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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104 Responses to Kick it, smack it, sprout it . . .

  1. Steve says:

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

    • Dr. Davis says:

      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 says:

        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.

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  3. Silvina Lo Giudice says:

    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 says:

      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!

  4. Merradyth McCallister says:

    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 says:

      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.

  5. Gracie Perkins says:

    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 says:

      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 says:

        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 says:

          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 says:

            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.

  6. Mersiha says:

    Hi Doctor,

    Is Buckwheat flour a good alternative to use?

  7. Julie says:

    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

    • Boundless says:

      > … buckwheat …

      According to nutritiondata.com, 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.

  8. Bonnie S Botkins says:

    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.

    Bonnie

    • Barbara in New Jersey says:

      Bonnie,

      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!

  9. Tracy McGrath says:

    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.

    • Boundless says:

      > 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:
      http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/in-pursuit-of-sweetness/

      > … 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?

      Disasters.

      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”.

  10. warren says:

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

    its still wheat, but is better to eat ?

  11. Mark H says:

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

    • Boundless says:

      > 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
      http://wheatfreeforum.com/index.php/topic,89.0.html

  12. Jane Ferndean says:

    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!

    • Boundless says:

      > … 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:
      http://www.westonaprice.org/msg-updates/hydrolyzed-vegetable-proteins-the-full-story

  13. Amy Crain says:

    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 says:

      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.

  14. rosanna says:

    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 says:

      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?

  15. Jamie says:

    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? =/

  16. Karen says:

    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 says:

      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.

  17. John says:

    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)

    • Boundless says:

      > 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.

  18. david says:

    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 says:

      David,

      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.

  19. Nicky says:

    For a delicious bread recipe try this one, but you need to leave it overnight to rest and I add more water and grind the nuts up for easier cutting.I also store it in the freezer sliced up and toast it ;
    http://us.mg6.mail.yahoo.com/neo/launch?.rand=8qs42u0hc4fs8#mail
    Nicky

  20. Nicky says:

    Sorry that link is wrong,here is the link to bread.
    http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/
    Nicky

    • Boundless says:

      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.