Wheat: The UNhealthy Whole Grain

I was invited to give a presentation for the Evening Lecture Series at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, invited by Founder and CEO, Dr. Kenneth Ford.

In the IHMC, by the way, Dr. Ford has assembled an impressive think tank and technology generator involved in robotics, human-machine collaboration, and human performance enhancement. I was floored by the technology that I witnessed at Dr. Ford’s facility, while also flattered that such a champion of technology and human advancement saw fit to entertain the Wheat Belly conversation.

In the world of ideal human performance, there is no room for wheat. No matter how you cut it, consumption of this grass, rendered unnatural by the geneticists aiming to meet the demands of agribusiness, is not suited to us modern day omnivores.

Like This Post? Sign Up For Updates — It’s FREE!

Plus receive my latest collection of recipes, Wheatbelly Hearty Entrees!

Comments & Feedback...

  1. Annette

    My first wheat free thanksgiving weird, but delicious. Also no bloated tummy, no overstuffed feeling. So next year it wont we weird it will be normal. Thanks Dr. Davis for opening our eyes up to the TRUTH.

    • Dr. Davis


      Be sure to see all the recipes in the book and on this blog, Annette, to have a less-weird Thanksgiving next year!

  2. Alice

    A doctor told me recently that he’s been having fibromyalgia patients report improvement in their condition after giving up wheat. Unfortunately the doctor is not yet at the point where he will recommend this to all his patients, so it’s still up to us to pass the news around.

    • Dr. Davis

      I hope that he will eventually see that, not only is it wonderfully effective, it is also cheap, without side-effects, and doesn’t require a prescription!

  3. Sharon

    Yep. I’m doing my share and now have people calling me asking how I have become a non-diabetic and how I look so great. I have been spreading the word and been meeting with people about this new lifestyle and tell them that before I even meet with them, they MUST read “Wheat Belly” first and they do IF they are really serious about becoming healthy. I adore Dr. Davis. He has changed my life and countless others.

    • Dr. Davis

      Great, Sharon! Getting rid of diabetes, as you know, is no small matter. It is a life-changing reversal!

  4. Alice

    Dr. Davis, that was a good presentation. At 1:02:09 you talk about recommended total carbs per meal and I couldn’t quite understand what you said about subtracting 5 grams. Would you please explain that? Do you subtract 5 grams from the total meal or from each part of the meal? Like I might eat a small amount of wild rice with broccoli and some mashed sweet potatoes in a meal because I’m a vegetarian. Thanks.

    • Dr. Davis

      I find that most adults tolerate something around 15 grams “net” carbs (total carbs minus fiber, an old Dr. Atkins idea, but a good one) per meal.

      At or below this level, the majority of people do not trigger glucose, insulin, or formation of small LDL particles that lead to heart disease.

      • Chet Cohron

        If animals eat wheat and we eat animals….aren’t we still getting carbs from animals meat? Is there a Robles from thus cycle?


  5. Cory

    my first wheat-free thanksgving, too. made my own gf biscuits (from your “biscuits & gravy” recipe), as well as crustless coconut custard and pumpkin pies. i actually stopped eating well before my plate was empty because i was full and had NO DESIRE TO EAT ANYTHING ELSE at the time (a huge first for me!!). put everything left on my plate in a container then in the fridge and warmed it all up for breakfast this morning. napped later on because i was tired from all the prep work, NOT because i was so stuffed i couldn’t move. woke up today with energy to actually do something, even hit the pool at the gym at 7:15. i am amazed at how different this year has been from previous years. thanks, dr. davis!!!

  6. Jacqueline

    What a wonderful experience this thanksgiving was! Wheat free is the only way to be! I feel great and invigorated and so healthy, wish I could convince everyone around me to do likewise. I’m so very thankful to you Dr. Davis for showing us the way to good health. The side benefits of looking good too aren’t too shabby either!

    • Sue

      I love your last sentence. “The side benefits of looking good too aren’t too shabby either!”

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s wonderful, Jacqueline!

      Many are making this observation as they make their first wheat-free pass through Thanksgiving, enjoying the wide choice of foods still possible but with none of the downside!

  7. Dr. Davis: Is it possible to ask you a healthy-heart question, on this blog or anywhere else, without joining your Track Your Plaque group? Please reply…

    • Dr. Davis

      I try to keep these conversations centered around wheat issues and the book. So my Heart Scan Blog is where heart questions are most relevant.

  8. Amanda

    Congratulations Dr. Davis for your gift to humankind, 2 million people have visited your site in a year! Something to celebrate because the word is spreading….

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks, Amanda!

      Yes, we are having an impact, without a doubt. It is a movement away from the tyranny of agribusiness!

  9. JIllOz

    Dr Davis, you have a presentation onliine on Wheat with the same title as above on a low carb cruise awhile ago.
    Is this the same presentation delivered elsewhere or is this presentation a different one with the same title??

  10. Sue

    Dr Davis, this presentation, although I’ve seen it pretty much before from an earlier rendition, comes over very professional. Your exuberance still comes through but the slides and the way you explain things are showing progression through practice and experience. You seem to have hit a nail on the head with this subject. If only you had been doing this when I was in my 20’s and dispatched by an ungrateful ex-husband to join Weight Watchers for the first time because I’d gained a few pounds since my wedding! That was the beginning of a long and sad road leading to now.

  11. Uncle Roscoe

    Dr. Davis, I’m beginning to look at food-caused inflammatory and autoimmune conditions in a new light.

    After conception epigenetic proteins work with mitochondria to delineate progenitor cells into specialized cells, and place them where they belong in order to make a human. After we are born our immune system uses the same process to determine how to digest food, and how to distinguish what we eat for food from the antigens which attack us.

    Many cultures around the world eat many things which are poisonous to outsiders. They can do this because they develop and mature eating these foods. Unfortunately pathogens, toxins and food poisons work together to cause our systems to backtrack on their ability to distinguish and use many of the foods which it previously had nailed.

    Most of us judge whether a substance is food or not by parental upbringing, societal influences, preconceived notions, and habit. When we lose the ability to handle a substance, of course the proper response is to stop ingesting the offensive substance. Most of us do not recognize when our systems start down this path, and are ill-prepared to respond. Some of this lack of awareness comes from the opiate nature of substances, as is the case with modern wheat.

    A couple of things to take away? 1) This progression can begin at any age. Witness autism. 2) Losing the ability to handle food substances is progressive. We must all be vigilant, and eliminate foods and drinks from our menus as they begin to harm us.

  12. Kelly

    Hi, I just wrote a bit of a long comment and went to post it and now it’s gone! Just wondering if all wheat has been treated in the ways that you mention for the Clearfield wheat, or ways like this? Like did doing this or things like this create the high yield semi dwarf wheat? With the Sodium azide, Gamma radiation or high dose x-ray or other things like this? I looked up those things and found these things!!! Look at the hands from high-dose x-ray: http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/radiation/Xraytraining/RigakuMiniflexPrism.htm! And also Sodium azide! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_azide! And is the other one Gamma irradiation, like this? http://www.daff.gov.au/aqis/import/general-info/pre-border/gamma/providers? So are you saying that wheat seeds and embryos are treated like this (creating mutations?) and then planted and that’s how they created the high yield semi dwarf wheat? I am in Australia if that makes a difference. At about 11mins 24sec in this video i’m not sure if it skips something or leaves something out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSDkJEF9aBY&feature=plcp? Thanks. I am thinking about getting your book:)

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes. Clearfield wheat was created using the process of purposefully inducing mutations in the embryos and seeds of wheat, an unnatural and bizarre process.

      This process is not peculiar to wheat, but has been used in generating other crops, as well. But it’s bad all around and is likely WORSE than modern genetic modification.

      Yes, modern genetic modification is an improvement over the techniques of gamma ray, x-ray, and chemical mutagenesis.

      • Kelly

        Hi again, thanks for replying! So here in Australia if we don’t have Clearfield wheat, what about the other types? If they are the high yield semi dwarf type but not Clearfield wheat could they be ok? Thanks:)

        • James

          Hi Kelly,

          Wheat contains baddies that are toxic enough, whether you eat modern semi-dwarf high yield wheat, spelt, rye, etc. To be honest, it is far easier to become grain-free altogether! You won’t miss it, believe me :)

          If you still want to bake or eat something with substance, crunchy, etc, substitute more healthy meals / flours for wheat: almond, flaxseed, and a little of buckwheat from time to time (which has nothing to do with wheat by the way). For my kids, I sometimes make these pancakes in the morning. It is quick and nice with either a little sprinkle of xylitol or unsweetened blueberry jam / apple stew or both :) :

          Ingredients (all organic if you can):
          – 3/4 cup almond flour (grind your own if you can with a blender or food processor powerful enough)
          – 1/4 cup buckwheat
          – 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (grind your own if you can)
          – 3 large eggs
          – 1/2 tsp sea salt
          – 1 tsp unsweetened vanilla powder
          – 1 to 2 Tbsp xylitol or equivalent
          – 1 chunk of full fat greek yogurt
          – 1 chunk of full fat cream
          – 1/2 cup of water
          – some clarified butter or ghee for the pan – or coconut oil if you want. I find ghee to be an excellent cooking fat and I started to make my own, it is delicious and dairy intolerant people should have no issue with it.

          Mix all the dry stuff together in a bowl
          In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and add the yogurt and cream. Mix well.
          Add the egg mixture + 1/2 cup water to the dry ingredients and whip the whole thing with an electric mixer until you get a fluid and consistent dough.
          Warm up a pancake pan and add a bit of ghee / clarified butter / coconut oil and make your pancakes sort of wide and thin. Make sure it cooks well before flipping it around because this dough is not as flexible as wheat based dough.

          And that’s it :)


        • Bea Pullar

          Kelly Wheat here in Australia has undergone similar modifications. Some time ago I found an Australian government article “The Biology of Wheat” 2008. It explains in detail changes in wheat. The bottom line is – the result for you when you go wheat free. The health benefits are well worth the effort. BTW you can buy Wheat Belly through various local (Australian) online sites – I used Booktopia for the book, and ebook etc.

      • Kelly

        I think there is Clearfield wheat here in Australia too as i found this: http://www.cropcare.com.au/Clearfield, so i’m guessing it’s the same Clearfield wheat. One of their downloads says this: Clearfield wheat (or one-gene) varieties have experienced a mutation in one of their three genomes
        enabling that genome to produce ALS enzyme that is
        unaffected by imidazolinone herbicides.
        So they actually say that it has experienced a mutation. So i guess what i am wondering is, is there just plain high yield semi dwarf wheat? Or is that bad too because of the opiates? Just trying to understand this? Does the book go into detail about why it’s bad? Thanks:)

        • Boundless

          > … is there just plain high yield semi dwarf wheat?

          Even back then it was already genetically quite distant from heirloom wheat.

          Modern so-called wheat is a massive metabolic disaster, but humans consuming gluten-bearing grains has always been a mistake, so reverting is just a bit less unhealthy. It’s not just the opiates. It starts with being a high GI carb (which wheat has always been), and goes downhill from there.

          And you may not be able to revert. Current “heirloom” grains may no longer be what they claim, and are susceptible to cross-breeding from patented frankenstrains.

          The book goes into most of the details, and focuses on the multiple stealth toxins in wheat.

    • Boundless

      > can I eat Chipotle’s chicken fajita bowl?

      Only if it’s made of cardboard or styrofoam. :)

      If it’s made of flour, it’s bad news, and rather a lot of it, too.

      That said, people who aren’t acutely sensitive to wheat do order meals contain flour wraps, tortillas and bowls, and simply don’t consume the poisonous components of the meal.

      • Boundless

        I mght add, as someone who eats at Chipotle once or twice a year, that they are at least making a token effort to be open about what’s in their products,

        They don’t have a lot of wheat infestation, but the majority of their products contain soy, which is a concern to many people. And they are totally silent on whether the soy and corn products are GMO (we may thus presume that pretty much the entire menu is frankenfoods).

  13. Steve K

    Well, thanksgiving was a bust. I was going I to the day focusing on what I could eat rather than bring something that was wheat-free (besides the turkey). As a result I had 3 days of sluggish training, bloated and today I have the flu (I’m not blaming my flu on the wheat…I just feel crummy).

    I went a full month and felt no ill-effects of my recent bought with diverticulitis. This is a lifestyle and its difficult to pick and choose when you’re the only wheat-free person in a group of 20.

    Live and learn.

    Janesville WI

    • Dr. Davis

      Yup. It’s like going through a meal and contracting a nice case of staphylococcal food poisoning–it’s simply not worth it!

  14. Dr. Davis,

    I know U.S. Wheat is stuffed with poison, but can I eat bread from any other country? Say Europe, etc? Please advise. In 3-4 months I have almost Killed a “beer belly” that I traced back almost (19 years) to the day I got my license and started going to fast-food joints regularly. Thanks.


    • Dr. Davis

      No, Joe. For all practical purposes, ALL the wheat grown worldwide is the high-yield, semi-dwarf strain in some form.

  15. Uncle Roscoe

    My mother had just passed away 5 months prior after a 20-year bout with Parkinson’s disease. I have heard that this can be hereditary and thought I may have this dreaded disease.

    I have no reason to doubt this actually came from someone, as I’ve experienced similar problems. I think it’s noteworthy that these symptoms arose in a person who recently attended a close, dying relative. In this case the writer’s mother had Parkinson’s disease. Later the writer developed wheat-exacerbated autoimmune nerve demyelination. Parkinson’s disease is, or can, also represent wheat-exacerbated autoimmune demyelination.

    “Heriditary”? To me this points, not just at hereditary wheat susceptibility, but at a communicable nerve virus. Ingestion of opioids like the ones in wheat cause shortages of adenosine and choline. These shortages can provide direct viral pathways through the vagus nerve complex into the brainstem.

  16. susnna bonaquist


    • Tanya

      Dizziness could be a cleansing reaction from your body detoxing from going wheatfree… do you tend to have lower blood pressure? I do, and used to feel a bit dizzy upon standing, I make sure I drink plenty of water and add sea salt to my food, my MD told me ‘don’t restrict your sodium’ (not table salt though!)

  17. Jim Buch

    There is an interesting article on the Scientific American website on the difficulties and complexity of the Wheat Genome. It might be of interest so I post the text and link here. It probably belongs best to another thread.

    ‘[ Scientists have yet to completely crack the wheat genome. “This is just one step in the global effort to produce a high-quality draft of the bread wheat genome sequence,” said Jan Dvorak, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis and co-author of the new study, in a prepared statement.]’

    ——————————– TEXT ——————-

    New Slice of Wheat Genome Could Help Feed Growing Global Population

    By Katherine Harmon | November 28, 2012 |

    Common wheat (Triticum aestivum) might seem as boring as the sliced bread it is baked into. But genetically, it is vexingly complex.

    Its genome is about six times as big as our own, and its genes are distributed among six sets of chromosomes (we humans have just two). In fact, the T. aestivum genome contains chunks of genomes from three different “parent,” ancestral grasses that were bred to create wheat.

    This convolution and wheat’s high level of repeating sequences (some 80 percent of the plant’s DNA appears in duplicate or triplicate) have foiled early attempts to sequence its full genome, which has long been seen as a key to improving its cultivation to feed a swelling human population. (About one fifth of all the calories the human population eats come from wheat.) Now a new research effort has reaped an important swath of the sequence. The findings were published online November 28 in Nature (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group).

    The genetic complexity of wheat stems in large part from humanity’s long history of domesticating the crop. This species as we now know it emerged some 8,000 years ago as a cross of goat grass (Aegilops tauschii) and emmer wheat (Triticum dicocoides), which was itself a hybrid that contained two parent genomes on four sets of chromosomes.

    To harvest the common wheat’s genome, researchers needed a quick and efficient sequencing technology that could plow through the 17 gigabases of genetic code. The team selected shotgun sequencing, in which random segments of a genome are broken into chunks, copied and then reassembled where overlapping patterns are detected.

    To help parse the morass of genetic code, researchers compared the wheat genetic data to that of other grains, such as corn and rice. They also mapped the new sequences to those from the closest-known relatives for the three different parent genomes: A. tauschii, Aegilops speltoides and Triticum urartu, as well as Triticum durum (drum wheat), which contains both T. urartu and A. speltoides genomes. Being able to assign more than two thirds of genes to the three respective ancestral genomes “is particularly valuable to wheat researchers because it allows them to differentiate genes and DNA markers,” Peter Langridge of the Australian Center for Plant Functional Genomicsat the University of Adelaide wrote in an essay appearing in the same issue of Nature. This matching can be “a difficult and time-consuming process,” he noted.

    With these methods, the researchers estimate that the common wheat genome contains some 94,000 to 96,000 individual genes. Many of the gene groups that have expanded with time and breeding are related to growth and energy use. Better understanding the location of these genes might help crop scientists make further improvements on different traits to improve yield, drought and disease tolerance, or nutritional profiles.

    Scientists have yet to completely crack the wheat genome. “This is just one step in the global effort to produce a high-quality draft of the bread wheat genome sequence,” said Jan Dvorak, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis and co-author of the new study, in a prepared statement. Still, the analysis represents a a major advance that should yield practical benefits. “The identification of genetic markers in the genome will help breeders accelerate the wheat breeding process and integrate multiple traits in a single breeding program,” said study co-author Anthony Hall, also at Liverpool’s Institute of Integrative Biology, in a prepared statement. “This research is contributing to ongoing work to tackle the problem of global food shortage.”

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks for posting, Jim.

      I’m not holding my breath! These efforts to “crack” the wheat genome are, unfortunately, misguided and can never yield something truly healthy. It might yield something less harmful–maybe!–but cannot yield something entirely benign and healthy, and there would be simply too many undesirable features to engineer out.

  18. Jim Buch

    • Dr. Davis

      Thanks, Jim.

      The complexity of wheat’s genetics also means that there is great potential for inadvertent changes to be introduced via the manipulations of geneticists, many of which have not yet even been charted!

      • Jim Buch

        This complexity issue about wheat genetics would indicate that the possibilities for misunderstanding are really quite large and real. The technical issues may take a long time to attain clarification. Unfortunately, agencies such as the USDA and organizations such as the ADA will continue to have blind faith in the harmlessness of wheat, while denying the actual complexities involved.

        In short, I agree with both of your response comments above centered on the complexity issue.

        Heaven or something please protect humanity while we blunder our way through it. if we ever get actually through it.

        • Dr. Davis

          Yes, it is an incredible mess that the embrace of grains has caused, made worse by the blundering of our official agencies.