Wheat Belly: Quick & Dirty 2

In view of the many new readers on the Wheat Belly Blog, many of whom have not yet had an opportunity to read the book but are eager to get started, here is the updated Wheat Belly Quick & Dirty summary. It summarizes the essential dietary strategies of the Wheat Belly approach to 1) avoid all products made from high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat that wreak health destruction, and 2) create a diet that is otherwise healthy and appropriate for all members of the family.

This is the same diet I advise patients in my office to follow that achieves spectacular reductions in weight, provides relief from joint pain and acid reflux, reduces triglycerides, shoots HDL upward, reduces small LDL particles (the #1 cause of heart disease in the U.S!), and unravels diabetic/pre-diabetic tendencies. The diet starts with the biggest step of all: elimination of wheat and other closely related grains (rye, barley, corn, oats, rice, millet, amaranth, bulgur). But a healthy diet cannot end there, else you and I could eat no wheat but fill our calories with soft drinks and jelly beans. So the next step is to limit carbohydrates if your goal is to lose more weight and correct metabolic distortions like high blood sugar and small LDL particles. Then, we choose our foods wisely to avoid the common boobytraps set for us by Big Food and Agribusiness, not to mention the friendly dietitian at the hospital! Diet in the 21st century is no longer just about carbs, proteins, and fats–it is also about being savvy about the changes introduced into our foods by food producers.

All wheat-based products (all breads, all breakfast cereals, noodles, pasta, bagels, muffins, pancakes, waffles, donuts, pretzels, crackers), oat products (oatmeal, oat bran), corn and cornstarch-based products (sauces or gravies thickened with cornstarch, prepared or processed foods containing cornstarch, cornmeal products like chips, tacos, tortillas), sugary soft drinks, candies.

Avoid processed foods containing wheat, such as soy sauce, Twizzlers, Campbells Tomato Soup, salad dressings, taco seasoning–examine ALL labels and avoid any food with mention of wheat. (It’s not a bad idea to avoid foods with labels! Cucumbers and spinach, for instance, generally don’t come with labels.)

All other grain-containing products–especially those with corn, rye, barley, and rice. Corn, like wheat, is contained in many processed foods.

Enjoy unlimited:
Vegetables-except potatoes; fresh or frozen, never canned
Raw nuts and seeds-raw almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamians; dry-roasted peanuts (not roasted in oil); pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and chia seeds
Healthy oils (preferably unheated, whenever possible)-olive, flaxseed, coconut, avocado, walnut
Meats-red meats, pork, fish, chicken, turkey, eggs. (Consider free-range, grass-fed and/or organic sources.) Eat the fat!
Ground flaxseed, chia seeds
Teas, coffee, water, unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water
Cheeses—real cultured cheeses only (not Velveeta or single-slice processed cheese)
Avocado or guacamole; hummus; unsweetened condiments, e.g., mayonnaise, mustard, oil-based salad dressings; ketchup without high-fructose corn syrup; pesto, tapenades; olives

Fruit-No more than 2 servings a day (one serving is a level handful), preferably in this order (best first): berries of all varieties, citrus, apples, nectarines, peaches, melons. Minimize bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and grapes and only in the smallest of quantities (since they are like candy in sugar content)
Fruit juices-only real juices and in minimal quantities (no more than 2-4 oz)
Dairy products-No more than 1 serving per day of milk, cottage cheese or yogurt, unsweetened (Fat content does not matter.)
Legumes/beans; peas; sweet potatoes and yams
Dark chocolates-70-85% cocoa or greater; no more than 40 grams (approximately 2 inches square) per day
Sugar-free foods–preferably stevia-containing, rather than aspartame; other safe sweeteners include monk fruit, erythritol, xylitol, and inulin

”Gluten-free” foods made with rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, or potato starch
Fried foods
Fast foods
Hydrogenated “trans” fats
Cured meats–hot dogs, sausages, bacon, bologna, pepperoni “fixed” with sodium nitrite
High-fructose corn syrup containing foods; honey; agave syrup; sucrose
Processed rice, rice flour or potato products-rice crackers, rice cereals, pretzels, white breads, breakfast cereals, potato chips
Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings

Quick tips:
For healthy breakfast choices, consider unlimited eggs, any style; foods baked from Wheat Belly recipes, such as pancakes, grainless “granola”; ground flaxseed as a hot cereal (e.g., with coconut milk, organic milk, or unsweetened almond milk; blueberries, strawberries, etc.). Also consider raw nuts; cheese; consider having “dinner for breakfast,” meaning transferring salads, cheese, chicken, and other “dinner” foods to breakfast.
Add 1 tablespoon or more of taste-compatible healthy oil to every meal. For example, mix in 1 tbsp coconut oil to ground flaxseed hot cereal. Or add 2 tbsp olive oil to eggs after scrambling. Adding oils will blunt appetite. Do not trim the fat off meat and purchase fattier cuts. Cook with (organic) butter, coconut oil, lard, tallow (non-hydrogenated, if purchased).
Reach for raw nuts and 85% cocoa dark chocolate first as convenient snacks.
Use the recipes in the Wheat Belly Blog, books, and cookbooks whenever cravings hit: cookies, muffins, brownies, coffee cake, cheesecake from the recipes can quell appetite with no downside.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Suzanne

    this is just what I was looking for – a quick list. I have been reading Dr. Davis’ book. I just bought some shelled pistachios for a snack but now realize they are roasted and salted. The recommendation is for raw nuts (except peanuts) but I don’t see anything here about roasted nuts. What’s the difference? and why?


    • Dan

      If the nuts are roasted at a high temperature (over 350 degress), glycation of the nut fats can occur. Glycation end-products (or ACEs) can have a number of negative health effects (cancer, heart plaque, diabebtes).

      This is also why deep fried foods are really bad, any high temperature heating of fats can result in glycation.

      You can read more about it here: http://www.trackyourplaque.com/report/Diet/glycation1.aspx

  2. I’ve been on this for 6 weeks and nothing… I have eliminated, wheat entirely, I eat about 1 cup of prepared Brown rice a day, I have about 1/2 cup of beans. My meats are Chicken, steak and leaner hamburger. Sometimes sausage for breakfast bacon is rare. I eat 5 eggs for breakfast. (I had 3 wheat buns on July 4th big deal) I cut out oatmeal, cliff bars, & whey protein. I do eat Greek yogurt from time to time. I eat salads, Broccoli Carrots, Brussels Sprouts.. for beverages I drink coffee with Splenda only, no cream and crystal light decaf iced tea. I eat mayo, avocado olive oil and make sure it consume as much whole foods as possible. Nothing out of a box.. I prepare it mostly myself. No fast food, unless its a chicken burrito bowl form Chipotle Mexican Grill.. I can eat everything except the corn salsa. So I skip it. Rarely I’ll have a diet soda or two but that is only when I go out and usually I’ll eat a blackened chicken Caesar salad without croutons.. I’m getting frustrated..

    • ms mary

      To Richard: Just for a few days, write down exactly what you are eating. Compare it to the “never, limited, unlimited” food lists. You may find some differences holding you up. My husband and I both really followed the Wheat Belly foodlist(s) guidelines carefully and both of us began losing weight the first week and have continued to be successful. My husband was noticeably overweight before he began and has since lost 24 lbs. between January 1st and the end of June. He is at his goal weight. Better yet, our cholesteral is under control. No more visits to the doctor’s office with scary results.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Your carb consumption is way over the 15 grams carbs per 6 hour period. No wonder you are not losing any weight! One cup of rice alone is more than the 45 carb daily allotment. Beans too! No mention of increased consumption of “good” fats either. Cheese??? Your veggies need to include more variety than those you listed. Kale? Spinach?

      Crystal lite beverages are all chemicals. Make your own lemonade or limeade instead. This is only squeezed juice, sweetener and water. No soda is recommended either. Even the gluten free burritos are high carb/glycemic so you are way over the suggested 15 grams carbs right there.

      Once you are at the desired weight, then you slowly reintroduce rice and possibly some beans into your diet in 1/4 to 1/2 cup amounts. This is an occasional food, not to be consumed on a daily basis.

    • Dr. Davis

      Our modern conception of potatoes, very high in ultra-digestible starch, raise blood sugar sky-high.

  3. Dart

    Dr. Davis. What are your thoughts on nutritional yeast. Is this an acceptable condiment for the wheat belly diet.

    Thanks Dart

      • Dart

        In the U.S. nutritional yeast is called Nooch , Nuchi, or Yeshi. It is not a yeast extract as far as I know.

        Thanks Dart

  4. Victoria

    Maybe I’m the only person this applies to, but I have recently lost 13 pounds and wheat is still in my diet. It hasn’t been that difficult to lose the weight while having wheat in my diet either? I only eat whole wheat macaroni once a week or every other week but I do have wheat thins every day, I do limit my carb intake, but I feel like I’m missing the whole “no wheat diet” idea.
    Can someone explain?

    • Dr. Davis

      You may be among the people in whom the gliadin-derived opiates of wheat fail to stimulate appetite.

      However, note that you are not impervious to its other effects, such as abnormal increases in intestinal permeability that underlie autoimmune diseases, or the abnormal rise in blood sugar.

      There are many ways to lose weight while still eating wheat; they are just generally less effective or more difficult. You are an exception.

  5. Marcy

    I’m new to Wheat Belly but am all over avoiding “wheat” as we know it today. However, I’ve not found any discussion yet (I could have missed it!) regarding Einkorn wheat which is supposedly the wheat of our ancestors. If those family reunion photos from a generation ago, which show mostly all thin relatives who didn’t exercise but ate wheat products at pretty much every meal, are we to conclude that Einkorn wheat isn’t as destructive as the wheat produced now? I have a bag of it but hesitate to crack it open and bake anything…

    • Dr. Davis

      Don’t fall into the trap most dietitians have fallen into, Marcy: Viewing something LESS BAD as being GOOD.

      Einkorn is indeed less harmful than modern strains of semi-dwarf wheat, but it is not harmless. Einkorn can still cause bowel disruption, blood sugar disruptions, and other effects, just not as dramatically as modern wheat. Humans are not ruminants and we are not equipped to consume the seeds of grasses.

      • Lori Bloink

        Speaking of ruminents, I have been following Wheat Belly eating for three (3) weeks.. Happy to be doing it, husband lost 20 pounds (the first time in 13 years he has ever LOST any weight) and I am feeling much better and I have more energy. I was muscle tested for food allergies by my chiropractor almost 25 years ago, and he told me to get off wheat then. I did not have the ability to do so at the time (young, dumb, not knowing anything and didn’t have the money to buy alternatives) so I have lived with all my allergies. I had gone through gastric bypass (roux en’Y) and have lost more than half my weight. Plagued with fibromyalgia and degenerative discs, arthritis, raynaud’s, poly-neuropathy, spells of low blood sugar, ulcers, (and the list goes on and on) for the past 4+ years, I am now finding relief.
        So, back to the runinents… last week we purchased a dairy cow (jersey), this is something I had always wanted to do. I grew up drinking raw milk, and whenever I would drink ‘store’ milk, I got SICK. I can drink raw milk and have NO side effects. I haven’t had any blood sugar drops since I started wheat free living. Dr. Davis, what is your opinion on raw milk?

        • Rita

          I, too, love raw milk, and it loves me. Processed milk makes me violently ill. I get my milk from a small dairy cooperative. They haven’t gone through the rigamarole of getting certified organic, but they use all organic practices and don’t feed their cows grain unless it’s necessary (we’re in Michigan, so winter can be a problem if hay is in short supply). It’s more expensive than processed, but I’m paying the true cost of producing the milk, without the taxpayer subsidizing the cost.
          I just started living the “wheat belly” way, and I’m going through withdrawal. Having milk to drink helps a lot.

  6. Suzz

    A few questions
    A stay away from
    Food is pepperoni but in the wheat belly cookbook it has it as an ingredient with the pizza . Please explain . Also is there any bacon that is ok ??
    Thoughts about cane sugar ?

    Any other flour other than almond that can be substituted . I’m having trouble getting past the gritty texture I can still Taste after cooking or baking with it

    • > Also is there any bacon that is ok ??

      Organic, hormone-free uncured if you can find it. Look also for “side pork”. The problem with “cured”, my perspective, is the added sugar. I’m beginning to think that the nitrites aren’t problem on a very low carb diet.

      > Thoughts about cane sugar ?

      50% glucose. 50% fructose. 100% something you never add to any recipe, even if all natural, organic, free-range fair-traded.

      > Any other flour other than almond that can be substituted .
      > I’m having trouble getting past the gritty texture I can still
      > Taste after cooking or baking with it.

      Sounds like it might just be a problem with the brand of almond meal or flour. The Honeyville Grain flour is very smooth. You do have to get past the name. :)

      • Neicee

        If you’re all worried about the nitrates, call your local butchers to see if they do their own bacon. I’m supposed to pick up 5 lbs of pork belly tomorrow and will try doing my own. Picked a fine time to play with that notion, pork is way up due to a problem with little piggies getting some kind of virus and dying. Or, I could just eat a couple stalks of celery and get more nitrates in those than in most bacon.

  7. Pauline

    I found a flour called “Better Batter” to be very good and not gritty. I used it to make a gluten free angel food cake and it was wonderful.

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Please check the ingredients on this product. 1/4 cup is 21 carbs alone. It is high starch and high glycemic and these products should never be consumed because of that. I’ll bet your angel food cake was wonderful: all sugar and starch!

  8. Anne-Marie

    Is Quinoa ok? Strictly it’s a species of goosefoot – neither a grain nor a grass, but the seeds are eaten.
    I’m vegan, and have been wheat free for 3 months. I have lost about 6kg (13lb), my belly has mostly gone, and I have energy for the first time in years; I had forgotten what it felt like not to be dead-tired 24/7, and in my opinion having energy is absolutely the best part of a wheat free diet.

    However, on a vegan and processed sugar free diet without wheat or rice & limited potatoes, I’m finding it hard to stay full, and I seem to be snacking on nuts (and eating too much fruit) all day just to keep the hunger pangs at bay. In the last few days I’ve added quinoa to my diet, and it helps me stay full for longer, but I was wondering if you would put it into the same category as wheat, and therefore it should be avoided. Re-introducing meat is not an option.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Try increasing your fats. Check out Bulletproof Coffee. It is coffee with coconut oil, mct oil added, mixed thoroughly until emulsified. If you don’t drink coffee, use the oil and with tea. Chai is delicious!
      Quiona is a choice that should be some what limited. You can increase your carbs with more nuts and chia baked goods rather than high glycemic fruits. Don’t forget the water and salt!

    • Anne-Marie….you might entertain reading “The Vegetarian Myth” by Leirre Keith…..she was also a vegan/vegetarian for most of her life. An enlightening book!

  9. Melissa Lafferty

    I am having diarrhea and a headache since starting the diet. About 4-5 days in. Is this withdrawal from wheat? Also, I bought the cook book without buying the wheat belly book. Does the Wheat belly book answer quick questions about dos/don’ts. I have read half of the cookbook but I still have questions. For example, I wanted to know if I could have mayonnaise. I need a cheat sheet with list of dos don’t. Thank you for your time.

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Yes, it’s withdrawal.

      Wheat Belly Quick and Dirty on left side of this blog will give you a dietary guideline.

      There isn’t any “good” WB acceptable mayo produced. Make your own.

      It helps to read the book so you understand the issues, rationale and food choices, This is the foundation of information. There is an old proverb: Give me a fish and I eat for a day. Teach me to fish and I eat for a lifetime.

      Reading the book will answer most of your questions. At the very least, you might spend a few minutes reading this blog.

  10. Rita

    I have a question about raw nuts. I can’t eat them raw; they give me an upset stomach. I have learned I can eat them if I soak them in salt water for 7-8 hours and then dry them or roast them with some spices. Is this OK, and can I still use them in baking?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Nearly all the nuts you buy are soaked or blanched or roasted. Yes, you can use them for baking.

  11. suzz

    Still waiting an answer on the pepperoni since it is on the never list but included in the wheat belly cook book mini pizza recipe…..cant find the info anywhere. Is it or is it not ok????

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Sometimes imported brands have reasonably “clean” ingredients. You just have to read the labels to determine which ones are to your liking. This is for all the deli type meat and fishes. There are many to choose from. Not every store carries all company products.

  12. Suzz

    It seems when you read things it’s like this
    Wheat free- check
    Sugar free – check
    Sodium nitrate free- nope

    There’s always something !
    I just would have thought as detailed at wheat belly cookbook is that a little more guidance on the pepperoni thing would have been in there since its on the don’t ever eat list .
    I do well for the most part eating clean but these stumps when I would like to as I said make a pizza or trying to perfect the choc chip cookie become frustrating .
    So glad I love cooking and baking and exploring !

    • Faye

      I haven’t found uncured pepperoni, even at Fresh Market. I’m thrilled to have pizza but I really do like pepperoni along with the veggies on my pizza.

      • Barbara in New Jersey


        The WB Cookbook is about preparing foods without wheat. It is not about pepperoni. If you like pepperoni so much and can’t find an acceptable brand,
        why don’t you make your own? Lots of recipes available. Not that hard either. Perhaps your best local Italian deli carries some that meets your requirements or they can inquire with their suppliers. Maybe they will even make up a batch for you.

        There are many other imported dried sausage/salami summer sausages tthat would be delicious as substitutes you can experiment with.

  13. Emily

    Hello Dr. Davis,
    I don’t know if I can have Kudzu (a.k.a. クズ or 葛) in WB diet. I couldn’t find it from any lists either in your book or blog.

    • What part of the kudzu plant, and in what form?
      Free of lead from being near a road?
      Free of pesticides from attempts at invasive species control?
      Are you allergic?
      On any meds it interferes with?

  14. Ellen

    My name is Ellen and I was wondering why I cant have potatoes, honey, oatmeal and limited fruit in the “Wheat Belly Diet” ?
    Thanks for reading my message. I look forward to your reply!

    • > … wondering why I cant have potatoes,

      High glycemic. Normal portion sizes elevate and spike blood sugar.

      > … honey, …

      Festering horror story. See:

      > … oatmeal …

      High glycemic. Most provocative to blood sugar of the non-gluten grains.

      > … and limited fruit …

      You can have limited fruit. Stay within net carb guidelines, and minimize the fructose.

      > in the “Wheat Belly Diet”

      There is no named Diet, per se. It’s a lifestyle, with extensive nutritional guidelines.

  15. David Surrett

    Dry-roasted peanuts are on the list of allowed foods. On checking a label of Planters dry-roasted peanuts I see they have corn syrup solids and corn starch. Are these okay to eat, or do I need to find dry-roasted peanuts that don’t have there ingredients?

    • > On checking a label of Planters dry-roasted peanuts I see
      > they have corn syrup solids and corn starch. Are these okay to eat, …

      No. They are going to be much higher in net carbs than less processed peanuts, and the corn components, particularly the starch, are a trojan horse carrying a potentially significant list of hazards unrelated to carbs.

      > … or do I need to find dry-roasted peanuts that don’t have there ingredients?

      Yes, and they exist. Also avoid nuts with PUFA seed oils. In general, any salt is not a problem.

  16. Bev McNeill

    I am not eating enough I have been told. So my body is in starvation mode. I am quite satisfied with what I am eating and am trying to figure how to eat more. First time I have ever been told to eat more to lose weight.LOL
    If I eat more almonds which are high in fat content, will this help or hinder? After 3 weeks my loss is a whopping one pound! I have been good to follow the no wheat rule but am not getting results that I had hoped.
    I am not normally a snack eater during the day. Help someone!

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Try eating more healthy fats, make bulletproof coffee, etc. Google “bulletproof coffee” for the recipe. Good for tea too. Cheese is good too. Make sure your dairy is full fat.

    • > I am not eating enough I have been told.
      Told by whom? If a co-called healthcare professional, do they know the difference between nutritional ketosis and starvation ketosis?

      > So my body is in starvation mode.
      Sounds unlikely, unless you total caloric intake has been extremely low for the whole 3 weeks.

      > I have been good to follow the no wheat rule …
      That’s not the only rule. What is your net carb intake per day, for example?

      • Neicee

        Bev, so many questions about your post. Have you read the book? Have you only dropped wheat or the whole list of carbs that can sabotage your weight loss? Do you have recent blood work that might generate a reason you’re not losing? Many that made the decision to go wheat free have arthritis, a lot of weight to lose which they know is killing them, are gluten intolerant/sensitive or celiac, diabetic?

  17. Bev McNeill

    Thanks for all the feedback. Actually it was Dr. Davis who told me I was not eating enough.I was only getting about 1000 calories a day whenIi eliminated wheat. I am not eating the obvious wheat products and watching the ingredients of any foods. I do not have any medical condition that would hinder weight loss. My daughter is a nurse and she agrees that under eating will put the body into protected mode where you do not lose. I figure eventually the weight has to start coming off as I have cut back on all obvious wheat products. I am not hungry so it is hard for me to eat more but I will try cheese and almonds and possibly some fruit.
    Yes I have read the book and refer to it often.I do have some osteoarthritis but the only meds I take for that are tylenol.I’ll check in in another week with the results of eating more.

    • Neicee

      Thanks for your input about your eating profile. Most of us do moderate protein, high fat, lots of veggies with their natural carbs, some cheese and little fruit. I do consume lots of natural healthy oils instead of the high protein. I eat lots of eggs cooked in butter and coconut oil for breakfast. Yet, because I have a fist sized portion of nuts in the afternoon find that I don’t really crave the bread products or desserts made with recommended nut flours. Dinner is seldom more than 3-4 ounces of meat, with the surrounding veggies drenched in olive oil or butter. Never count calories and seldom step on the scales. Please do let us know how you’re doing. We all wish you good eating and a healthy future.

      • Bev McNeill

        Thanks Neicee for your reply. I don’t normally count calories but wanted to see how much I was eating to get enough. I am obsessed with the numbers on the scales. I will try to not weigh myself every day. I feel thinner and took my measurements and will take them again in a week’s time. I am not as bloated or have that too full feeling. I will keep on going. Actually I checked the calendar and I am in my third week as of Sunday. Maybe i just need to get started and it will be better. How much should you expect to lose in three weeks? I appreciate people listening to me. LOL

  18. Greg

    Hi Dr. Davis, I have some more questions on the Wheat free way of life, which by the way I am really liking so far! My questions are on specific food choices in the grocery stores. I have read the quick & dirty parts 1 & 2 but still find myself unsure when I go into the store.

    For cheese, I see in my store Kraft, Sargento, store brand, Sorrento, etc…. are they all ok getting the full fat versions (no “light”)? Is regular old stick of butter ok to put on food? On nuts, can we eat “Wonderful” brand of pistachios? Or “Planters” cashews? Can we drink diet soda (i.e. Diet Coke)? Are any “full strength” salad dressings ok? I really like ranch and thousand island, the regular versions have far fewer carbs and sugars than light and fat free. Why can’t we eat “canned” vegetables? Are there any hot dogs or Italian sausage type products that are allowed? For milk, is 2% the best choice on the shelves?
    Thanks so much for any answers, finding things to eat is no question the hardest part!!

    • > I have read the quick & dirty parts 1 & 2 but still find myself unsure when I go into the store.

      Sounds like you need to read the original book or the cookbook, which both go into more detail about menu components.

      > For cheese, I see in my store Kraft, Sargento, store brand, Sorrento, etc.
      > are they all ok getting the full fat versions (no “light”)?

      Real cheese (not process cheese food) is fine if you don’t have any dairy reactions (or such reactions have vanished some time after wheat elimination). Avoid added annatto coloring.

      > Is regular old stick of butter ok to put on food?


      > On nuts, can we eat “Wonderful” brand of pistachios?

      Still in shell? Sure (I do). They are about 5 grams net carb per serving, which would limit you to 1.5 cups of unshelled in a six hour period (if that’s all you ate).

      > Or “Planters” cashews?

      Cashews are higher in carbs, with 2 ounces being your 6 hour limit. But the real problem with them is finding cashews that are free of adverse omega 6 seed oils. Raw or dry roasted is the usual solution.

      > Can we drink diet soda (i.e. Diet Coke)?

      Why? Leaving aside potential hazards with whatever alternative sweetener they’ve used, and the colorant, you do not need the acid load. If you must have flavored water, there are cheaper and healthier ways to do it. Stevia lemonade is nice.

      > Are any “full strength” salad dressings ok?

      The problem with salad dressings is that almost every product on the market has found some way to screw it up. We can’t find any that omit adverse oils, omit wheat, omit soy and are low-carb. So we make our own.

      > For milk, is 2% the best choice on the shelves?

      I use heavy whipping cream on my Wheat Free Market Foods granola.

  19. Violet Barnett

    I have been on the wheat-free diet since August. Had several withdrawals that lasted a few days to a week. However the muscle pains in my arms have been hurting for over 2 months. What am I doing wrong?
    Thank you.

  20. Nikki

    I am making lobster bisque and it calls for a 1/4 cup of cornstarch. What would be a good substitute?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Dr. Davis

      Have you tried a tablespoon of coconut flour? You may have to add a bit more, slowly, to gauge adequacy of thickening.

  21. Leslie Richardson

    Hello! I’m relatively new to the Wheat Belly Diet and I was just contemplating on:
    Soy milk (good, bad, so-so?). Does sweetened almond milk necessarily make it bad?
    Are nuts that come in flavors like honey-roasted remain in unlimited, or further down the totem-pole because they are coated in honey?
    I’m basically gathering that in addition to wheat, this diet is the exclusion of all processed, bread-like items as well. What can substitute the satisfaction of a crunchy chip, other than nuts? Or is more the fact that cornstarch is usually mixed with wheat in popular brands? Would that make a 100% corn tortilla chip fall more into the Limited section? If not, what can replace dipping a salted, crunchy snack into guacamole or salsa?
    Odwalla Bars (oat bars mixed with nuts/fruit), thoughts?
    Is giving up sugar a part of this diet? Any strategies for sating the sweet-tooth without loading it with artificial sweeteners- is this where coconut oil comes in?
    Finally, have any solutions to making a grilled cheese sandwich without wheat, cornstarch, or potato starch breading?
    I know this is a lot, but I jut wanted to make sure I’m not misconstruing, or unknowingly defiling the tenants of the Wheat Belly Diet. ;)
    P.S. My mom has lost 10lbs after two weeks on this diet, and my brother, 25lbs! :D So if anyone feels skeptical or hopeless: You can do it! :)

    • If you keep in mind the net carb targets of 15 grams per meal or 6-hour period, and 50 grams/day, most of your questions are answered.

      > Soy milk (good, bad, so-so?).

      Avoid unfermented soy, period. apart from carbs, issues include: adverse omega 6 oils, phytoestrogens, and possible GMO risks (including RoundUp uptake).

      > Does sweetened almond milk necessarily make it bad?

      Yes. The sugars will blow the carb budget.

      > Are nuts that come in flavors like honey-roasted remain in unlimited,
      > or further down the totem-pole because they are coated in honey?

      Off the totem pole because of the honey. Avoided unnecessary fructose. Further, unless you are buying the honey from a local producer known to you personally, it’s probably not honey anyway, and may have nasty contaminants.

      > What can substitute the satisfaction of a crunchy chip,
      > other than nuts?

      See the cookbook.

      > Would that make a 100% corn tortilla chip fall more into the Limited section?

      Corn is very high glycemic. One totilla (6-8 chips) blows the meal’s carb budget, plus the risks of GMO corn.

      > Odwalla Bars (oat bars mixed with nuts/fruit), thoughts?

      The only bars on the market that don’t fail a WB checklist are Quest Bars, and they are too low in fat, so consider them limited.

      > Is giving up sugar a part of this diet?

      Sugar is the #2 problem with modern diet after wheat.
      (#3 is low fat, #4 is adverse oils).

      > Any strategies for sating the sweet-tooth
      Search “In pursuit of sweetness on this blog”.

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        There are many recipes for bread in the WBCB or paleo/primal web sites. Use these for your grilled cheese.

        L-glutamine helps some people with sugar cravings. Also, see the chapter on sweeteners in the WB book or look at the archives on the left side of this blog. You do lose your taste for sweets after being wheat/grain free for a while.

        Cheese crisps are a nice crunchy snack. Check with primal web sites for various recipes and techniques. Easy to make.

  22. Missy Burnside

    So, last Friday, October 4th, the doctor delivered the news I never wanted to hear, “You are a diabetic.” The choices I have made over my lifetime have resulted in me weighing 300 pounds, using a C-Pap machine for sleeping due to sleep apnea, using an inhaler for asthma, and taking medication for depression, migraines, acid reflux, high cholesterol, under active thyroid, and high blood pressure. The diabetes designation sent me over the edge. The first thing I did was to go to the American Diabetes Association website and cut off all sugars (i.e. in my mind – candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream, etc.) immediately. I sent a text to a friend to tell her about the diabetes, and she told me about Wheat Belly. I found this blog and began reading. On Saturday, I wiped out all wheat from my diet along with the other items mentioned under eliminate. I began eating a whole lot more vegetables, eggs, chicken, salmon, and cheese. So far, I have discovered the following things that have eliminated themselves on their own (in just 4 short days):

    -Pounds – I have lost 6.5 already :)
    – Mid-morning sleepiness and hunger – make it all the way until lunch before being hungry
    -Late afternoon sleepiness – no longer running out of energy
    -Swollen feet and ankles – I was shocked by how often this was happening to me – not now
    -Swollen hands and fingers – I just realized this a few hours ago – my wedding ring actually moves on and off of my ring finger with ease

    I know that this is the just the beginning of this journey of getting healthy, but right now, I’m totally convinced that this is a lifestyle change that will benefit me for the rest of my life! Plus, I can’t wait for my husband to see me as his healthy, skinnier, smokin’ hot wife!!!

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Good for you Missy! It only gets better from here. You certainly are not alone. Read through this blog and you will be amazed at the improvements in health issues a grain and sugar free diet brings. It is not the answer for cure for everything, but it sure helps you to feel better and usually the severity of various conditions improve.

      My suggestion is to keep an informal diary of what you ate, how you feel, any numbers you wish to record such as size, weight, bp, bs, etc. Also keep track of the $ you now spend on food, meds etc.
      This will change dramatically the longer you follow WB way of eating. You are beginning to understand what all the fuss is about!

    • > The first thing I did was to go to the American Diabetes Association website –

      And if you haven’t figured it out by now, you never need to go there again, other than to confirm that:

      * They do not tell you that T2D is a completely optional ailment, that is an entirely predictable metabolic response to the full-time moderate to high glycemic diet, nor that it is fully reversible with diet at the metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes stages, and usually reversible after that, depending on the state of irreversible side effects (but controllable by diet at any point where you are still producing any insulin).

      * They conveniently confound T1D and T2D when it suits them, and do not tell you that T1D is usually controllable with diet (keto) and no drugs.

      * Their dietary recommendations cause and sustain diabetes (as well as heart disease). They advocate “whole grains”, which are a health disaster.

      * A significant percentage of the ADA board has ties to big pharma (including the chair).

      • Neicee

        Let’s not forget Alzheimers and the poor information being given to seniors that may very well doom them to Type 3 diabetes (as described by some researchers). Horrifying.

  23. Elizabeth

    I’ve been on Wheat Belly since January. I’m posting to encourage the “newbies”…once you get through that withdrawal stage it will be easy. I have been over-weight, insulin resistant (google this) and more for years. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, hypo-thyroid, rheumatory inflammation disease and fibromyalgia. Once on this new “life plan” (NOT a diet) I had great results. My A1c went down to an acceptable number—I would think that’s still happening. My cholesterol is evening out, my thyroid is in the correct range, my IBS is non-existant AND I’m losing weight. Being insulin resistant, in the past I was unable to make the lbs budge much. Wasted my dollars on other “DIET” books and diets—none of which worked. This plan works!! The comments I will get from others are: “I could never do that! I like my breads too much!” “Don’t you miss the sweets?” and the list goes on. But on the positive side I’m hearing “Are you losing weight?” “You look great, what are you doing?” “Keep up the good work!” The most fun comment is….”I’ve begun to do Wheat Belly!”

  24. Marie

    Hi I live in Ireland,. I am reading Wheat Belly at the moment. We still have tall wheat and no GM crops that I am aware of and I have never seen Coconut or Almond flour in the stores here. I have just finished reading a very well researched book written by a scientist that shows without doubt that Dairy is implicated in Hormone driven cancers like Prostate and Breast Cancer. It looks like I an going to have difficulty making dishes that need to be thickened like Stews and what do you use to soak up the juices of dishes where you would usually use Pasta, Rice and Potatoes ? Any ideas and input would be appreciated . Thanks

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Why don’t you use the internet to expand your search area for these common flours? I am sure the larger cities or ethnic groceries will have these items. You might have to special order from a larger store.

      Also, there are many recipes on line for breads, wraps, biscuits and the like. GourmetGirlCooks has a delicious cheese biscuit. Look at paleo/primal sites for recipes too.

      Dr. Davis has stated many times that wheat is not suitable for consumption. Your tall wheat may not be as injurious to your health as the short wheat, but it is not good for your health either.

      • Ellabee

        I would tell myself—hey, a wide open market for my area!! I would guess there are many people like you in your area that would love to have these products more readily available!

    • Bea Pullar

      For many years I have not used flour- wheat, corn or any other type to thicken stews or soups. Instead, I use the stems of broccoli and cauliflower – chopped or processed. In fact, I keep a cup or two handy in the freezer. Marie I live in Queensland and find all of the flours in supermarkets, Asian food stores etc. Almond flour is generally in the baking area, but may also be on the Health foods shelves.
      A check with Google says that flour millers in Ireland import most of their wheat from EC countries – which means that your are probably consuming the semi-dwarf wheat. Bear in mind that Dr Davis has repeatedly told us that the old wheat varieties cause health problems – but the semi-dwarf wheat does far more harm. The message is keep away from grains – especially wheat.

    • James

      Why don’t you get one of those electric coffee grinders and use it to make your own almond flour or chick pea flour. You can also grind flax seeds. There are a lot of things you can eat to replace wheat. As for making thick stews, just let whatever you’re cooking simmer on a low flame for a bit longer and, voila! you will have a thick stew without the corn flour. Okay, it may not have the viscosity of something enhanced with corn starch, but it will be healthier.

    • Louise

      Hi Marie,

      I’m living in Ireland too.

      I buy ground almonds in the bakery section of supermarkets (look out for less expensive own-brands). Some health shops stock coconut flour (Quay Co-op in Cork, anyway).
      In place of pasta I have used chopped or julienned and lightly sautéed courgette.
      Instead of rice, grated and steamed cauliflower; instead of potato, puréed cauliflower – sometimes with a spoon of goat cheese to make it really creamy – experiment with spices too, for different twists.
      I think Dr. Davis mentioned Cream of tartare for thickening?

      Best of luck!


  25. Lee Bliss

    I am a vegetarian. The diet interests me and was recommended by my chiropractor, but I’m not sure what I will eat. Do you have suggestions?



  26. Phil

    I have following low carb plan and in 4 weeks haven’t seen the scale budge. I am fdeeling frustrated. I am T2 diabetic and use metformin and actos. ,my mood is excellent after years of swinging from carbs on the brain. My pants have gone down one size, but can someone please be supportive and explain why the scale doesn’t budge. I believe it will, but am perplexed as why not yet?
    I think the low carb, moderate protein and high fat way of eating will be my lifestyle eating. I do not feel hungry nor have no cravings for no-no high carb foods.
    One day,one meal at a time….. Thanks .

      • Barbara in New Jersey

        Karolyn and Bev,

        Depending on the kind of potato and preparation, the carb value is about 25-45 carbs per cup. This is a high starch food and provides more carbs in that one cup than you are supposed to eat all day. It elevates your blood sugar and creates many other issues concerning your health. If you are trying to burn fat for energy, then you are probably going back to burning sugar so your system can digest this. It often takes days to recover. Weight loss stops.

        The Wheat Belly book describes this process in detail and why high carb foods should not be eaten except in condiment sized potions.

    • > just curious, what do potatoes have to do with wheat?

      Do you have some context for that question?

      Potatoes are high glycemic. They are, depending on form, a WB limited or never item because no reasonable portion size will keep the total meal below 15 grams net carb. Potatoes are a good example of what not to replace wheat with.

  27. Bev

    I have been following the eating plan for almost 4 months. My blood pressure has dropped to a good level. I feel good but in respnse to Phil, my scales are not moving much either. I have lost 6 pounds but my shape is changing and I am keeping off those pounds. I slipped once and had pizza. Bad move. I was uncomfortable all night! Never again. I do not crave foods but find I am getting a little bored. I am not a fancy cook so plain foods are all I eat. I know I likely am having too many fruits and milk products but I am not a big vegetable eater. I think over time, I will gradually lose my goal weight. Eating out has become much easier as I usually have a salad with grilled chicken.

    • > When you say nuts as a snack… How many do you have? 5..10?

      Up to 15 grams net carbs in a six hour period, if that’s all you eat. Net carbs is total carbs less fiber carbs. Nuts vary considerably on this score.

      Avoid nuts cooked in adverse seed oils. Don’t sweat the salt.

  28. shannon

    i would like to replace wheat flour with bean flours to use in baked goods with stevia- as i do not get much protein from meat for environmental and equity reasons. i see however that legumes are on the limited list while peanuts and hummus on the free list. this confuses me as these are both legume based foods. if we are too limit legumes and stevia, how much is okay? thank you

    • > if we are too limit legumes and stevia, how much is okay?

      Up to 15 grams net carbs in a six hour period, if that’s all you eat. Net carbs is total carbs less fiber carbs. Legumes vary considerably on this score. Some are quite high in net carbs, and should be consumed only in condiment quantities.

      I don’t think it is necessary to limit stevia.

  29. lisa

    are there any types of crackers on the market that are part of the wheat belly diet? since we cant have rice..thanks

    • Tina

      Hi Lisa ~ You can make crackers out of ground flax, spices and water. I don’t have the recipe off the top of my head but if you google ground flax crackers you should be able to find it. Good luck!

  30. Kelley

    The “quick and dirty” diet hints state that coconut water can be consumed in unlimited quantities following the wheat belly diet. (I am assuming of course this is pure cocnut water with no additives). Is this true? Is it possible that a liquid with so many carbs can have a glycemic index low enough to be consumed so often?

    • Dr. Davis

      Don’t purchase any that is sweetened, Kelley, else you will drive blood sugar issues.

      We try to stay below 15 grams “net” carbs per meal.

  31. Cant Eat Nuts

    Hello, I am interested in going wheat-free, but have a problem. i am severely allergic to all nuts, including, pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts etc. More than half of the recipes in these books contain one or more of these things. Nuts are suggested for breakfast, lunch and supper as well as snacks. i am at a loss! Any ideas? is there any good substitutes?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      There are bean flours. Check paleo and primal web sites for more recipes. This is not an uncommon problem. Take a strong probiotic as recommended to heal your intestines and drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water.

      Many people find that after being grain and sugar free for long while, they can eat a small amount of nuts when used in a flour form like a slice of bread.

  32. Thank-you, Dr. Davis, for the wonderful information you’re providing. I am unclear on two points. 1. Since quinoa is touted as an ancient grain, would that be a nutritious alternative? 2. Many people claim great results from juicing wheat and barley grasses. Is that the same as eating the wheat berries with its harmful effects? Many thanks for your time to reply…

  33. Dr. Davis

    You have an enlightened doctor! That is terrific.

    It sure beats the 3 new prescriptions for diabetes drugs usually handed out, along with the advice from the diabetes “educator” who tells you to eat more “healthy whole grains” at every meal, then blames YOU for the inevitable weight gain and higher blood sugars.

    Please let us know what you experience!