About the Author

Who had the audacity to write such an against-the-grain book exposing “healthy whole grains” for the incredibly destructive genetic monsters they’ve become?

That’s me, Dr. William Davis, cardiologist and seeker-of-truth in health. Over 80% of the people I meet today are pre-diabetic or diabetic. In an effort to reduce blood sugar, I asked patients to remove all wheat products from their diet based on the simple fact that, with few exceptions, foods made of wheat flour raise blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods. Yes, that’s true for even whole grains. More than table sugar, more than a Snickers bar. Organic, multigrain, sprouted–it makes no difference.

People returned several months later and did indeed show lower blood sugar, often sufficient for pre-diabetics to be non-prediabetics. But it was the other results they described that took me by surprise: weight loss of 25 to 30 lbs over several months, marked improvement or total relief from arthritis, improvement in asthma sufficient to chuck 2 or 3 inhalers, complete relief from acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, disappearance of leg swelling and numbness. Most reported increased mental clarity, deeper sleep, and more stable moods and emotions. I witnessed even more incredible experiences like the 26-year old man incapacitated by full-body joint pains who started to jog again, pain-free. And the 38-year old schoolteacher who, just weeks before her surgeon scheduled colon removal and ileostomy bag, experienced cure–cure–from ulcerative colitis and intestinal hemorrhage–and stopped all medications. That’s when I knew that I had to broadcast this message. Wheat Belly was the result.

I’m not promoting drugs, fancy medical procedures, or costly equipment. I’m not promoting a process that makes a pharmaceutical company rich or helps a hospital gain more revenue-producing procedures. I’m talking about a simple change in diet that yields incredible and unexpected health benefits in so many more ways than you’d think. And it’s not just about celiac disease, the destructive intestinal disease from wheat gluten that affects 1% of the population. It’s about all the other destructive health effects of wheat consumption, from arthritis to acid reflux to schizophrenia, caused or made worse by this food we are advised to eat more of. It’s about being set free from the peculiar appetite-stimulating effects of the opiate-like compounds unique to wheat. It’s also about losing weight–10, 20, or 30 pounds is often just the start–all from this thing I call wheat belly. The key to understanding wheat’s undesirable effects is to recognize that the total effect on human health is greater than the sum of its parts.

In addition to writing, speaking, and practicing preventive cardiology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I am Medical Director and founder of the Track Your Plaque program for heart disease prevention and reversal. This program was articulated in the book, Track Your Plaque: The only heart disease prevention program that shows how to use the new heart scans to detect, track, and control coronary plaque, as well as the online program by the same name (www.trackyourplaque.com). Wheat elimination along with the nutritional principles articulated in Wheat Belly serve as the cornerstone of my heart disease prevention efforts used in the Track Your Plaque program, as well.

While I’m not writing or cooking my unique wheat-free recipes, I can be found biking, sampling wines with my wife or competing with the boys on XBox, walking my two Boston terriers, or watching my tennis pro daughter, Lauren Davis, in her tennis matches around the world.

1,648 Responses to About the Author

  1. Maryann says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    I heard an interview with author Lynne Farrow “The Iodine Crisis, What You Don’t Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life”. She warns that kelp tablets are not a safe source of iodine because of the risk of impurity. She mentioned runoff from Roundup, oil spills in the ocean, pollution, arsenic, and other contaminants. I wanted to share that with you since you use them, and wondered what your thoughts were. Is it possible to split an Idoral tablet to achieve the dose you recommend? Also, is it ok to take iodine with Thyro Gold if not on any other thyroid treatment?
    Thanks for all you do,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      I’ve not seen an analysis that would support nor dispute her claims.

      Iodoral is a fine preparation, but just too high a dose for most people. I saw yet another person this week with iodine toxicity from it, i.e., high TSH and hypothyroidism. Thankfully, it is reversible. He, too, made himself toxic with 1/2 an Iodoral per day.

      • Maryann says:

        Thank you Dr. Davis! I thought you said somewhere that hight TSH was bad, and hypothyroidism could be improved with iodine. I am not sure why they are signs of toxicity.

        Is Thyro Gold safe to take alone or must it be a compliment to other thyroid prescriptions?

        Thank you,

    • Boundless says:

      > … kelp tablets are not a safe source of iodine because of the risk of impurity.

      Arsenic is a specific concern. Choosing a brand of capsule is challenging, because even consumerlab.com hasn’t specifically tested kelp supplements. They have tested products from most of the brands, however, and some fail so badly on contaminants and mislabeling that one could work up a personal blacklist of brands to avoid.

      There’s probably a real business/service opportunity here, in providing clean, effective and fully disclosed supplements. Ideally, they could be formulated to order for each customer, which would also cut down on exposure to any hazards in whatever the common fillers, binders and encapsulations are used. As I recall, Trump tried to get into that business, but he’s not exactly my go-to guy for optimal health advice.

  2. slb321 says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I just have a few questions. I have been doing wheat belly for 5 days now, I understand that it is too soon to see immediate results, but I have both the cook books and I love them! How much of the bread and tortilla and breaded recipes are ok? Can you consume too make of those wheat-free bread pieces? Also, I have read a lot of peoples comments and stories, and what they are eating seems very similar to Keto. I tried Keto for several months however stopped because I was gaining weight and my cholesterol went through the roof with all the fat I was consuming. I am 25, 5’9″ and 159 pounds, I would love to know any advise you have? Possible meal plans? I love to cook, and have had a great time cooking wheat free, however would love any guidance and help tha thou might have? I have a big event on May 31st, and my goal in to be down at least 15 pounds by then. I am also training for a 5k, using the couch to 5k app, and working out at least 4 days a week for 30 minutes.

    Thank you,

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Yes, you can indeed overdo the baked foods from the recipes. Diet should center around meats, organs, fat, oils, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as well as modest intakes of legumes.

      The baked foods are meant to supplement your basic needs for convenience, social occasions, and variety.

      • slb321 says:

        Thank you. I am now a week on wheat free and have not seen any difference, do you have any recommendations? Also, while almonds are high in fat are they a good snack food even though calorically they are quite dense?

        In regards to Keto, due to the fact I had such a negative reaction, what is the main difference between WB and Keto?

        Thank you very much.

        • Neicee says:

          I hope this doesn’t hurt Dr. Davis’ feelings, but I’ve found that I really need to stick to Fat, Protein, limited nuts and green Veggies – with a small amount of berries. I don’t even use Stevia on the berries anylonger. Just straight cream. It takes awhile to get used to it, but I’ve felt no need to explore the world of baked goods, etc., since I found them almost as addicting as those products that are banned. For me at least I think the amount of nut/coconut/flax meal, when I first tried them, throws me right back into weight gain. I limit my nuts to a handful for a snack in the afternoons. And, I have a very small hand, so it’s not many.

        • Boundless says:

          > In regards to Keto, due to the fact I had such a negative
          > reaction, what is the main difference between WB and Keto?

          Ar 50 net grams of carb per day, WB is right on the upper border of nutritional ketosis, which means that you’ll be ketotic only part-time, probably when sleeping. As 50 ‘net’ grams is actually a higher number of total carb grams, some might argue that WB is above the line on keto.

          Your response to keto, however, needs some looking into. I assume you were verifying NK status with blood measurements. If not, any number of suspects arise – carbs not as low as you think, high protein consumption, adverse reactions to dairy, thyroid, cortisone, etc (the usual “Didn’t Lose Weight” checklist).

  3. Neicee says:

    Not to highjack the thread but a friend just called and told of a story that Bloomberg(?) had ran about how we should be taxing meat…..and the article was terribly biased. Well, I’m shocked – the vegans/followers of PETA, and others would cheer. Many in the comments followed with population control notions since that would solve everything. Well, how about we consider taxing wheat/all grains/and any other commodity where they are turned into instant sugar overload. Heck, they’d all starve to death. Most carnivores would survive. We’re all resourceful enough to take up hunting/fishing/and to raising our own. I don’t live in a development that I could raise my own, but most of us know of someone with acreage. OK, I said when they sued the tobacco companies that the government would go after the obese next…..well, they have (I’m guessing the Affordable Care Act will give license to insurance companies to disallow coverage based on BMI or some such nonsense. The next tax opportunity is rearing it’s ugly head, and could provoke a complete ban of meat.

  4. M.A.Thacker says:

    I would like some advice please. I gave up wheat products about 4 months ago. Since giving them up, I have not lost any weight, in fact I have put on 2 or 3 pounds. My joints hurt more and skin on my face has lumps and spots all over it, something I never had in my life before.
    Do you have any advice please.

  5. Wendy Tsao says:

    Hi Dr Davis,

    About a year ago, your Wheat Belly book started me on a path to better health, and today, I am largely gluten free and healthy :) Although I’m not disputing the negative effects of gluten, I wonder if there may be other factors that cause many health problems, such as magnesium deficiency. When I began the wheat-free diet, I also began to eat more greens and almonds, which are magnesium rich. I have been reading many articles and papers about magnesium including this one http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/feb2007_report_water_02.htm
    My diet has changed a lot, for the better, thanks to the Wheat Belly, but I don’t know, now, if I feel confident to point my finger at wheat as the culprit.

    • Boundless says:

      > I wonder if there may be other factors that cause many health problems, …

      No doubt about it. Wheat is just #1 on the Most Wanted list, followed closely by:
      2. high glycemic diet generally
      3. low fat mania
      4. unhealthy fats (trans, PUFA seed oils, esp. deep frying)
      and in no particular order: widespread endocrine problems (thyroid, cortisol), various vitamin and mineral deficiencies (as you’ve discovered), low-salt mania, soy, insecticide expression/uptake, herbicide uptake, antibiotic uptake, hormone uptake, GMO & gmo risks, AGEs, etc.

      > … eat more greens and almonds, which are magnesium rich.

      Magnesium is on the list of recommended supplements if you aren’t getting enough from foods. See: http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/01/nutritional-supplements-in-the-wake-of-wheat-elimination/
      topic not linked at left, I note.

      > … but I don’t know, now, if I feel confident to point my finger at wheat as the culprit.

      In the case of any particular adverse agent, you can always challenge by adding it back, but beware on wheat, as re-exposure reactions are often harsh.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Magnesium deficiency is worsened by wheat consumption, Wendy, so at least a few of the abnormal phenomena experienced by wheat eaters are caused by magnesium deficiency. This is due to the presence of phytates that reduce magnesium absorption by as much as 60-70%, iron and zinc absorption by 90%, even with the modest quantity of phytates contained in one bagel.

      But it would be a big mistake to believe that all abnormal wheat-related phenomena are caused by magnesium deficiency. Anecdotally, way before I asked people to remove wheat, I asked them to supplement magnesium. Good things happened, such as modest reductions in blood pressure and relief from leg cramps, but nothing even close to the astounding changes that accompany wheat elimination.

  6. Neicee says:

    I can only thank Dr. Davis for pointing me in the direction of magnesium….sadly, my group of GP’s and endos never spoke a word about it when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. Having experienced tummy problems since childhood, and a mother that constantly made great homemade breads/cookies/pies/cakes/ plus a breakfast that always started with a good dose of oatmeal – which I hated – I see now I never fully absorbed the nutrients I needed to feed the bones plus a host of other problems. Again, I panic if and when my magnesium gets low.

  7. linda says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    I’ve been looking through your new Wheat Belly Cookbook 30-Minute (or less!) and was concerned when I read the Breakfast Nut Mix recipe on page 89. Raw nuts and seeds are definitely the way to go – but I believe that for digestibility purposes it’s really important to soak them first (then dehydrate) before using them. I’ve found the nuts and seeds much tastier – but also no longer upset my stomach. Walnuts in particular benefit from soaking since they lose that astringent mouth feel.

    Love your books, and am grateful that you’re still “banging the gong”. I’ve been on a Ketogenic diet for over a year and have not felt this good in about 30 years (I’m 63).

    Thank you, again,

  8. Repeat technique of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick,
    smooth, and shiny, will look like a melted caramel square.

    I never felt particularly deprived because I set reasonable behavior changes.
    Then while “dieting”, I slinked down to the vending machines during my med school dormitory basement to have my
    nightly fix.

  9. Maryann says:

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    It would be great to be able to read all of the comments you post more easily; readers need to continually go back and scroll through all of the comments on each of the entries to see if there was any new conversation on the topic (very time consuming). Since you mentioned that you are designing a new blog, I wanted to suggest that perhaps you could consider what Dr. Attia does on his blog. He has a recent comments section on the main page so that people can quickly access new comments. I am always interested in what you have to say, and I thank you for being so active and involved on your blog and facebook page. The medical information is very much appreciated as is your dedication and personality. Thanks for all you do! Blessings, Maryann

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hi, Maryann–

      Noted! The blog is actually being redesigned as we speak, the new format to be launched in about 3 weeks. We’ll see how the new design goes.

  10. Elizabeth Buscemi says:

    Dear Dr Davis,
    I live in Milwaukee and was a patient of yours for many years. You helped me get my life back after years of walking around feeling awful and in a fog. I got off wheat and began taking several supplements including
    CoQ10, vitamin D, magnesium and DHEA. Within two weeks I felt like a new person. I slowly went back to wheat over time. I am again feeling tired, lightheadedness, dehydrated and generally not good. I no longer take DHEA. I am 64 years old and wondering if I am too old to take DHEA? I am starting back on a no wheat diet again. I also deal with dehydration often. Do you have any suggestions about ways to keep hydrated. I drink a lot of water and clear liquids.
    Thank you!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Hey, Elizabeth!

      The older you get, the greater the benefits of DHEA. That said, the benefits of DHEA, best case scenario, are usually modest, never huge. And there’s a cure for dehydration: drinking water! It just means being mindful of hydration, nothing more.

  11. Lina says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,

    I have eliminated pasta, bread, cookies, cereal, etc. from my diet (anything containing wheat), but as a vegetarian transitioning into veganhood, I do buy meat analogues that have wheat gluten in them. Do these affect my insulin levels, even though they are essentially a protein isolate? I am trying to lose the wheat belly and having a bit of success, though the weight isn’t coming off like I wish it would. I’m eating 80% raw/vegan, getting my protein through leafy greens, nuts, seeds and beans (I get a LOT of plant protein daily), switched my cooking oil to coconut, which has medium chain fatty acids to help slim me down, etc. I am also working out 6x a week. I’m on week 3 of this regimen and have only lost 2.5 lbs. Please advise, thank you.

  12. Bianca says:

    What do you think about coffee substitues?
    I have not found one without grains in it…..most have rye or barley.
    Is it safe to drink 1 cup a day on a wheat belly diet?


  13. Joe says:

    Dear Dr. Davis,
    My wife and I have put our family on a wheat free diet 5 weeks ago after watching your video, it really isn’t that difficult to find substitutes especially for those pasta cravings since I am Italian, but it is more expensive. There have been many positive effects on all of us. My wife is a great baker and she misses that. In your video you showed wheat had its start with einkorn wheat. There are sellers of einkorn wheat that claim it is rich in nutrients. Is this true or is all wheat bad for you?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Einkorn wheat is an instance of something less bad than modern wheat.

      My newest book, Wheat Belly Total Health, to be released in September, 2014, will discuss this issue at length: why grains in ANY form are inappropriate for human consumption and that the chronic diseases we see all around us are really manifestations of grain consumption.

  14. Aga says:

    Dear Dr Davis,

    About 2 weeks ago me and my boyfriend started wheat free diet. Currently we live in Germany, and I’m polish so I have some troubles with finding some ingredients. But no matter what I will continue with diet. So far I lost 11 kg. It’s very fast, but that was probably because I had more health problems. Next week I have coloscopie to determine why I still have pain in my left abdomen. But my story is longer, so maybe I write it some other time. Now I have question about xylitol. Here in Germany it’s not easy to find so I have to buy it by amazon.de. I found there something called xucker, and I wonder if it’s good to use? For now I have buyer xylitol from Finland ( at least that is written on the box ), but xucker has more products, so it would be easier to use, but I have my doubts if I can use it.

    Kind regards


    • Dr. Davis says:

      Sorry, Aga, but I’ve never heard of “xucker.” Do you know what it is made of?

      • Aga says:

        xucker.de is the site with that product. I can see only info that xucker is 100% xylitol and they have also xucker light 100% erythrit.
        I think I will risk and buy 1 kg. If I will see some bad symptoms then I stop using it.
        Thanks for changing my life, it was full of pain and now I feel much better


  15. Jim A says:

    Dr Davis…a client of mine used a pump to treat his diabetes. He told me he read your book and now no longer uses a pump. In fact, he has no need for daily shots. Only meds. I was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic in jan, 2013. After I read your book, I lost 25lbs in 6 months, my Dr said I’m the best health for as long as he has known me (I’m 60), and I no longer have blood/sugar over 100! Thank you!

  16. Amy Allen says:

    I am wondering if drinking Crystal Lite is okay in this new eating lifestyle. What about Coke Zero? We live in China and there are no diet drinks available–only Coke Zero–so we drink Crystal Lite some….lots of tea, but sometimes I want a sweet flavoured something. I use Splenda to sweeten my coffee and tea, but this summer I may get the Truvia when I am home and bring it back with me… Just wondering about the Crystal Lite because we often bring that back with us as well.

  17. Dr. Davis,
    Wow. I just discovered your blog and your book. I have been counseling patients about gluten for years. I’m going to start recommending your book for them. I am an ER Physician by training but I left Milwaukee 5 years ago and started a Wellness Center in California. I grew up on a farm in Iowa, and even though we grew very little wheat, I grew up on a farmer’s diet: Heavy starches, breads, and red meat. I also grew up with a BMI and metabolism problem chronic amongst those of us who eat a farmer’s diet, but don’t farm. I am a former wrestler, body-builder, and competitive cyclist. Throughout my athletic career, I had to lose weight. I also had no idea what gluten was doing to my body. Like a lot of us physicians, we learned about Celiac Disease in medical school and figured “that was them”, i.e. the gluten problem didn’t appy to us. As my wife suffered with GI problems, her doctor put her on a gluten free diet (I joined her) and we both were amazed at how good we felt. I no longer dreaded eating lunch at work for fear of becoming sleepy and sluggish. Many of my wife’s problems went away (if I could just get her to stick to it more). I have since cut gluten down to one or two times a week and I’ve lost 25 pounds. I only think back to the struggles I went through as an athlete trying to lose that weight. Wow! I’m a believer. i’ve been counseling my patients, friends, co-workers and anybody else who wants advice on it for years now. I wish I had your book 20 years ago!

    William E. Franklin, DO, FAAEM, FACEP, FACOEP
    Bakersfield, CA

  18. Boundless says:

    If you mean the 12:27 post in this thread, the world only sees “Tim”.

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