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.

1,647 Responses to About the Author

  1. mary chalmers says:

    Okay, I think I need some help here. Read you book, bought the cookbook and have made many receipes and got the whole family on board which is something for me as I hate to cook, so here is the thing is it common to gain 3lbs in a week??? I know what you are probably going to say, have you been following it and Yes, except for a glass of wine at night and some dry roasted pistachios…but listen I have reduced my foor intake considerably and you would think on the heels of christmas eating that I would have nowhere to go but down. So, I am frustrated, and yes I do see a slight change in my bowel habits spending a bit less time frantically looking for the store washroom…but so far have to be honest, not much change. I realize that it is early days but all the testimonials I have read seem to relect the fact that you see instant results…could it be that maybe wheat is not my problem???? I really do hope you reply as I am reading to pack it in and hope you just do not reply to just positve responses….oh by the way I am a 61 year old woman, married 3 kids, living in Toronto, Canada. So help please as I want to feel like all the other people, and lose 50lbs….thanks.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Occasionally, Mary, we will see this sort of early response. I think it is too early to make any judgements, as your gastrointestinal tract is undergoing major transformations.

      I would suggest that you stay the course and wait a minimum of 2 months before making any decisions. Wheat is a problem for EVERYBODY.

      • mary chalmers says:

        Wow…I really did expect to get a response and so fast, so I will take your advice and stay on for at least 2 months and we will see. I can see now that since you took the time to email back with advice this is just not another book out there you really do believe in it,,,,so, I will keep going and thank you so much for responding, it has given me some hope. If you like I will let you know how things go….thanks again. mary

      • Michelle says:

        I suffer from hives with wheat.

        Is it likely there are traces of wheat in chicken? I assume chickens and ducks are fed wheat. I’m unable to find the answer on the internet.


  2. Tim says:

    I have one important question. Five months ago I was diagnosed with a 10-15% ejection fraction of the heart, along with heart failure and non-ischemic cardiomyopathy. Despite regularly exercising I would get dizzy while walking and I was unable to do a flight of stairs without having to rest. After a lot of medication and a week’s stay in a hospital I cut wheat and sugar from my diet. (Something my cardiologist considered a total waste of time.) Most days I began to feel better, and I was losing weight easily. In spite of constant arrhythmia I could even exercise an hour each day with no problem. Still, I often felt tired and sick. Recently, I came across some articles about a paleo-type diet, and I began to read your Wheat Belly Cookbook. I promptly cut out the things that I was still eating: gluten-free flour, cornmeal and other grains, and milk. Within 24 hours I began to feel better. Within three days I was waking up with a steady pulse of 78 BPM instead of my frequently erratic rate of 100 BPM. I am taking less medication. And I am eagerly looking forward to some favorable numbers on my next cardiogram (in about ten days). I am determined to reverse my heart disease and your book is an integral tool to that end. I only have one question. How do I find a cardiologist who can see the value in this plan? So far, my search has been futile.

  3. Tom Brandt says:

    Too funny… we just picked up your book from the library and noticed that you just live up the street a bit as we live in Milwaukee. Anyway, we look forward to my triglycerides and pre-diabetic conditions under control…. first week or so of no gluten almost killed me but certainly getting easier.

  4. michelle says:

    I think I know the answer, but I want to make sure. Both coconut sugar and syrup are a no no? Seperate issue I would like to thank you for your book. I have been on your diet since October and lost some weight, not a lot but hey slow and steady wins the race. I just wish that there was a support group in my area.
    Thank you

    • Boundless says:

      > Both coconut sugar and syrup are a no no?

      Yes yes, it’s a no no. Coconut sugar, aka coconut palm sugar, is a simple sugar not appreciably different from table sugar. It is claimed to have a lower glycemic index than sucrose, but it still both elevates and spikes blood sugar.

      And that’s assuming it’s authentic coconut sugar. People preparing this junk are either honest and naive, but more likely somewhere between charlatans and criminals. Either they are idiots, or they think you are. The odds of the package containing HFCS are high.

  5. Heather Burnham says:

    The recipe for wheat belly has a MAJOR type-o! After just wasting 4 cups of coconut flour I’m not too happy that your editors didn’t catch such a big mistake. After searching the web I found a “modified” version of this recipe which only calls for 1/4 cup coconut flour and I’m guessing this should have been the actual measurement.

    Now that I just wasted $8 worth of flour, I’m not too excitd to give this any good reviews in iTunes.

  6. Matt G says:

    I am reading your book and find it fascinating. I’m losing the wheat, and I do feel good changes.

    However, I do have a questin with respect to something in your book with respect to pancreatic beta cells that seems contradictory. I am reading it on a kindle, so I don’t have a page number to reference, only location info.

    Anyway, at location 1720, you state “The early phase of growing visceral fat and diabetes is accompanied by a 50 percent increase in pancreatic beta cells….” which to me sounds like the pancreas can produce the beta cells when needed. Then at location 1730, you talk about how high glucose will do away “with a few precious beta cells – which are never replaced.” So my question is; can the pancreas replace beta cells as is suggested in the former quote, or are they not replaceable as suggested in the latter quote?

    Thank you for clarifying.

    • Dr. Davis says:

      The effect is limited. While there may be an early compensatory increase, then long-term effect is pancreatic beta cell destruction.

  7. David says:

    Dr. Davis, I’m a board certified ophthalmologist, and I’ve written a book about diabetes and the eye. I would be honored if you could write a short blurb for the cover. May I email a pre-publication copy to you for your perusal? David

  8. Julian Fisher says:

    Dear Dr. Davis :
    I read your book, Wheat Belly, and have heard the podcast with Abel James. Very compelling.
    Today I celebrate a 50 pound weight loss, having dropped from 250 to 200 pounds. It took four months. I am thrilled with this change in my health, and the many side effects that have accompanied it. Lower blood pressure, loss of dandruff, a feeling of great energy, no cravings. I really hope that the medical establishment takes note of the implications in regards to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and even mental health. Could it possibly be the greatest health breakthrough, right under our noses? My mind is certainly made up. When I reach my goal of 180 ponds, will the weight loss flatten out?
    Is it ignorance that prevents a widespread adoption of your ideas or are you and other like-minded people perceived as a threat to what is sadly, a very lucrative food and treatment industry?

    • Boundless says:

      > When I reach my goal of 180 ponds, will the weight loss flatten out?

      That’s an interesting question that, I, as a lay reader of this blog, can only offer some speculation on.

      What you think your ideal weight is may be different from what your body thinks. Low carb, borderline keto (what I consider WB to be) and full ketogenic diets can easily drive your weight back to what it was at age 21.

      If you want to weight more than what you end up at, the only safe way that I know of (which isn’t to say that other ways don’t exist) is building muscle mass through strength training.

      In particular, eating fat, when low carb, is spectacularly inefficient at gaining weight. You’d have to eat vastly more then you feel like, and it’s probably not a great idea for health.

      > Is it ignorance that prevents a widespread adoption of your ideas …

      See “What’s Up With My Doctor?” for some musings on that.

      > … or are you and other like-minded people perceived as a threat to
      > what is sadly, a very lucrative food and treatment industry?

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something,
      when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

  9. Sharon says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I have been sick for months and after extensive testing and doctor after doctor, many who thought I was crazy, I was finally tested by intestinal biopsy for celiac. Once I had the test in November, before the results came back I started a gluten free diet…it was amazing…within days I was without massive stomachaches, diarrhea, without severe joint pain, fatigue, rashes and swellings. If I even eat the smallest thing with gluten by accident because ingredients are so hard to read, I get deathly ill. Once my mouth swelled and I thought my throat was closing because I took a generic cold medication that I later found out had a wheat filler. My issue is that my celiac test was actually negative and it is hard to get people to take my gluten sensitivity seriously..they think I am just being difficult. Is there a particular type of doctor I can see or a test I can get to prove my sensitivity to wheat is real? To be formally diagnosed? I already know from just the diet but people have a hard time taking that as a diagnosis. BTW, I have also lost 12 pounds since November and feel 100% better! I just feel a little lost sometimes because this is a seriously misunderstood phenomenon. I feel like nobody gets it. Thank you for raising awareness…

    • Boundless says:

      > My issue is that my celiac test was actually negative and it is hard to get
      > people to take my gluten sensitivity seriously..they think I am just being
      > difficult. Is there a particular type of doctor I can see or a test I can get to
      > prove my sensitivity to wheat is real?

      Yes. Cyrex array 3

      This is the go-to test used by Dr. Permutter (author of “Grain Brain”). My recollection is that he’s said (perhaps not in the book), that 40% of the population will test positive on Cyrex array 3. That’s not surprising, since wheat is toxic to 100% of us :). Any doctor can order it. If yours won’t, fire them.

      This test is probably of greatest value to parents who need a document to use against government school drones who would otherwise poison their child with USDA horror foods.

  10. lynnette says:

    Dr. Davis, what do you think about reducing wheat, instead of 100% eliminating it? I really like German fitness bread, which is made from Rye Kernels, Water, Whole Rye Flour, Oat Kernels, Whole Wheat Flour, Wheat Germ, Sea Salt, Yeast. I eat 1-2 pieces a day. I don’t have celiac, ibs, or any other health conditions that I’m aware of.

  11. Carol says:

    Dr. Davis,
    Your book is amazing. Thank you. I have already been emailing friends and clients about it. I gave up gluten for 2 years. Then I went back on it periodically. I started to get skin rashes. I went to the best doctors and allergists here in NYC. Everyone told me to use cortisone and there is no cure and no reason why. I knew this wasn’t true and through an elimination diet I had to figure out myself I cannot eat gluten (or chocolate and sulfites). After tons of money spent and tests taken and biopsies had and medications consumed, It’s Gluten. And no one was able to tell me this. Thank you for your book. I feel that it validates me. And will help so many of my clients. Also, My father has an atrial flooder/atrial fibrillation. (Usually it’s flooder). Do you think giving up gluten would help me? Can we meet with you here in NY or do you only practice in WI?
    Thank you so much for your time and attention,
    Carol Anne Wasserman

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Thanks, Carole!

      Yes, the atrial flutter/fibrillation seems to be associated with wheat consumption, improvement (though not always elimination) with wheat elimination.

      Sorry, I do not see patients in New York and will only be seeing an extremely limited number of patients in Wisconsin, given current time pressures.

  12. Susan Kupersmit says:

    Dr. Davis
    I have been wheat-free for a month now. I have to admit that I feel much better. My heart palpitations and irregular heartbeats are gone, and I can now actually make it from my office to my car (it’s quite a walk) without getting out of breath and feeling sick. However, I am not losing weight. I am 57 years old and I am 40 lbs overweight. I have only lost four pounds since removing all wheat from my diet. I have also cut out rice, potato, and pasta. Still, after one month, I have only lost the four lbs. I am very frustrated and confused because I was a total wheat addict, and ate bread and pasta all the time. I figured once I cut these foods out, I would lose weight like crazy, but alas…I have not. I have your book AND cookbook. Love the recipes. Please help me lose this weight!!!! What am I doing wrong?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Some people simply respond this way, Susan, with weight loss going more quickly after a delay. However, should this persist, see this discussion of all the issues to consider:http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/10/i-lost-the-wheat-but-didnt-lose-weight-2/

      Wheat elimination is powerful. But it cannot correct conditions such as the incredibly common issue of thyroid dysfunction.

      • Susan Kupersmt says:

        Dr. Davis
        Thank you for your response! In reading the additional information on the link you included I realized what I have been doing wrong; I have been drinking a daily wheyprotein shake. I have now stopped the shakes and lost an additional 2 pounds in three days! Is it ok to use an egg protein shake instead? I am mostly vegetarian (lacto-ovo) and would like to supplement my protein intake. Thank you again! Your book has changed my life!

  13. Cheryl Nowell says:

    Last Fall my Doctor told me again, i needed to lose 100 lbs to better contol my Diabetes. I started searching diets. Rodale books sent a flyer and i bought Lose the Wheat. I got so excited when i read this book. All the ailments that i had apparantly were being intensified by my wheat addiction. In just a few months i have lost 59lbs, eliminated insulin usage (from 160 units), had joint pain dramatically recede, seen the disappearance of serious acid relux. I feel better, walk better and i tell EVERYONE how i did it. (your books are selling in my neighborhood). Thank you for giving me a SIMPLE cure to 30+ years of obesity and diabetes. I still have 40 to 50 lbs to lose, but i know now it is doable. THank you THank you THank you!!!!!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, Cheryl!

      Please return with updates on your progress. More people need to hear how easy it is to undo diabetes!

  14. Elizabeth says:

    Dr. Davis,
    Thank you for your Wheat Belly book and recipes. I am finally wheat free and loving it! I am wondering what you can tell me about phytic acid? I read the following article and I am now concerned with the amount of seeds and nuts I have been eating, more importantly that I have been grinding up and feeding to my kids.

  15. KatieAnn says:

    Dr. Davis,
    I genuinely hate to be negative but have the opposing opinions of your program been addressed on your website? I have seen several remarks on gluten free sites that are not appreciative of the “wheat free diet craze”. While most were appreciative of how mainstream gluten free is now and the availibilty of products most felt the studies cited in your book were inaccurate, misleading and led to people not taking celiac disease seriously. Have you shared your opinion of this? How do you address the concerns of those who make this lifestyle change and gain weight (either initially or later)?? Is there a reason for this? I am extremely interested in your work and making this change myself; but as I am planning this as part of my own preventative medicine program (diabetes is heavy in my family) so I am genuinely concerned about the claims of numerous people becoming overweight on this program. Thank you for reading

    • Boundless says:

      > … have the opposing opinions of your program been addressed on your website?

      Have there been any with any merit? The usual one that people ask about is the AACCI paper, and I dissected that starting at:

      Speaking as an ordinary reader since shortly after this blog’s incep, dissenting remarks on this blog are not deleted unless they are abusive or spam. This means that any remarks like “this doesn’t work, I went back to eating the USDA way” would be let stand. There aren’t any.

      > I have seen several remarks on gluten free sites that are not appreciative
      > of the “wheat free diet craze”.

      Most people on GF diets appear to be completely unaware of the hazards of a full-time moderate to high-glycemic diet, and the vendors of GF products (99% of which are junk carbs) are in no hurry to educate them (assuming the GF product formulators even know what they are doing).

      > .. most felt the studies cited in your book were inaccurate, misleading …

      Here’s the reality: the WB dietary profile works, works near-term, and re-exposure reactions tend to be harsh and make shocklingly clear just how toxic the former diet really was. This is not a case of trying some hypothetical new approach or supplement that might or might not have results years later.

      > and led to people not taking celiac disease seriously.

      Celiac is arguably not even a disease. As I’ve said before here: “Celiac is kind of like poison ivy. Some have little or no response to the toxin. Some have an acute response, which predisposes them to future acute responses, and even spontaneous outbreaks. The rash is called urushiol-induced contact dermatitis. Is it a “disease”? No, it’s just an allergic reaction, one that can require hospitalization (and if you have this allergy, don’t eat mangoes).”

      > How do you address the concerns of those who make this lifestyle
      > change and gain weight (either initially or later)??

      If they post here, they get answered. They are extremely rare, and there are addressable reasons for it. Search here for the article “I lost the wheat, but didn’t lose weight: 2″.

      > … as part of my own preventative medicine program (diabetes is
      > heavy in my family) …

      Type 2 diabetes, like celiac, is also not really a disease. It’s just a completely predictable metabolic response to a full-time glycemic diet.

      > … so I am genuinely concerned about the claims
      > of numerous people becoming overweight on this program.

      Reference some?
      (and yes, this is a response to a year-old Reply)

  16. Steve Arbury says:

    Just bought your Wheat Belly Cookbook and tried the basic bread recipe on page 225. The loaf rose to only 2 inches high. All ingredients were freshly bought. Any suggestions? (Or does it not rise much since there is no yeast in the recipe?) Thanks.

  17. Lisa Bridges from North Carolina says:

    I have lived with severe thyroid issues for 18 years. No one could help me. They just telling me “You need to watch your weight”, “you are boarderline diabetic”, “we don’t understand why your thyroid is not reacting to the meds” and so on.
    One day, I found your book on Amazon and downloaded a sample. My life has been changed. I have only been free from most wheats for a few weeks now. I have seen a vast difference and I look forward to many more. Thank you so much for taking the chance to write this book!

  18. Lisa Bridges from North Carolina says:

    I don’t loaded your book from Amazon. It all made since after 18 years of trying to figure out what was wrong with me. During the time I was reading your book, I remembered a food alegery test that given to me four years earlier. I dug it out and there is was! I had food allegeries to wheat! I originally had the test done by a doctor that was more radical than I wanted to believe. My medical doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong but didn’t want me to go to another type of doctor either. I tucked the test away and had forgotten about it. Your book Wheat Belly was a true blessing and connected the dots!

    If anyone has any doubts…..I say just try it for several months and see what happens.

    Lisa Bridges

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Great, Lisa! Many people have had to suffer for years before the answer became apparent–I believe you have found yours!

  19. JD says:

    Hi Dr. Davis
    I’m so glad to have found this book and after just 4 days, I am seeing amazing results. One of the biggest changes though is how clear my mind is. Lately I have noticed that I can’t even speak without stumbling on my words and losing my train of thought so easily. I turned 50 a few months ago and just believed it was due to my age and premenopausal “brain fog”. I can’t believe how much better I feel. My mind is clear and I’m making sense!!! I have had intestinal issues for many years that have completely stopped! My cravings are gone! The bingeing is gone! Energy is up! The list goes on.
    Thank you for your research and putting it all in a great book!

    • Dr. Davis says:

      Terrific, JD!

      You can appreciate why many people who go wheatless claim that the clock has been turned back 10 or 20 years!

  20. Linda Walsh says:

    Ok, I will be honest, I am beyond frustrated with this diet and just about ready to call it quits. I do not need to loose weight (5’7″ 120lbs) but suffer from making too much wheat in our diet. I know that loosing the wheat will help us. I cook every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner including snacks and deserts) and never eat out because we have a special needs daughter with a multitude of food allergies (including dairy, soy, and all the wheat flours). I thought she would benefit from loosing the wheat after reading your book and so I invested in all the ingredients, coffee grinders, food processers and all that to make this new diet for our family of 6. I continually struggle with your recipes as it takes too much time to constantly grind nuts to make flour. I also am beginning to notice a lot of problems with many of the recipes including “wasted 3/4 of almond flour on the ‘Breaded Chicken’ recipe when it only needed 1/4 c flour for dredging at the most’ to bread two large chicken breasts. I ended up using the rest of the almond flour to bread a whole chicken. Only one egg needed for the Herbed chicken. The Pumpkin Pie leaves much to be desired. 10 eggs to make Rye Bread? Really? And the Basic white loaf of bread using Almond flour, gosh, that’s like a $25 loaf of bread. I have 4 kids, can’t afford this. I do like the scones though. Had to make cheese scones since we couldn’t get out of the house due to all the fiber in the nuts. I do notice weight gain too, and my kids are always hungry now and wanting to eat large quantities of meat, all the fruit, and even veggies in the house. Did you actually live on this diet and use these recipes? My kids can’t stop going to the toilet. I find myself questioning that anyone could actually live by this diet for more than a month. It just doesn’t seem believable to me, and I have been giving it my all for the past week. I am so very frustrated and wondering if wheat is really all that bad after all.

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