….. I keep reminding him wheat is no longer wheat. But really, I”m not entirely convinced myself…. (I”m convinced that wheat has been tampered with beyond recognition, I”m just not convinced of the benefits of eliminating an entire food group….)
    Our entire family of 8 has been wheat free since Dec 2nd on a trial basis. My husband needs to go back for lab work (I never had any blood work done before going wheatless; he did) and we”ll decide if we”re continuing this way of eating….
    We have seen small changes (most notably decreased appetite and not feeling deprived when we pass on goodies) and a little bit of weight loss, but nothing big and major like so many are reporting. Honestly, it”s a little discouraging. We”ve given up all wheat (and I have over 200 lbs of wheat berries in my pantry and a grain mill sitting on my counter!) eat rice only very occasionally and only very small portions (same with legumes and potatoes) seriously increased our consumption of veggies, eggs, almonds & healthy oils. Hemp seeds, chia seeds and ground flax appear regularly as condiments on our table.NO sugar, etc. Oh, we even bought a half of a grass fed cow….. All that – and I have only lost 15 lbs – not even primarily from the belly region – and I have LOTS of weight to lose (still another 50-65 lbs) We”ve also got several family members dealing with constipation, which hasn”t been an issue at all for us while eating whole grains regularly….I just wish we were seeing mind-boggling results – that would be a little more convincing to me of the necessity to forever remain wheat free….

    • Boy, Tracy, it sounds like you are doing all the right things to give your family optimum health or, as my friend Norah says, Love on a Plate. 15 lbs in three months isn”t bad. In fact, it”s probably a very healthful rate of weight loss. I know we all get impatient when the scale isn”t reflecting the changes we”ve made. I have been thinking that, out of impatience, I may be trying to lose too quickly, myself. (Sounds like we have a similar amount of weight we”d like to drop.) I”ve been reading as many of the blog posts as I can find time for and I”ve noticed that there seems to be a tendency for older people or people with severe illness to experience and notice more dramatic changes in their health/bodies. My husband and I have been on the WB way of eating for about a month now. I”ve lost 22 lbs, he”s lost 8. I exercise a great deal more than he does and I also drink a lot more water. We eat almost exactly the same thing, though he tends to eat larger portions and a little more of the carbs, but not much. I have seen/felt many major changes in my health/body already, he has not noticed much of anything other than a slow reduction of belly fat. (I once had a doctor tell me that he felt sorry for people like me who were so sensitive to their bodies. I think he was trying indicate that he thought I was a hypochondriac, which I am not–have been amazingly healthy until I hit my late 40”s, which was when this doctor met me.) My husband, on the other hand, is notoriously unobservant, so I”m not surprised that he”s not noticing subtle change. It will take longer for him, but we are both confident that the changes will happen. I hope you will continue with your efforts to keep wheat out of your and your family”s diet. I really believe you will see positive change, though it may take many months. In regard to the constipation: are those family members drinking enough water and getting enough healthful fats?
      I”ve always done all my own baking so have large stores of wheat products I don”t know what to do with either. On the one hand, I don”t want to waste food. On the other hand, I can”t bring myself to offer poison to anyone, knowingly. I guess it”s going to end up in the compost bin.

    • The transformations in metabolic markers, Tracy, require that the right markers be measured. The markers I use are:

      NMR lipoproteins (for small LDL)
      HbA1c and glucose
      C-reactive protein

      These measures generally reveal dramatic improvement pre- and post.

      • Question – even though we have been wheatless for a few months, should a test now (testing these specific markers) and then another in another month or so show improvement? or only after the initial elimination of wheat?

        A few weeks before we discovered you via your post at Wellness Mama, which Elizabeth Foss shared a link to, my husband had had a general physical (w/ labwork) which showed his blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol to be high. I was searching for what to do nutritionally to help him. Ironically enough – all the advice included ”eat more healthy whole grains”…. but we already ate healthy whole grains….. and already did everything else that was suggested (but do fall short on the exercise, admittedly) except I figured we could stand to eat more leafy greens…
        The day after I read your post, we dropped wheat…. we were too stupid to think to ask if we needed to test something first ;-)

        what are good numbers for each of those markers??

  11. I like you, Grace! :-)

    Thank-you for taking the time to encourage me ~ that is so sweet! Your point about those with serious aliments having more dramatic results is a good one. Besides some bothersome joint pain (which is much improved, but still often noticeable) and having that 65-80 lbs to lose when we went wheat free, I AM in relatively good health.
    Don”t ya just love Drs?! (No offense, DR D ;-)
    I do think we are getting enough healthy fats ~ I”m certainly going through the coconut oil!$! Water – a few of my little ones, I do have to remind to drink more water sometimes, but I, myself, who has the most trouble ”getting things moving”, drink 80-120 oz a day. I do drink a cup (sometimes 2) of coffee pretty much daily – but in it, I put a heaping tsp of xylitol, 1/2 Tbs coconut oil, 1-2 Tbs coconut milk, and some cream, so surely all that balances out any ill-effects of the coffee…. I also take 2 freakishly large TBS of flax daily and sometimes think to add in a few tsp of magnesium. You”d think that”s be enough…. It”s just odd to me that so many people mention ”moving freely” for the first time in years when going wheat free, while I have experienced the opposite; I used to go 3 times a day, now I am lucky to go once every 3 days…. Doesn”t make sense. Neither does it make sense that we both have roughly the same amount of weight to lose & you lost 22 lbs in a month, while I lost a barely noticeable 15 lbs in 3 times as long… (although – I AM very happy for you!!) It just makes it a little harder to be sure that wheat free is really that beneficial…..
    Oh – I know just how you feel!! I came to the conclusion, though, that if my friends ARE going to continue to eat wheat, (and we are going to continue NOT to…) than I will can go ahead and bless them with the wheat from my pantry, freeing up a bit of their money for something else. It”s like buying cigarettes for someone. I don”t choose to smoke, and I certainly would prefer that my brother not smoke either, but until he WANTS to quit, it is more loving of me to buy him a pack of smokes on occasion, that it is for me to ”righteously” withhold them….

    • Hi Tracy,
      I just wanted you to know that you are not alone in giving up wheat with a stockpile of wheat berries. In my case, I coordinated a grain delivery and have probably 1000+ pounds of wheat, spelt, kamut and beans that we are no longer using!! Prior to reading Wheat Belly, I thought we would be able to go back to it in a sprouted or fermented form at some point (have been gluten free for a year). If you click on my name, I think it will take you to my blog where I have been sporadically blogging about our transition from grinding my own grain to giving up all grains.

      On the weight loss, I wanted to encourage a trial of a starch free diet. We recently discovered that our daughter”s lifelong health issues are due to the fact that she lacks the enzymes to break down starch. We went from wheat free to 100% grain free at the beginning of this year. Wow, the entire family has dropped weight. Pounds I didn”t think it was possible for me to loose have been falling off, still without exercise which is something I desperately need to get added into my routine.

      As far as constipation issues go, I am still struggling with this as well, however, this has been a lifelong struggle for me and has greatly improved since going wheat free. Sadly, for me, it appears that even the smallest amount of anything dairy will send me into a backwards spiral very quickly. I also think that my system does not appreciate flax, coconut flour or possibly the increased amount of almonds. It is going to take me a while longer to figure out exactly what the problem food is, but thankfully our diet is so pure these days, that it is much easier to pinpoint the offender.

      Don”t give up! We have been on a journey for many year trying to get answers for our daughter. While going gluten free made a world of difference, it has been a year full of even more questions, continued problems (resolved since discovering the starch problem), albeit in lessor frequency and lots of mistakes. However, we have learned so much as a family and my kids are enjoying becoming part of the process of meal planning/preparation.

  12. Colette

    I haven”t read your book yet, I am on a wait list at the library, but I was wondering what your thoughts are about using Einkorn or Emmer wheat in bread making? I understand it still has gluten, but since it is the stuff of ancient times, shouldn”t we be able to tolerate it better? FWIW-I have been grain free for about 3 months, following a high protein, high (good) fat, very low carb diet. My carbs come from veggies. Although I have been loosing some weight, it hasn”t been a ton, and I was overweight to begin with. I keep thinking I should be feeling much better than I am, and loosing more weight. It is entirely possible that I am not being patient enough. I also am looking into better quality meat, rather than the grocery store variety, to see if that will help. I was hoping that I will become Leptin sensitive again, and get to my goal weight and then I could add back a miniscule amount of bread back into my diet.

    • Once you read the book, Colette, you will learn about a common and fundamental flaw in much nutritional thinking:

      If something bad is replaced by something less bad and there”s an apparent health benefit, then a whole bunch of the less bad thing is good for you.

      Apply this to emmer and einkorn: Are these “less bad” forms of wheat . . . good? I don”t think they are; they are less bad. But if that is your health compromise, you”ll still be better off than eating modern wheat.

        • @Colette
          If you are going to make bread, even w/ an ancient strain, I would also recommend making the bread sourdough. All bread was sourdough before the 19th century; the development of quick-rise yeast was, IMO, a nutritional disaster.

          • Jeffrey of Troy–Thank you for your input. I have been looking into sourdough a little. I haven’t had a chance to really delve deep into that world (i am currently in school and so a lot of my time is balanced between kids and school), but plan on trying to figure that all out. If you check back on this post, I’d be interested in any advice/websites you could point me towards.


  13. Claire

    No grain obviously makes a lot of sence but one thing has been puzzling me, shouldn’t celiacs be super healthy and have no heart disease? I know that now there are a lot of gluten free products which are just as bad as normal wheat products, made with grains and loaded with suger, but in the past (and I’m not talking very long ago) these didn’t exist. If these people where eating practically grain free, why weren’t they healthier? Also, why are so many celiacs also diabetic? Shouldn’t it be the opposite?
    Has any research been done into this?

    • Dr. Davis

      Celiacs are often type 1 diabetics because the immunology of the disease overlaps, and both are also triggered by wheat consumption prior to wheat removal, given the incredible and typical delay in diagnosis.

      The problem with tracking the health of celiac people is that their health is impacted by the celiac itself. It’s therefore hard to separate the effects of wheat elimination from that of the celiac itself. Note that celiac disease is not cured with wheat removal in all cases, as many have encountered extensive and, to some degree, irreversible damage to the gastrointestinal tract from consumption of wheat prior to its removal.

  14. Sandy

    Almost didn’t read the book because the cover and title looked too much like a clever marketing ploy, but we’ve been giving it a try for two weeks after a friend lost 30 pounds following your advicet. My husband has been a hard core Type II diabetic for the past six years, but he finally got off all his meds, except for glucophage, and hit the reset button a year ago. None of the Type II meds had actually lowered his glucose, and they caused weight gain and made him feel very tired (eventually making him very anemic). We’ve worked for the past year to remove all crud from our diet following the Schwarzbein program. She actually recommends that folks try to go gluten-free for a few months to see if they have a problem, but my husband thought that was a bit extreme. I dabbled with gluten-free for a couple of weeks at a time, and each time I added back a piece of Ezekiel bread for breakfast, I would gain 3-5 pounds and have the arthritis in my hips flair up.

    After reading your book, my husband decided to try grain-free. He had improved a lot the past year, but his diabetes is pretty stubborn in spite of a 30 pound weight loss, careful diet and exercise. We went to see a diabetes research specialist last month to see if he is developing Type I diabetes. We go back in a few weeks, and I think they’ll flip out when they see how much his numbers have improved. My husband has nothing giggling on him, and most people wouldn’t consider him over-weight at this point. In just the past two weeks grain-free, his blood sugars have started moving downward consistently. Each day he’s hitting a new low. His morning glucose before breakfast was always the tough one, never lower than 130 and sometimes reaching over 160, and there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to it. This morning it was only 105, and he had eaten a cup of potatoes for supper just to see what would happen! We haven’t reduced the overall carb totals of his meals (15 grams)—just replaced the grains with other whole food carbs. We are amazed and encouraged. Thank you!

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s terrific, Sandy!

      No, no marketing ploy here. Only truth.

      I wrote this book because of the incredible results I see every day in the patients in my office. And they have repeated themselves in people like your husband who is on his way to saying goodbye to diabetes. We have therefore found a way to stop diabetes: Doing the OPPOSITE of what the American Diabetes Association and the USDA Food Plate tell us to do.

  15. Tara

    I see that Einkorn is actually available on the market now.

    While I’m not sure it would be safe for those who are truly glucose intolerant, would this be an acceptable wheat to eat?

    • Dr. Davis

      It’s indeed better, Tara, but does that make it good?

      Despite some people’s enthusiasm for resurrecting einkorn, there is still too little known about its metabolic effects.

      Nonetheless, should you choose to use it, please report back your experience: We are learning from them!

  16. This June, 2012, in Arizona we will harvest our first crop of White Sonora Wheat which is one of the oldest varieties of wheat in North America. We are also harvesting Emmer and 8 types of open pollinated corn revived from ancient seed. Our purpose is to restore the local grain economy with ancient seeds adapted to the Southwest. I am so excited to read from Wheat Belly that modern wheat is not wheat. as the difference between ancient wheat plants and modern wheat is so obvious in our fields. Our Sonora and Emmer wheat are chest high with roots that are 10X deeper than modern wheat. It looks like a completely different type of crop compared to modern wheat. With Dr. Davis permission I could post a link to photos.

    • Dr. Davis

      Please do, Jeff!

      I think we should entertain these conversations about older and ancient forms of wheat and learn about their effects.

  17. Mariam K

    What I would like to know, is that, if we eliminate the wheat, can we replace it with any other flour such as coconut or almond or even sesame? to get the benefits of the bread minus the wheat?

  18. James C

    Dr. Davis,
    Am on day 3 of the Wheat Free life. Am feeling great. What is your opinion on sprouting the ancient grains? I am considering growing Einhorn and Emmer and want to try sprouting it. From some minor reading, sprouting is supposed to change some of the enzymes and make it more digestible. Have you studied this or are aware of any research? It appears that sprouting the ancient Einhorn would be the best that one could do on this front. I do understand your point, though, to limit even Einhorn. Could you please comment? Thank you for writing the excellent book! James

  19. Steve

    So Spelt flour still contains high levels of amylopectin A? Therefore it is bad for you?

    • Dr. Davis

      To my knowledge, nobody has performed an analysis on the form of amylopectin in spelt.

      But spelt is a form of wheat. While not as harmful as modern wheat, it is not necessarily good for you.

      • Mark

        Dr. Davis, what is it that makes it not good for us? is it the glycemic index? Sorry I think I said this reply in another post.

  20. Silvina Lo Giudice

    I came across an article yesterday at a local magazine,about Dr. Davis wheat Belly, and it shocked me. We lived in Puerto Rico and my kids and my husband adore bread and we realized that our diet is completly dominated by wheat. I’ve been reading your blog and will buy your book. We have local fruits and vegetables all year round grown locally, but my daughter doesn’t like much of it . How should I start with her, she is 11 and overweight. She likes cheese sandwiches and pasta. And all kinds of fruits. 0 vegetables. She is hypoglicemic. Does your book contain a seccion for kids?
    Thank you for sharing such great information!

    • Dr. Davis

      Then it likely means, Silvina, that the health benefits your family will experience will be substantial!

      I think you start with education–let your daughter know WHY you are suggesting a change in diet. Perhaps she might give it a try for 4 weeks to see what happens. Expressed in such a manageable, discrete way, most people are agreeable. And most of the time they are shocked at the positive results!

  21. Merradyth McCallister

    I was wondering if Spelt would still be OK to use. Also what about Rice? I cant seem to eat rice without my throat tightening and having stomach discomfort. I hadn’t heard of Rice causing allergies. I went to Sam’s Walmart Wholesale Bakery. They didn’t have a single baked item or bread that was wheat free and only one cracker. I requested they stock Wheat Belly.

    I have spent a lifetime to solve my weight problem and I am excited. My daughter has Down’s Syndrome and she is helping me shop and check out labels and stores. She makes her own pizza and now has started using wheat free tortillas. I was hoping Spelt would work.

    Merradyth McCallister, OKC, OK

    • Dr. Davis

      I would not, Merradyth.

      While it is less harmful than modern wheat, it is not without its own problems, especially from the carbohydrates.

      And I would pay attention to the effect that rice causes and avoid, even if your experience is uncommon.

  22. Gracie Perkins

    So no Ezekiel bread then? I’ve read it is ok for the NO WHEAT movement. I hardly consume ANY flour but I do eat Ezekiel sprouted grain once a day about 4-5 days a week. I’m a single mom, work 40 plus hours a week so I am not making my own bread…period. I have no time in my day for that. Suggestions?

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, sorry, Gracie, but there is no way around making your own bread, at least for the present. Ezekiel bread is no better than other forms of wheat bread, more of a marketing ploy than a genuine health benefit.

      There will be commercially produced non-wheat but healthy breads in future. As these products come to market, I will announce on this blog.

      • carrie k

        not so! I am not a bread baker either, but love to eat the ezekiel bread. our local mennonite community has some ladies that make fresh ezekiel bread for sale. delicious and nutritious! maybe your area has someone similar…

        • Alison

          I was constipated most of my life and it became extreme the older I got ( in my late 40s went 2 weeks without bowel movement). It was not until I switched to Ezekiel muffins with chia seed that I found relief. My dr. Recommended chia seeds. I’m terrified of trying other flour based products. But it does seem like my belly is getting bigger. Do I have to choose between a big belly or constipation or could it be the chia seed that is really helping the constipation?

          • Barbara in New Jersey

            You need to be drinking AT LEAST 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day. Probiotics (50 billion cfu and up) will help restore your digestive system. Dr. Davis has recommend this.

            Chia is very good, but needs the liquid.

  23. Julie

    I am also interested in buckwheat. It is more of a legume isn’t it? It is not a grass. Has buckwheat been studied on it’s effects on blood sugar? We used buckwheat as a covercrop for our garden this year, and if I do it again, I would harvest some of the seeds and make flour if it is indeed a good substitute for wheat. Please answer,thanks! – Julie

    • > … buckwheat …

      According to, buckwheat is 71% carbs, and 10% fiber carbs, for 61% net carbs. This is junk carb territory.

      This means that a mere one ounce is 17 grams net carbs, or 3 grams over the WB recommendation for an entire meal or 6-hour period.

  24. Bonnie S Botkins

    Dear Dr Davis,
    About 15 years ago I started waking up in the mornings with swelling around my eyes, I assumed it was my salt and MSG intake, so I reduced the salt in my diet and the amount of commercialy packaged foods. Still I would wake up with swollen eyes, though not as severe. I then eliminated soda, still no difference. I started putting on weight, feeling alot of fatiuge, anxiety, GI troubles, swelling of my hands and ankles, bloating, aches and pains, since I’m now in my 50’s I assumed it was all part of aging. I lost the weight by doing a popular low carb diet, but still had the other nagging little symptoms. I came across your wheat belly video, as I am very concerned about GMO’s and other toxins in our food system. I have removed most grains from my diet about a week ago and for the first time in 15 years the swelling around my eyes is dissappearing and I have improvement with all my other little nagging symptoms.

    How long will it take for me to reach the full benefits of being grain free? I’ve got 15 years of it to clean out of my system.


    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Everyone “recoups” at their own rate. Of course, the stricter you are about eating clean food and staying within the carb limits while drinking half your body weight in ounces of water daily and taking all the supplements recommended by Dr. D. will sped your recovery.

      It is easy to increase compliance gradually while you continue to reduce any alcohol consumption.
      Underlying health issues sometimes come to the forefront. The “reward” is feeling better than you have felt in many years!

  25. Tracy McGrath

    I haven’t read your book yet,but I am going to buy it. My cousin just told me about it. From what I understand so far by reading the posts,it sounds like no sugar,no flour, no wheat products,no rice,no potatoes or anything starchy. Do I have that right so far? What about honey & oatmeal? I do not like stevia. haha It sounds like the atkins diet to me.

    • > From what I understand so far by reading the posts, it sounds like …

      > … no sugar, …

      Correct. No simple sugars (mono- and di-saccharides). Many alternatives are available. See:

      > … no flour, …

      No flours made from gluten-bearing grains or high-glycemic starches. Many alternatives are available, starting with almond and coconut flours.

      > … no wheat products, …

      Drive consumption of all gluten-bearing grains (wheat, rye, barley) and commonly gluten-contaminated grains (oats) to zero.

      > … no rice, …

      Very limited, and rices vary wildly in net carbs. WB has a 15 grams net carb per meal or 6-hour period target.

      > … no potatoes or anything starchy.

      Pretty much; with carbs, it’s all about the net carbs.

      > Do I have that right so far?

      Pretty much.

      > What about honey & oatmeal?


      If the honey isn’t actually, fraudulently, HFCS, as 30% on the market is, it’s a simple sugar and fructose carb overload.

      Oats are the highest glycemic of the non-gluten grains, and are frequently cross-contaminated with gluten.

      > I do not like stevia.

      Numerous alternatives are available, including erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol, and stevia blends that substantially change the stevia experience.

      > haha It sounds like the atkins diet to me.

      Except for being consistent and sustainable, which Atkins is not, WB has vague similarities to Atkins Induction Phase (AIP). AIP is hard ketogenic (20 grams net carbs/day vs. WB’s 50). AIP sets up it’s own later failure by allowing more than 50 later, and by entirely failing to recognize the hazards of “whole grains”.

  26. warren

    My wife and managed to find red fife at the farmers market

    its still wheat, but is better to eat ?

    • > So is Spelt Bread OK to use or should we avoid that as well?

      It’s wheat no matter how it’s spelt. :)

      It’s a gluten-bearing grain. It’s high glycemic. It may or may not actually be heirloom genetics, and may or may not present the other toxic hazards of modern wheat, but it has always been a problem in the human diet.

      See also:
      Heirloom wheats,89.0.html

  27. Jane Ferndean

    Dr. Davis, What about yeast, as in nutritional yeast and the low-sodium Vegit Spike seasoning? Spike also has hydrolyzed soy protein. Please comment on whether nutritional yeast and hydrolyzed soy protein should be avoided. Thank you!

    • > … and the low-sodium Vegit Spike seasoning? Spike also has hydrolyzed soy protein.

      Be sure to check the lot number of any of that stuff. It was subject to a recall a few years ago.

      “hydrolyzed soy protein” an MSGs alias. The processed food industry, ever eager to “enhance flavor”, but prevent you from knowing exactly what you are eating, has at least 19 different names for MSG, if they’re even being honest, which they frequently are not.

      If you are MSG-sensitive, you need to know. For most of us, the hazards of MSG (as MSG) may be exaggerated, but it’s probably worth avoiding where that’s not too troublesome.

      MSG is often not just MSG. “Acid hydrolysis also results in the unwanted formation of carcinogenic mono- and di-chloropropanols.” For more on this whole mess, see:

  28. Amy Crain

    I just skimmed through this strand, and I didn’t see an answer to the question about buckwheat. Since it is not a wheat but a member of the rhubarb family..Is it a safe assumption that finding a gluten free bread recipe using buckwheat flour is safe? Is xanthum gum safe as well, to use as a binder when making a buckwheat bread?
    Thanks in advance for a reply.
    Amy Crain

    • Jacqueline

      I used to be a big fan of buckwheat pancakes before reading wheat belly. However now that I am educated about the dangers of high blood sugar, I am diligent about avoiding all sources (including buckwheat) of carbohydrates that raise my blood sugar. Dr. Davis recommends keeping carbs around 15 per meal or 6 hour window. In my view the nut flour pancakes and waffles are superior to the rest anyway! The nut breads are also good, but entirely different from any other breads.

  29. rosanna

    I gave up wheat and turned to sprouting spelt bread… my belly swelled up like i was 9 months pregnant… so much so i even considered getting a pregnancy test!! Every time I eat the spelt bread this is the result. So spelt is out for me!!

    • Lisa

      I just had the same thing happen to me! I’ve been eating Ezekial bread for a week now and I have swollen up huge! How long did it take for your belly to return to normal?

  30. Jamie

    So, what are we to replace wheat with? I was so excited that I found some Ezekiel bread at the local health food store. I’ve worked very hard at trying to stay with whole grains and avoid white flour products for the last few years. Now I can’t eat it? How do we keep sandwiches together? What do we wrap our Mexican dishes with?! It’s just insane. I’m a regular person that shops at Wal-Mart, and have very few other options. So if it’s not there, we’re screwed. I can’t even eat oatmeal anymore? What do we eat for breakfast, with protein and fiber? We’ve been eating eggs every day now, because I don’t know what else to fix. And frankly, I don’t poop much anymore since cutting out grains. Now what? =/

  31. Karen

    Dr. Davis,

    Please explain what you mean by stating that Ezekiel bread is no better than other forms of wheat bread. I read all wheat bread ingredient labels and if anyone chooses to purchase wheat bread, Ezekiel is the better choice. The wheat bread sported at supermarkets read high frustose corn syrup or sugar and other unnecessary additives.

    • Dr. Davis

      Nope, sorry, Karen: Sprouted wheat bread has virtually ALL the same constituents as conventional unsprouted bread: gliadin, glutenins, amylopectin A, wheat germ agglutinin, unique allergens like alpha amylase inhibitors and omega-gliadin.

      The claims that this is somehow healthier are patently false.

  32. John

    I haven’t finished your book yet, but it appears that
    We are told to reduce or give up MUCH more than
    Just wheat….even though your book states “lose
    The wheat lose the weight”.

    Can we still have success by simply giving
    up wheat as your book states? (I am a body builder)

    • > I haven’t finished your book yet, but it appears that we are told to reduce or give up
      > MUCH more than just wheat…

      The Stages of WB Enlighenment:
      * Hey, this is low carb. Yup.
      * Wait, this is high fat. Yup.
      * Hello, this is grain-free entirely. Yup.
      * Hmm, this is PUFA-free too. Yup.
      * Gasp, this appears to be borderline ketogenic. Yup.
      * Sigh, organic, non-GMO too. Yup.

      > .. even though your book states “lose The wheat lose the weight”.
      > Can we still have success by simply giving up wheat as your book states?

      Several people have posted substantial results from just ditching wheat. Going free of the modern gluten-bearing grains eliminates major appetite provocation, eliminates a broad spectrum of human toxins, and eliminates high glycemic carbs.

      But do these people just stop eating wheat?
      Probably not.
      Typically, they are going to replace at least some of those calories with other food items. Which ones to add/avoid, and what macronutrient balance to strike, constitute the wider context that Wheat Belly had to address.

  33. david

    What bread if any can we eat that won’t spike blood sugar? Pretty much every bread has some flour be it brown rice flour, tapioka flour i think are healthiest since that’s gluten free. how do you feel about quinoa pasta also?

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Wheat Belly Cook Book has several recipes for breads and there are numerous paleo/primal recipes on line. There are several posted on this blog. Sunflower seed bread is delicious.

    • The maple syrup and the oats are a problem. The suggested substitute of stevia for the syrup is fine, but the suggested substitute of quinoa for oats may not materially reduce the glycemic effect. No macronutrient data was provided, nor a slice count, so it’s hard to guess what the net carbs is for one serving.

  34. Water is the most profound aid that one can use in a weight loss diet.
    But rather than scold them into eating their fruits and vegetables, I find that being creative works much nicer.
    I like my smoothies frozen and make them with frozen fruit most of the time.

  35. Adi

    Is there a list of any approved, packaged breads that are safe to buy other than making the bread at home?

    • > Is there a list of any approved, packaged breads that are safe to buy …

      Not yet. The vast majority of GF breads are high glycemic junk. One brand that claims to also be low carb has a history of low credibility.