Throw more tomatoes!

Sometimes the best lessons come in the form of criticism.

The occasional negative “review” of Wheat Belly on Amazon, for instance, reminds me that:

1) The Wheat Lobby is watching. At least some of the book’s critics oddly never posted anything about any other book before but occupy jobs in the wheat industry. Of course, anyone in the wheat industry has as much right to say what they want as you and I do and they’ve chosen to do so about Wheat Belly.

2) The counterarguments against the concepts detailed in Wheat Belly are, well, silly. Even during on-air debates with PhD nutritionists, I thought I was arguing with children, with their level of understanding of these comments somewhere below rudimentary. I’m happy to argue each issue, point by point, but comments like “Well, the USDA says it’s good!” just don’t hold water.

As representative of #2, witness:

This is a terribly misleading book. A healthy life for most people means a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Blaming one of the world’s oldest staple crops for rising obesity rates is scientifically unjustified and, frankly, laughable. Common sense would deem this author incredible.

Another commenter, cmartel2, then posted this response:

I’m not sure I’d agree. Read the book. Dr. Davis’ issues with grain lie in our modern era tinkering with its genetic composition and the effects this has had on our bodies.

I’ve exercised and eaten reasonably healthy most of my life (i.e. avoiding lots of red meat, generally limiting portion size, rarely eating any junk or fast food, and if so, a grilled chicken sandwich). Still, my weight climbed gradually to 207 pounds at 5 feet, 11 inches in height. I wasn’t obese, but I wasn’t ideal, either. Once I cut out all wheat and most grains (I still rarely treat myself to some Thai food over rice on a rare occasion) from my diet, the weight just started falling off. I didn’t even try or I had a week at work where I was so busy I couldn’t make it to the gym (working 70+ hours per week) and I ended up losing weight. I’m less hungry, and I have more energy.

My weight has dropped from 207 to 169 pounds over the course of 5 months. There haven’t been any flashy gimmicks I’ve followed. I’ve replaced a lot of my carbs with almonds or fruit. I guess I’ve also greatly limited my consumption of potatoes. Make no mistake, I eat until I’m full.

I really don’t have anything else to attribute all of this weight loss to. I’m just a 33-year old guy who said goodbye to wheat and most grains. Higher fiber may have played a roll. I’m still taking the same old fish oil. Still the same D-supplement. Still eating chicken and fish. Still going to the gym 2-3 times per week with 30-40 minutes of cardio.

Thanks, cmartel2, whoever you are!

Critics, as well as most dietitians and people in the nutrition community, have failed to recognize that what they thought was wheat is no longer available. Traditional wheat has been replaced by the high-yield, semi-dwarf strains that we know are genetically removed from the wheat of 1950. Just as corn in 2012 is very different—glyphosate-resistant corn, Bt toxin corn, etc.—from the strains of 1950, certainly different from traditional teosinte, so has wheat been transformed to something almost unrecognizable.

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65 Responses to Throw more tomatoes!

  1. Russ Winter says:

    Doctor, sounds like the only argument the wheat apologists have are ad hominens. I’d let them put me into a “study”, but have my own health to save. I am 61, and 4 months ago I was fatigued and developing way too much visceral fat. I then tested pre-diabetic.

    I was exercising, and getting sugar and corn out of my diet helped some. But I really didn’t turn the corner big time until I got the processed wheat out of my diet. I tried to justify not giving up my sandwiches, and Subways, but now realize that it was my nemesis . The visceral fat melted away, I am energetic, and a new man. I can’t deny my lyin eyes.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      That’s excellent, Russ!

      Yes, the effect of wheat elimination exceeds expectations. I don’t believe that I could write a book called Corn Belly.

  2. Jean E. Brown says:

    My husband and I are both 73 years old with joint pain and wheatbelly. We read Dr. Davis’ book and it sounded like truth being spoken. We are at the end of our 5th week of being wheat free and loving it. Both of us have lost nine pounds and we are astounded that we are not hungry all the time like before. In fact, unless my stomach growls, I don’t even think about the fact that I need to eat. It is amazing.

    We decided to start with just taking the wheat out of our diet. We have not cut back on fats and sugars. We are taking baby steps as we begin our journey to health.

    One thing I have noticed is that for the last two weeks or so, I have been having little bumps on my body and wondered if it was a cleansing process that was taking place since I no longer EVER eat any wheat……at least knowingly. I know sometimes if you detox you will experience some skin problems as your system is cleansed. Does this also happen when you eliminate wheat?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      It would be odd, Jean, but we all have been hearing more about these sorts of unique experiences.

      Please let us know what becomes of this. Of course, it’s always possible that something else entirely is going on.

  3. kit saliba says:

    I am interestd in learning more about cerebellum athrophy. I have a friend who has been unbalanced for years and has just been told she has a shrinking cerebellum. would you please email me some info or studies that i could share with her.

  4. Natalie says:

    How is this diet any different from the atkins diet? Didn’t that diet prove to be dangerous due to it causing kidney failure? The beginning of the book is good, eliminating wheat is probably beneficial but eliminating carbs is dangerous. Our brains need carbs or we go into ketoacidosis!

    • Tanya says:

      Ketosis is benign & perfectly safe, and is easily reversible at any time.

      Diabetic ketoacidosis is totally different, very dangerous, yes, but very rare. It shouldn’t happen on the Atkins diet alone ~ it means that you have something very wrong with your pancreas.

      His diet doesn’t cause kidney failure ~ his only warning is that if you have pre-existing kidney problems to consult your doctor before starting his diet.

      And you don’t have to eliminate all carbs – just the ones from grains. Vegetables are carbs too, eat your salads and healthy cooked veggies and you’ll be getting plenty of carbs.

    • Boundless says:

      > … but eliminating carbs is dangerous.
      The book doesn’t advocate eliminating carbs; just cutting the net carbs down to a near ketogenic level.

      > Our brains need carbs …
      Nope. The brain apparently runs just fine on glucose from carbs, glucose from protein, or ketone bodies from fat.

      > … or we go into ketoacidosis!
      Only if you are dire diabetic straits. NK (nutritional ketosis) and DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) are not the same thing at all.

      There are entire cultures of humans (such as the Inuit, before Twinkies) who live[d] entirely in ketogenic metabolism. Apparently, the other 99.34% of the human race, who live in glycemic metabolism, are making a huge mistake.

      And yes, WB followers need to increase their fat intake.

      • Dr. Davis says:

        Thanks, Boundless!

        You are a gem!

        • Boundless says:

          Well, thanks, doc. But my reply above is pretty much at the edge of what I know about this topic.

          At some point, we’re going to need to discuss the large entity in the room, elephant K we might call it.

          I’m getting the impression that there are a number of pioneers at the border between glycemic metabolism (GM) and ketogenic metabolism (NK), and that NK is still largely unexplored territory, scientifically. It looks like the place to live, though.

          Even the pioneers don’t yet have highly specific nutritional and status checking advice for glycemic refugees.

          Needless to say, this new NK territory frightens endocrinologists (who are already largely incompetent at living in the GM world). Dieticians and nutritionists are almost entirely unaware of the new NK world, and when they learn of it, their brains usually explode.

          • Dr. Davis says:

            Ha ha! Yes, this Brave New Nutritional World is rapidly leaving some people behind, such as the incredibly ignorant endocrine community and the majority of the nutritional community.

            The nutritionists and dietitians are starting to hear the message, however, with more and more starting to understand the issues. I can’t say the same for the endocrinologists!